Your high school competition may be unable to knock you off that top podium spot, but college is a completely different story. Everyone is so fast that any slight advantage you gain can help. To sprint away from tough foes vying for your hard-earned gold, start stretching before, during and after activity.
"For sprinters, stretching will allow muscles and the body to recover in a more efficient manner for the next practice and competition," says LaMonte Vaughn, former sprints coach for T&F at the University of Washington.
Here, Vaughn offers advice for sprinters looking to stretch their talent to the limit.
Consult your coach or physician to better understand your body, and its strengths and limitations
Stretch between sprint intervals at practice so your body continues breaking up lactic acid
Perform static stretching or partner stretching before practices and meets
Include upper body and arm stretches in your routine. As a sprinter, a tight upper body affects how tight your lower body is
Be patient with every stretch. Slowly extend the muscle until it is well stretched
Skip stretching. Flexibility improvement is attainable, graduallybut only if performed on a daily basis
Overemphasize one particular muscle, most notably the hamstrings, while stretching
Under-stretch, which means not performing a full movement or relaxing by doing only a half-stretch
Over-stretch and force your muscle to go beyond its capability for that day
Perform stretching only when convenient; make it a necessary, regular habit
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