Exercise #1: Straddle Stretch
Goal: Help athletes with straight legs in tumbling skills, splits and leg pain.
Objective: Improve the overall flexibility of the legs.
Description: Reaching arms to the three positions of the straddle stretch.
Time: 20 – 30 seconds
Step 1: Have the athlete sit on their bottom with straight legs, pointed feet and their legs are apart creating v – shape (or as far apart as their flexibility allows them)
Step 2: From here the athlete will reach to their left leg, right leg and in the middle as far as they can for the allotted amount of time.
Things to Watch for: Make sure the athlete’s legs stay straight during the entire stretch. Additionally watch out for knees rolling inside the stretch. The athlete’s knees should face up toward the ceiling.
Skills This Helps: Open-hip skills such as cartwheels and cheer jumps.
Challenge Yourself: Hold the stretch for longer or sit in a wider straddle while still maintaining straight legs.
Video of Exercise: https://youtu.be/8HLanl3YbCQ
Exercise #2: Hollywood Stretch
Goal: Help athletes with bridges, back flexibility and improving limber skills.
Objective: Improve the overall flexibility of the athletes back.
Description: The athlete will sit in a pike position with a twisting motion to improve back flexibility.
Reps: 3 Time: 20 – 30 seconds
Step 1: Have the athlete sit in a pike position, from there they will take one of their legs and cross it over their other leg. The leg that is crossing over needs to be bent and their foot needs to be flat on the ground.
Step 2: From there the athlete will take the elbow opposite of the leg that’s crossed and put it on the outside of that knee pushing against it. This will place the athlete’s body in a twisting position that helps stretch their back out.
Things to Watch for: Make sure the athlete uses the opposing legs and arms when doing the twisting part of the stretch.
Skills This Helps: Limber skills
Challenge Yourself: Hold the stretch for 1 minute.
Video of Exercise: https://youtu.be/lwJh-_oNaC4