When I Stretch You Stretch..
Despite your best efforts for proper technique and safety, you may unfortunately suffer a soft tissue injury at some point during your training. For novice to elite athletes, the fear of possibly re-injuring yourself can be a struggle to overcome when you want to return to physical activity. This schedule for stretching may be useful in your safe recovery process.
During the first 3 days, follow the well known “RICE” schedule:
- R: REST
- I: ICE
- C: COMPRESSION
- E: ELEVATION
Note: you may need to visit a physician for medical treatment. This regimen has been shown to reduce recovery time when used immediately following soft tissue injury. During this phase, avoid ALL stretching as this may cause further damage to the injured tissues.
For the next couple of weeks you can add light stretching to your rehabilitation schedule.
STATIC STRETCHING: Place your body in a position where the muscle to be stretched is under tension. Both the opposing muscle group and the muscles to be stretched are relaxed. Slowly, the body is moved to increase the tension of the stretched muscle group. Hold the position for 20-30 seconds to allow the muscles to lengthen.
PASSIVE STRETCHING: Another person (or something solid and stable) can be used to further stretch the muscles. Do not use bouncing or jerky movements when stretching.
In the next 2-5 weeks, you will continue to stretch and regain your flexibility, balance, strength, and power. You will be able to incorporate dynamic stretching, which involves taking muscles through their entire range of motion. At the Treehouse, we start our workouts with “Dynamics on the Turf” which includes several movements performed at slow, medium, and fast speeds. Dynamic stretching improves your range of motion and activates the muscles you will use in your workouts.
During any part of the recovery process, you should not be feeling pain. There may be initial discomfort, but never pain. Our hope is that none of you experience an injury – make sure to listen to your body and always work on proper technique. If you have any questions on various stretches, make sure to ask your Coach for Life!