September 16, 2005, Newsletter Issue #225: DYNAMIC STRETCHES

Tip of the Week

DYNAMIC STRETCHES
I like to start from the top of the body and work my way down.

Neck Mobility
Flexion/Extension - Tuck your chin into your chest, and then lift your chin upward as far as possible. 6 to 10 repetitions
Lateral Flexion - lower your left ear toward your left shoulder and then your right ear to your right shoulder. 6 to 10 repetitions
Rotation - Turn your chin laterally toward your left shoulder and then rotate it toward your right shoulder. 6 to 10 repetitions
Shoulder Circles
Stand tall, feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent
Raise your right shoulder towards your right ear, take it backwards, down and then up again to the ear in a smooth action
Repeat with the other shoulder
Arm Swings
Stand tall, feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent
Keep the back straight at all times
Overhead/Down and back - Swing both arms continuously to an overhead position and then forward, down, and backwards. 6 to 10 repetitions
Side/Front Crossover - Swing both arms out to your sides and then cross them in front of your chest. 6 to 10 repetitions
Side Bends
Stand tall with good posture, feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, hands resting on hips
Lift your trunk up and away from your hips and bend smoothly first to one side, then the other, avoiding the tendency to lean either forwards or backwards
Repeat the whole sequence sixteen times with a slow rhythm, breathing out as you bend to the side, and in as you return to the center
Hip circles and twists
Circles - With your hands on your hips and feet spread wider than your shoulders, make circles with your hips in a clockwise direction for 10 to 12 repetitions. Then repeat in a counter clockwise direction
Twists - Extend your arms out to your sides, and twist your torso and hips to the left, shifting your weight on to the left foot. Then twist your torso to the right while shifting your weight to the right foot. 10 to 12 reps on each side
Half Squat
Stand tall with good posture holding your hands out in front of you for balance
Now bend at the knees until your thighs are parallel with the floor
Keep your back long throughout the movement, and look straight ahead
Make sure that your knees always point in the same direction as your toes
Once at your lowest point, fully straighten your legs to return to your starting position
Repeat the exercise sixteen times with a smooth, controlled rhythm
Breath in as you descend, and out as you rise
Leg Swings
Flexion/Extension - Stand sideways onto the wall
Weight on your left leg and your right hand on the wall for balance
Swing your right leg forward and backward
10 to 12 repetitions on each leg
Cross-Body flexion/Abduction - Leaning slightly forward with both hands on a wall and your weight on your left leg, swing your right leg to the left in front of your body, pointing your toes upwards as your foot reaches its furthest point of motion
Then swing the right leg back to the right as far as comfortable, again pointing your toes up as your foot reaches its final point of movement
10 to 12 repetitions on each leg
Lunges
Standing tall both feet together (starting position)
Keeping the back straight lunge forward with the right leg approx. 3.
The right thigh should be parallel with the ground and the right lower leg vertical
Spring back to the starting position
Repeat with the left leg
10 repetitions on each leg
Ankle Bounce
Double leg bounce - Leaning forward with your hands on the wall and your weight on your toes, raise and lower both heels rapidly (bounce)
Each time, lift your heels one to two inches from the ground while maintaining ground contact with the ball of your feet
10 repetitions
Single leg bounce - leaning forward with your hands on a wall and all your weight on your left foot, raise the right knee forward while pushing the left heel towards the ground
Then lower the right foot to the floor while raising the left heel one or two inches
Repeat in a rapid, bouncy fashion
10 repetitions on each leg

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