The STACK Exercise of the Week will help you improve your overall sports performance—including strength, speed, conditioning and flexibility. This week we highlight the World's Greatest Stretch, an exercise that improves hip and upper-body mobility.
Who's Doing It
- Athletes' Performance Combine Athletes
- University of Georgia Softball
- Improves hip mobility and upper-body rotation
- Lengthens and warms up muscles
Sports Performance Benefits
As its name suggests, this yoga-inspired movement is one of the best full-body stretches you can do. It opens up the hips, chest, back and shoulders so you'll have the mobility you need to comfortably get into your running stance or perform a skill without muscle tightness impeding your movement. It's an ideal warm-up exercise, because it engages multiple muscle groups in a dynamic movement, similar to how your body is used in competition.
World's Greatest Stretch How-To
- Assume exaggerated lunge position with right leg in front and left leg straight behind
- Reach down and place left hand on ground at instep of right foot
- Open up chest and reach right arm to sky; hold for one second
- Rotate torso to start position and swing right arm across chest
- Repeat stretch for specified reps; perform set in opposite direction
Sets/Reps: 1x3-6 each side
- Begin in 40-Yard Dash stance
- Keep front hip, knee and ankle aligned
- Focus on maintaining balance
- Keep back leg as straight as possible by firing quad and glute
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Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock