Proper Stretching Tips for Youth Athletes (Sponsored)
Feb 02, 2018 06:36AM
● By Rebecca Knight
The following was written and sponsored by Twin Cities Orthopedics
Minnesota Vikings players are led through a stretching routine by strength and conditioning coaches before each practice and games.
Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Mark Uyeyama calls out instructions to formations of players that are lined up across the field. Team captains are at the front of the formation, facing teammates to loosen their muscles. The players are fine-tuned athletes who have learned proper techniques.
The time commitment and attention to detail placed on stretching shows its importance to football players.
Stretching often is considered a safe and gentle activity. You may have grown up being told stretching was a good warmup for preventing injuries. Professional sports broadcasts frequently show players on the field going through pregame stretching routines. In the past decade, though, science has shown stretching can be harmful if overdone.
Overstretching can cause injuries, especially in kids and teens. Since they have open growth plates, which are often weaker areas, stretching can lead to bone injuries instead of muscle strains.
For kids and teens, three key principles stand out.