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Podiatrist - Clark, NJ
1114 Raritan Road
Clark, NJ 07066

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By Clark Podiatry Center
October 09, 2019
Category: Athletic Foot Care
Tags: exercise   stretching  

As a former athlete, it was always important to stretch before competing. Coaches stressed it and so did trainers to make sure muscles warmed up and to lessen the possibility we’d pull or strain them. Of course, being in good shape also helped, but stretching probably prevented a lot of unnecessary injuries. But what is a good stretch and how do we do it?

One thing we need to keep in mind is that stretching is meant to warm up or loosen the muscles which otherwise are tight from inactivity. Like many activities, pacing ourselves is a good idea. Pushing ourselves too far and too fast while stretching can result in an injury as well. A tight muscle can pull easily. Start out with slow repetitive stretches counting to five one thousand with each stretch, then back to your normal position for the same period of time, then back to stretching. This is called the stretch, hold and release method of stretching. Do not push too hard or bounce.

10 or 15 stretches should be good at first, but be careful how your muscles feel as you complete each stretch. If you feel pain, sharp pain - stop. If you feel soreness, that’s ok as it shows you are working the muscle. Do this for 5 to 10 minutes.

Basic muscles to stretch include:

  • Calf muscles – sitting with your legs extended, pull your toes back to you
  • Back muscles – with feet spread slightly apart while standing, bend over slowly at the waist and try to touch the floor with your palms
  • Hamstring muscle – while standing, put your foot on a chair with your leg outstretched and bend over slowly to your knee. Repeat for the other leg
  • Shoulder muscles – while standing, outstretch your arms and slowly roll them one at a time in a circular motion
  • Groin muscles – while standing with your legs wide apart, slowly shift your weight to one side and hold for 5 seconds, then to the other side. Slowly increase the distance with each stretch

Basic stretching exercises should be completed before every practice or game and then completed after to ‘wind down’ the muscle. Doing basic stretching exercises can help combat injuries making participating in sports much more fun.

If you have questions about stretching or are concerned about your feet, please make an appointment with us. Dr. Brandon A. Macy, who is associated with New Jersey Children's Foot Health Institute, will assess your feet and find the appropriate treatments to get you back to being active. Call Clark Podiatry at (732) 382-3470.

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Podiatrist - Clark, Dr. Brandon Macy, 1114 Raritan Road, Clark NJ, 07066 732-382-3470