With the official National Football League Season kicking off in a couple of weeks, there is undoubtedly a lot of excitement in the air. Hopefully, injuries to star athletes will not play a decisive role in the outcome of the games this season.
Strength and speed are valuable assets in football; however, agility training should not be underestimated. Being agile and nimble will help you change direction quickly to avoid tackles and serious injury. The key to improving agility is increasing range of motion with proper stretching techniques.
If you're a weekend warrior or a more serious player, take a knee and try these stretches to protect yourself from injury on the football field:
- Stretch 1: While on your right knee with both arms raised overhead, bend your left knee so your hips move forward and you feel the stretch in the front right hip area.
- Stretch 2: This is a variation of the above stretch where you are on your right knee and you reach overhead with your right arm while arching your torso towards your left side. You should feel the stretch in the side of your right hip.
- Stretch 3: While kneeling on one knee, rotate your arms across your body towards the opposite side. This exercise targets the rotational component of your hip flexors.
- Stretch 4: Kneel on your right knee with the left leg out to the side. With your left hand on the inside of your left knee to prevent thigh movement, focus on moving your hips forward until you feel a nice stretch on the inside of your left thigh.
- Stretch 5: While kneeling on your right knee with your left leg out to the side and your left hand on the inside of your left knee, gently glide your hips from side to side as well as make small circles with your hips. You should feel the stretch on the inside of your left thigh.
Hold each stretch for about 30 seconds and then switch legs. Do these stretches regularly before your game and you will notice a marked improvement in your movement and your performance.
Dr. Domb is a nationally recognized orthopaedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine and arthroscopic surgery of the hip, shoulder and knee. A noted pioneer in advanced new techniques in hip arthroscopy, he delivers innovative treatments for patients with hip injuries such as impingement and labral tears. Dr. Domb is also an expert in arthroscopic surgery of the shoulder and knee, adept in specialized techniques including arthroscopic rotator cuff repair and all-inside ACL reconstruction.