Stretching is particularly important in wrestling, since you need to be flexible to to win matches and to resist opponents' attempts to pin your shoulders in awkward positions, which can stress muscles and lead to injury.
Your shoulders are frequently engaged during a six-minute match and throughout training. "During training, you build your shoulders up. So, to maximize their ability and prevent injury, you need to keep them flexible," says Josh Eidson, strength coach for Indiana's men's wrestling team. "I like our wrestlers to use a partner for upper body stretches. A partner can help you get into positions and hit areas you aren't able to reach by yourself, which will maximize your flexibility."
To retain full range of motion, follow Coach Eidson's simple Do's and Don'ts for stretching the shoulders. And check out STACK's exclusive look at shoulder-specific stretching exercises, courtesy of the Hoosier wrestler squad.
- Dynamic stretches [Shoulder Rolls, Arm Circles and Arm Swings]—both forward and backward—before and after practice and workouts
- Partner stretches with arms behind head, out to the side and over head
- Static stretches only if your shoulders are tight or injured
- Perform stretching routines that last 10 to 12 minutes
- Use a jump rope, light jog or stationary bike to warm up before stretching
- Stretch every day
- Perform dynamic stretches if you're injured
- Stretch when your body is cold
- Let your partner control your stretch; tell him when you hit your threshold
- Perform dynamic stretches longer than 30 seconds
- Start performing dynamic stretches fast; start slowly and increase the intensity as your warm-up progresses
- Just go through the motions of stretching; find your threshold and hit it
- Hold partner stretches longer than 15 seconds
Photo: IU Athletics
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