Top level athletes know the importance of properly caring for themselves, and Alix Klineman, a member of Team USA’s volleyball squad, is no exception. Here are her tips for stretching out your muscles to keep you performing at your peak.
In the gym we usually have two different stretching routines. Before practice, we do a “dynamic warm up” that’s much more active to get our bodies ready to move at a faster pace. After practice, we cool down by doing 15-20 second static stretching as a team.
Stretching is absolutely essential to getting and staying healthy. I’m not a naturally flexible person, and I have a tendency to get tight. Every muscle in the body is connected, so when one area gets tight, something else has to compensate. I’ve already had several injuries, so stretching is something that I always make time for because my body is my livelihood.
Doing “carioca” is part of our active warm up that we do each morning before practice. It’s good agility work and the rotation helps me warm up my torso.
REVERSE TOE GRAB
This reverse toe grab is an example of doing a static stretch as part of an active warm up. We usually hold this position for a couple seconds and we continue to do this stretch as we walk backwards.
I do this “figure four” stretch both before and after workouts. It’s a great stretch to target tight glute muscles.
I’ve been rehabbing an ankle injury over the past few months, so stretching my calves is something I always do since they’re closely connected with the ankle.
Jogging is a great way to get a sweat going, to get your heart rate up, and start warming up your muscles.