Thank you to Claire and Alina for sending in some questions about how to begin improving your flexibility in synchro (without causing injury!)
Here are 5 tips and tricks that my team and I use on a daily basis to improve our flex and make sure our bodies stay happy and healthy. After all, our bodies really are everything when it comes to sport.
- Keeping your muscles warm. – I am sure most of you have seen athletes wearing long socks to keep warm during figure competitions. This is one way to keep your muscles warm without having to add anything physical to your already taxing day! Before getting ready for your practice or competition try wearing long clothes. Ex. long socks to cover the ankles, long pants for your hips and knees, as well as long shirts for your shoulders, elbows and wrists. This can help to protect the joints so that you can protect them from any damage. Try it at your next practice!
- Foam Rolling. – This is a great addition to your daily routine! Start by foam rolling your back. Then roll out your bum, quadriceps, hamstrings, and inner thighs. Try doing 8 times back and forth on each muscle before moving on to the next. Do this at the beginning of training!
- Hot tub stretching. – This is great if you are struggling to get flat with your splits on land. The warmth of the tub will be just enough to loosen up your muscles so that you can get a little bit more of a relaxing stretch instead of the tense stretch you would get on land. A lot of times I see people who use every muscle in their body to hold themselves up so that they don’t feel that extreme stretch. This is bad!!! This can cause all sorts of issues later in your shoulders and back, even staining some leg muscles. Use the tub trick to start and work your way up.
- Progression to Splits. – I love doing a progression to my splits. I either start my practice or end my practice with some of these stretches (as well as rolling). Starting with a standard lunge position, to a hamstring stretch, back to the lunge but this time with the front foot turned out at a 45 degree angle. Drop the hips and wiggle into different positions to find a nice stretch. At that lunge bend the back leg in so that you stretch the front of the quad on the back leg. From there you can go into a half split (a split but with something supporting your front knee or front hip), and then get into your split. Make sure you do both legs and HOLD for more than 30 seconds each!
- Go get a massage. – Now that training is more intense, I have learnt the importance of massages in an athletes career! Our muscles are so important to us and if we let them get too tight they can rip! Nobody wants that. When you feel sore, tight or even just a little bit tense, get yourself a therapeutic massage and let them work their magic! Its a great way to keep you healthy and help flexibility.
For more tips, contact me using the side bar! Also, do not hesitate to contact me with any questions about the tips I’ve given here.