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The 9 Best Stretches for Football

There are many different muscles that are used in football. In order to be successful on the field, it's important to make sure they are all stretched out and ready to go. This blog post will outline some of the best stretches for football players. Whether you're a beginner or a pro, these stretches will help you stay injury-free and perform at your best. So, without further ado, let's get started!

Muscles Used in Football

The muscles used in football are some of the most powerful in the human body. They are used to run, jump, and tackle your opponent. Your most-commonly used muscles in football are: 

  • Glutes: Used to extend the hips and propel the player forward.
  • Quads: Used to extend the knees and generate power.
  • Hamstrings: Used to generate power through the legs and push off opponents.
  • Calves: Used to keep players on their feet and generate power.

Common Football Injuries

Football players are susceptible to many different injuries, from the sport itself and from collisions with other players. Some of the most common football injuries are:

  • Concussions
  • Knee injuries
  • Ankle injuries
  • Muscle strains

How to Prevent Injuries in Football

In order to prevent injuries in football, it is important to wear the proper equipment. This includes a helmet, shoulder pads, and other pads designed to protect the different parts of your body. You should also make sure to stretch properly before playing. And finally, always listen to your coach and follow their instructions.

Why Stretching in Football is Good for You

There are many benefits to stretching before playing football. Stretching helps increase flexibility, which can help you move more easily. Additionally, stretching warms up your muscles, which can help reduce the risk of injuries during play. Finally, stretching feels good and helps improve your overall circulation, which can help keep you energized and focused during a game.

1. Hamstring stretch

The hamstring stretch is a great way to loosen up your hamstring muscles, which are located at the back of your thigh. To do the hamstring stretch, follow these steps:

  • Sit on the ground with legs outstretched in front of you
  • Gently bend forward at the waist, keeping your back straight
  • Hold the position for 10 to 30 seconds, then release
  • Repeat as needed

This is also a common stretch for kickboxers and boxers since both sports use similar muscles. 

2. Quadriceps stretch

The quadriceps stretch is a simple and effective way to stretch the quadriceps muscles. The quadriceps muscles can become tight from prolonged sitting, standing, or walking. This stretch helps to lengthen the quadriceps muscles and improve flexibility.

  • Sit on the ground with one leg bent, the other leg straight in front of you.
  • Place your hands on the ground behind you, and lean back to stretch your quadriceps.
  • Hold for 30 seconds, and then switch legs.

3. Calf stretch

The calf stretch is an important exercise for maintaining flexibility in the lower leg. This stretch lengthens the calf muscle and extends its range of motion. To do the calf stretch,

  • Start by standing next to a wall, with your palms flat against the wall.
  • Step one foot back and lean into the wall, keeping your heel planted on the ground.
  • You should feel a stretch in your calf muscle. Hold this position for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat on the other leg.

4. Chest and shoulder stretch

Stretching your chest and shoulders is a great way to improve your posture and relieve tension. This stretch can also help to lengthen your calf muscles. 

  • Place your hand on a wall and step back with one foot.
  • Keep your hips and shoulders facing forward as you lean into the wall.
  • Hold for 30 seconds before switching sides.

5. Triceps stretch

The triceps stretch is a simple and effective way to stretch the triceps muscle. This stretch can be performed standing or sitting, and can be done with or without a partner. 

  • Sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you.
  • Bend one arm and place the elbow of that arm behind you.
  • Use your other hand to pull the bent arm towards your back until you feel a stretch in your triceps.
  • Hold for thirty seconds, then switch arms and repeat.

Because tricep stretches are so broad, you can combine this with other exercises that stretch your forearms and biceps to increase your arm’s entire range of motion.

6. Latissimus dorsi (back) stretch

The Latissimus dorsi is a large, triangular muscle that extends from the lower back to the upper arm. This muscle is responsible for several key functions, including arm extension and shoulder adduction. As a result, it is often tight and constricted in people who perform these movements on a regular basis. However, the Latissimus dorsi can be easily stretched with just a few simple movements. By stretching this muscle, people can improve their range of motion, reduce pain and discomfort, and prevent injuries. 

How to do a Latissimus Dorsi Stretch:

  • Find a sturdy surface to support your weight – like a bench or the wall.
  • Lean forward and place your hands on the surface in front of you.
  • Keep your back straight and extend your hips until you feel a stretch in your back.
  • Hold for 30 seconds before releasing.

7. Walking knee hugs

The benefits of walking knee hugs are vast. Walking knee hugs can lead to improved balance, increased blood flow, strengthened core muscles, and better posture. To do walking knee hugs, do the following: 

  • Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart and your arms at your sides.
  • Bring your right knee in toward your chest, hugging it with your left arm. 
  • Keep your back straight and hold for five seconds. 
  • Release and repeat on the other side. 
  • Do 10 reps per side.

8. Dynamic lunge with rotation

Dynamic lunges with rotation can improve strength, power, and agility. They can also help prevent injuries. To do a dynamic lunge with rotation, you will need a weight vest, dumbbells, or kettlebells. You will also need a sturdy surface to perform the exercise on.

  • Assume athletic stance with feet shoulder-width apart and weight evenly distributed between them
  • Hold the weights at your sides with your palms facing your thighs
  • Lunge forward with your right foot, keeping your left leg straight
  • As you lunge, rotate your torso to the right and extend your arms out to the side
  • Reverse the motion, lunging back to the starting position and rotating your torso to the left
  • Repeat for desired number of repetitions

9. Duck Walks (Hips)

Duck walks are a great way for football players to improve their footwork and agility. They can also help increase lower body strength and power. Here are the steps to do a duck walk:

  • Assume an athletic stance with your feet hip-width apart
  • Bend your knees and sink your hips down towards the ground
  • Keep your back straight and core engaged
  • Take a step forward with your right foot, then bring your left foot forward so you are now in a walking position
  • Continue taking steps forward, alternating each foot

Stretch for Football Today! 

Football is a physically demanding sport that can put a lot of stress on the body. It’s important to stretch and warm up properly before playing, and to cool down and stretch again after the game. These nine stretches are some of the best for football players. They will help loosen muscles, increase flexibility, and reduce the risk of injury.