Why stretching is crucial for soccer players?
It is important for soccer players because it helps to alleviate soreness, increases flexibility, and improves range of motion.
The benefits of stretching are evident in all athletes but are perhaps most critical for soccer players. As muscle and tendon injuries are common in virtually all levels of the game a proper physical condition can affect the overall health of soccer players. Unlike many other sports, soccer requires constant running and constant kicking of a ball over short distances. Soccer can be a high-impact sport on the joints and muscles in the legs if they are not prepared for this strain.
A soccer player’s muscles are constantly engaged, which can lead to tightening or cramping. Stretching increases an athlete’s range of motion, which helps with reducing the chance of injury. A well-prepared soccer team will have a stretching routine before any game or practice, as well as at the end of it to help reduce any stiffness that may have been accumulated while playing.
Players should perform the following exercises:
- Hamstring stretch
- Calf stretch
- Groin stretch
- Hip flexor stretch
- Quadriceps stretch.
Stretching before exercises
We should stretch before exercise to keep our muscles and joints healthy. When you do it, you are lengthening the muscle and opening up the joint space, which allows them to function better.
The benefits of stretching before exercises are that it helps prevent injury, improve range of motion, increase flexibility, and help get the blood flowing to your muscles.
Stretching after exercises
Stretching is a great way to help athletes and non-athletes recover from strenuous exercise
Warming-up before stretching
A warm-up before stretching can help prevent injuries, such as muscle tears when working out. Warm-up exercises get all the blood flowing through your muscles, which loosens the joints and makes stretching easier.
It is generally recommended to always do a warm-up before exercises and it should be tailored to the kind of exercise you are doing. We recommend starting with some jogging for at least 5 minutes.
Dynamic and static stretching
Dynamic stretching refers to exercises that are performed in a controlled manner while the person is already moving or preparing for movement. The purpose of this type of stretching is to prepare the muscles and joints for physical activity or sports participation.
Static stretching is a form of flexibility training that involves stretching a muscle to its limit without bouncing.
It is performed by holding the stretch for about 30 seconds. It is considered less effective than dynamic for improving flexibility, but they are safer for muscles and joints.
Since static stretches don’t cause the same type of discomfort that dynamic one can sometimes cause, they’re often recommended as the initial stretching exercise before starting a workout session or physical activity.
Our recommendations: do dynamic stretching before the activity to warm up muscles, do static stretching when muscles are already warm to lengthen muscles and reduce soreness.