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The Importance Of Stretching For Rugby Players

Rugby season is just around the corner and, if you play, preventing injury and keeping your body in top physical condition should be your primary concern. Hitting the gym hard and doing plenty of cardio will help get you in the shape you need to be in to perform, but if you want to avoid injury then you need to include a full, daily stretching regime with your training.

Why stretch?

Rugby is physically demanding to say the least. It’s a full contact sport that has you pushing your own limits every time you get the ball in your hands. Being tackled can hurt and strains are common. Making sure you and your muscles are prepared is crucial if you want to make it through a full season.

The basics of stretching

Stretching should be used to warm up the muscles before a workout, training or a game. Some players hate stretching, but you have to understand that stretching properly prepares your body, increases performance, prevents injury and improves your recovery time.

Warming up before any kind of physical activity means that more blood will be flowing through your muscles. This improved flow of oxygen and higher temperature means more flexibility and a higher metabolism.

Cooling down is also important as it allows you to transfer excess heat from your body and return it to a normal functioning state.

Daily stretching

Daily stretching can help dramatically as well. Sticking to a twenty minute stretching regime every day can help improve the flexibility of your muscles, giving you a better range of motion with your movements and lowering the chances of damage through strenuous activities like training or game time.

Key stretches

Runners lunge helps improve the flexibility of muscles used for sprinting. Take a large step forward and bend your knees so the rear one rests on the ground. With your hands on your front knee and your torso upright, slide your rear leg back until you feel the stretch in your hips and thighs.

Doorway chest stretch gives you more flexibility in the chest and arms. Stand in a doorway with your arms against the vertical doorframe so your elbows are level with your shoulders. Lean forward and push your chest between your arms. Hold the position for thirty to sixty seconds.

Regular stretching improves performance, recovery time and helps prevent injury during rugby season. Start stretching daily, before and after every training session and every game to keep your body in peak condition on and off the field.

Shaun S O’Leary