Featured image: Mike Baird ‘Surfers Pre-Stretches’ CC2.0 via Flickr
Keeping in good shape and avoiding injury is essential for anyone who loves to surf, skate or do any other action sport. You’ll never perform at you best unless you prepare your body for it, and flexibility is key to pulling off radical maneuvers. Stretching your muscles is one of the most important things you can do before putting your body through its paces in the waves or on the ramps. It will increase your flexibility, avoid you getting muscle cramp and prevent sprains. Need to know where to start? Here are ten high performance stretches today’s action sports athletes swear by, so add them to your daily routine.
Crossed-Leg Glute Stretch
Lie on your back and bend your legs so that your feet are flat on the floor. Bring your right foot up and cross it over your left leg, so that your right ankle rests just below your left knee. Put your hands around your upper left leg and lift it up towards your chest. Feel the stretch on your right leg and slowly pull closer until you reach your limit. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds and then repeat with your left leg.
Twisting Oblique Stretch
Sit down with your legs stretched out in front of you, straight and side-by-side with toes pointing to the sky. Twist at your hips to the right, keeping your back straight, but move through your shoulders and bring your head around so you look directly to your right. Bring your arms around at the same time, and place your finger tips on the ground to your righthand side. Hold this position for 30 seconds then repeat on your left side.
Simple Ab Stretch
Get onto your belly, lie flat and straight with your arms by your side. Bring your arms up into the press-up position and push up, lifting your upper body up at the same time. Your hips should stay flat on the floor, but be pushing into the ground. Arch your back and look up towards the sky. You should feel your stomach and abdominal muscles stretch out, hold this position for 30 seconds and then relax.
Overhead Tricep Stretch
Stand in a relaxed position and lift up your right arm straight, with your fingers pointing to the sky. Bend your arm at the elbow to bring your hand down behind you, resting on your back between your shoulder blades. Use your left hand to hold and pull down on your right elbow, and hold this stretch for 30 seconds. Rest a moment then repeat with your left arm.
Backhand Bicep Stretch
From a standing position, bring both your hands behind your back and clasp your hands together. Let your shoulders drop and push your arms out away from your back, lifting your hands up towards the sky. Reach your limit and hold your arms in this position for 30 seconds.
Lie-Down Lower Back Stretch
Lay flat on the floor looking to the sky, body, legs and arms straight. Lift your knees up and bring them to your chest with your legs bent and tucked in. Lift your arms up and link your hands over your shins at the same time. Hold for 30 seconds, then return to your original position slowly and controlled.
Bending Body & Neck Stretch
Stand up straight with your legs slightly apart in line with your hips. Take a deep breath, then as you exhale lean forward and lower your head to the ground. Bend at the hips as far as you’ll go, bringing your upper body close to your legs (keep your legs straight) and move your arms around your legs to hold you in position. Keep this position for 30 seconds, and then relax and stand up slowly, bending your knees if necessary.
Lunging Quad Stretch
Get onto your knees with your shins on the floor. Lunge forward with your right leg so that your knee is bent at 90 degrees and your foot is placed flat on the ground. Your left leg should be stretched out behind you. Put your hand on your right knee and push forward through your hips. You’ll feel your right leg quad muscle stretch, hold this position for 30 seconds then repeat with the left leg.
Straightforward Hamstring Stretch
Lie on your back with your body straight. Lift your right leg up and keep it straight, don’t bend your knee. Use your hands to hold the back of your upper leg, and keep lifting your leg up so your foot is pointed to the sky. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds, then repeat it with your left leg.
V-Shape Thigh and Groin Stretch
Sit on your butt and position your legs like a ‘V’ out in front of you, the wider apart the better, with your back straight and upright. Lean forward pivoting at your hips and hold your arms out as you bend as far forward as you can. Hold this for 30 seconds, and the further you push forward the more you’ll feel it on the inside of your legs.