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Seven Super Stretches to improve Strength & Suppleness

To kick this blog off we firstly have to recognise the areas of the body that players require more mobility.

The joint-by-joint approach first mentioned (as far as we know) by Gray Cook of FMS fame describes how each alternate joint of the body interchanges between a requirement of stability to a requirement of mobility.

The easiest way of understanding this approach is:

Ankle/Foot – Mobility
Knee – Stability
Hips – Mobility
Lumbar Spine – Stability
Thoracic Spine – Mobility

This can be broken down in greater detail however we are going to focus this article on the common areas of tightness for players,

Ankle/Foot, Hips & T-Spine

Each of these drills involves movements that hit a number of areas of the body. Your ability to complete these movements effectively can be a result of a number of factors. Working through these movements & aiming for gradual progress in movement fluidity and range of motion can be valuable in avoiding injury & improving performance.


Knee to Wall with arch control

https://youtu.be/N0IAEeWNpqw

A common drill used by physios to regain and improve ankle mobility. We add the greater challenge of maintaining a strong arch whilst touching the knee towards the wall. We encourage players to slightly change the angle of the knee each time you touch the wall to improve range of motion.

Foam Roller ankle circles

https://youtu.be/7TW-TfN7V5I

The roller is placed on the muscle that runs alongside the shinbone (anterior tibialis). The shin of the other leg is placed across the bottom of the calf. This clamps the bottom leg between the roller and the top leg. The aim is to then complete 10 big circles of the foot each way.

½ Kneeling Adductor Rotations

https://youtu.be/tq2DX3ULh08

Adopt a ½ kneeling adductor stretch with one leg straight out to the side. You then rotate the arm (of whichever knee is on the floor) under your body and up as high as possible. A great drill for stretching the adductor and mobilizing the thoracic spine.

3 Point Rotations

https://youtu.be/llTK5mMyszc

A similar drill to above but more emphasis on the front side of the hip. From a push up position, step up around one of your hands. Take the side you stepped with and lower the elbow as close to the floor as you can before lowering under your body and then reaching up as high as possible.

Side Lying Rotations

https://youtu.be/wBp2-P40Z9M

When moving around the pitch we must move in all planes of motion. This drill helps prepare our body for that. The aim of this drill is to rotate the top arm as close to the floor as possible whilst aiming to drop the knee of the same side to the floor. Many players will find this rotational movement pretty difficult which is why it can be a game changer for many players.

Reverse Roll to Toe Touch

https://youtu.be/GNqSj8U0dRI

The reverse roll to toe touch mobilises the posterior side of the body. The roll mobilises the thoracic spine whilst the toe touch helps to lengthen the calves, hamstrings and adductors.

90/90 Hip Rotations

https://youtu.be/BpkCg7lQgjU

For players to be able to accelerate, decelerate and change direction efficiently the hips must be able to move fluidly. This drill rewuires players to internally and externally rotate the hips whilst strengthening areas around the hips that are generally weak.

 

There are many other mobility drills available but these are some of the most common and effective drills we have used with players. To see more check out our instagram page @FootballFitFed where we release a #mobilitymonday drill every week.

 

Ben

 

Football Fitness Federation
 

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