Wright – Get Ready, Get Set for Winter Sports | SkyHiNews.com

Wright – Get Ready, Get Set for Winter Sports

Jackie Wright/The Fitness Trail
Grand County, CO Colorado

For the past five weeks we have been featuring the cardiovascular endurance and muscular strength/endurance components of a preparation program for winter sports. This week, the flexibility/stretching component of this program will be highlighted. If you were unable to check out the other segments of this preparation program, drop me an e-mail and I would be happy to forward the entire program to you. As always, prior to beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician.

Flexibility/Stretching Component

When performing the following stretches, which promote and may enhance flexibility, which is the range of motion about each joint, hold each stretch for 15-30 seconds, just to the point of tightness, never pain. You may perform these stretches, one for all major muscle groups of the body, following a 5-10 minute dynamic warm-up daily, but always following all workouts.

Lower Body

Featured Performance Stretch: Supine Hamstring Stretch, Back of Thigh (also stretches the gluteus maximus calf/Achilles tendon)

• Lie face up on the floor with the left leg bent at the knee joint and the sole of the left foot on the floor;

• Bring the right knee toward the chest with the hands underneath the knee joint;

• Inhale, and as you exhale extend the leg toward the ceiling, just to the point of tightness as you drive the heel into the ceiling; and,

• Hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds and then perform it on the other leg.

Also, perform stretches for the following lower body muscle groups:

• Quadriceps Stretch, front of the thigh;

• Hip Abductors, outer/upper hip;

• Hip Adductors, inner thighs;

• Gastrocnemius/soleus, calves; and,

• Tibialis Anterior, shins.

Upper Body

Featured Performance Stretch: Pectorals Stretch, Chest

• Begin standing with the legs more than shoulder-distance apart, knees relaxed, shoulders rotated back and down, rib cage lifted and the navel pulled toward the spine.

• Bring the arms up to shoulder height with the palms facing forward and the arms bent 90 degrees at the elbow joint. Upper arm should be parallel to the ceiling.

• Press the breast bone forward opening the chest as you inhale.

• Hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds and then exhale as you release the stretch.

Also, perform stretches for the following upper body muscle groups:

• Trapezius Stretch, upper/mid-back;

• Latissimus Dorsi Stretch, mid/lateral back;

• Triceps Stretch, back of the upper arms;

• Biceps Stretch, front of the upper arms ; and,

• Deltoids Stretch, front/side/back of shoulders.

Abdominals/Core/Erector Spinae.

Featured Performance Stretch: Erector Spinae Stretch, Entire Spine (also known as the “Cat” Stretch)

• Begin kneeling on the hands/knees with the hands directly underneath the shoulders.

• Inhale, and as you exhale hollow the abdomen, let the head suspend toward the floor, press the middle back into the ceiling and relax the lower back.

• Hold this position for 15-30 seconds, then release slowly into a neutral spine with the head and tailbone lifted (“cow” position).

Also, perform stretches for the following muscle groups:

• Cervical/Torso Stretch, neck and middle/sides of the torso (obliques);

• Lateral Torso Stretch, sides of the torso (obliques); and,

• Rectus Abdominis Stretch, from the base of the rib cage to the pubic bone.

Next week, we will feature how to maintain or lose weight during the holiday season.

Jackie Wright is the owner/manager of Never Summer Fitness, LLC located in Grand Lake, Colorado. She can be reached at her Web site at http://www.neversummerfitness.com, her e-mail at NSFGL@comcast.net and her blog at http://www.skyhidailynews.com

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