No need to attend yoga classes with your girlfriend to achieve functional athletic flexibility. Randall Dorvin, lacrosse strength and conditioning coach at Duke University, recommends regularly performing basic stretches to stay limber.
"I advocate a dynamic warm-up that takes the body through a full range of motion in a slow, controlled manner," Dorvin says. "This creates joint fluidity so our players can move violently in a coordinated manner on the field."
Here, Dorvin explains three dynamic warm-up phases used by the 2007 National finalist Blue Devils before practice and games.
Phase 1: Full-body warm-up
Walk on outsides of feet
Walk on insides of feet
Sets/Distance: 1x20 yards for each drill; no rest time between exercises
Coaching Points: When walking on heels, keep toes pointed up // Maintain balance and avoid wobbling // Walk barefoot if shoes hinder your movements
Benefits: Every step strengthens and stretches all muscles that surround the foot
Phase 2: Gaining full range of motion
Face right sideline
Step left into lunge with left foot
Collapse trailing leg; pop back up
Pivot 180 degrees
Step with right foot into lunge; pop up and repeat
Sets/Reps/Distance: Perform 1x8, each direction, over 20 yards
Coaching Points: Use slow, elongated lunges // Take a solid step, then slowly sink hips until back knee hits ground // Maintain upright posture
Benefits: Stretches hips, groins, abductors and adductors
Phase 3: Tempo with "single fast leg"
Perform while jogging lightly for 20 yards
Every time right foot hits ground, pop right heel back up and swing right elbow back into sprint mechanics position for quick second. Keep left side of body relaxed entire time
Perform over 20 yards; switch to left side
Coaching Points: Close distance between calves and hamstrings // Keep knee and toe up // Keep torso erect and in comfortable posture // Don't use "choo-choo" train arm motion
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