How to Prepare Your Muscles for Athletic Performance Dynamic Stretching Dynamic stretching consists of functional based exercises which use sport specific movements to prepare the body for movement. Dynamic flexibility has been used successfully by trainers and coaches to increase flexibility and possibly lower the incidence of injury. The main benefit of using dynamic stretching just before a sporting event or fitness routine is that, because dynamic stretches use motions similar to those that an athlete under takes, they effectively simulate a performance experience.
For example, doing kicking stretches before soccer or a similar sport will effectively warm up the limbs and body to anticipate specific challenges. The same applies to upper body motions such as circular arm stretching. Plyometrics Plyometrics or “plyos” for short, are a type of exercise designed to produce fast and powerful movements. They are generally used by athletes to improve performance in sports, especially those that involve speed, quickness and power. 1. Better Performance For those who enjoy sports like track and field, plyometric exercise can greatly benefit running speed.
If running isn’t your game, perhaps you would like to punch harder or throw farther. Plyometric exercise helps you achieve any athletic goal. 2. Developing Muscle Power Plyometric exercise gives your legs and muscles an intense exercise which guarantees an increase in muscle potential. 3. Enhancing Your Ability to Burn Calories An increased muscular endurance and ability to burn calories would come to great use for someone hoping to build a weight loss routine. 4. Increasing Your Muscular Endurance
If you are an athlete and you have a big competition coming up, plyometric exercising will help intensify your energy and increase your stamina just in time for the main event. Since plyometric exercising builds up an explosive amount of intense energy, it could be just the thing for an athlete to have in their training routine. 5. No Extreme Exercising Equipment is Needed Exercise equipment can be expensive, and plyometric exercising doesn’t require any. Anything that is needed could be easily found lying around the house. 6. Easily Calibrated to Suit Anyone’s Needs
Plyometric exercising can be as simple as jumping on a trampoline several times a day or even using your old jump rope from back in the day. For someone looking for a little more intense workout, perhaps jumping back and forth from a lower platform to a higher platform would suit their needs. There are many ways to increase the intensity of the exercise by simply increasing the distance or height of each jump. Plyometric exercising is simply utilizing the muscular energy that it takes to jump to your own exercising advantage. Static Stretching
Static stretches have been used traditionally by athletes and pretty much everyone who works out and exercises. Whenever people think of warming up before a run, or some other physical activity, they think of stretching. The idea is reinforced by movies and other public media. Studies have shown that performing static stretches before exercise may not be as good for you as originally thought, however. The claim is that this type of stretch can weaken the muscle and make it more prone to injury during the ensuing activity. The muscle has a weaker response and generates less force; this effect can last up to 30 minutes.
Despite the negatives just mentioned, there are benefits to this type of stretch. The major benefit is a concentrated focus on increasing flexibility and range of motion in the joints. This can also be achieved with dynamic stretching, but not to the same degree and potential. As far as flexibility goes, dynamic stretching is like a utility knife, whereas static stretching is a surgical blade: the static stretches are just more specialized for increasing flexibility. So the question is ‘when do you perform static stretching? The best times are just after your workout, when you’re all warmed up and ready to relax, or any time when you’re not going to exercise.
I encourage you to incorporate this type of stretch into your routine. Flexible and limber muscles are less prone to injury and improve athletic performance. If you play a competitive and intense sport like football or basketball, this is especially true. Many times while playing these sports, I have had people push, bump, step on, and contort my body in several places and to a degree that if my muscles and tendons were not conditioned to be that flexible, I would have been more injured for sure.