Accidents and injuries are inevitable. Despite our best intentions, they may still happen. However, warming up and stretching the right way before a game will reduce the risk of injuries and even prevent you from having postgame aches and pains.

Warm with about five to 10 minutes of light aerobic activity. Follow it up with Stretching increases flexibility and improves the range of motion of your joints.

Because each distinct sport requires different ranges of motion, there are special stretches you can do that will target the muscles that you will use most during the game. The following are just a few of the stretches you can do depending on the sport you play:

Football

Knee Hugs

  • Start with a straight back and your arms at your sides
  • Lift your right foot off the ground
  • Squat back and down while standing on your left leg
  • Lift your right knee to your chest
  • Grab below the knee with your hands
  • Pull your right knee as close as you can to your chest while contracting your left glute
  • Step forward
  • Repeat on the other side

Continue alternating sides and moving forward for the prescribed number of reps

Remember to keep your chest up. Don’t let your knee slide during the squat.

Basketball

Back Stretch

  • Lie on your back with your legs flat on the floor
  • Hold your right leg at the knee
  • Slowly bring to your chest
  • Keep the other leg straight
  • Feel the stretch
  • Lower the leg
  • Repeat with the other leg

Hamstring

  • Sit cross-legged on the floor
  • Straighten one leg out keeping the other leg bent
  • Lean forward and feel the stretch
  • Repeat on the other leg

Shoulder

  • Put one arm behind your head touching the back of your shoulder
  • Use your other arm to push the bent arm down and stretch
  • Repeat with the other arm.

 

Soccer

Quad Stretch

  • Stand on one leg
  • Pull the other foot up behind your bottom
  • Keep your knees together
  • Push your hips forwards to increase the stretch
  • Hold for between 10 and 30 seconds

Hips

  • Lie on your back
  • Lift one leg towards your chest
  • Cross your opposite leg (your foot should touch a little above the knee of your non-crossed leg)
  • Pull your non-crossed leg towards your chest
  • Reverse and repeat

 

Baseball/Softball

Groin Stretch

  • Stand with your legs wide apart
  • Shift your weight to the left
  • Allow your left knee to bend until it is over your left foot
  • You will feel the stretch in your right groin
  • Keep your feet on the ground facing forward
  • Hold for 20-30 seconds
  • Repeat the stretch on the opposite side