As much as many of us despise warm-ups, these are an important part of prevention. This is even more important for the more mature grappler (older guy). Having good mobility and range of motion is an essential part to preventing injuries. If you do not have the appropriate amount of hip range of motion and adductor flexibility, you will increase your risk for a groin/adductor strain when someone does a hard knee slide pass on you. This week we will discuss mobility exercises to put into your warmup that will help to maintain full range of motion.
As with any stretch and if possible, these are great to do at the conclusion of your warm-up. Having an elevated core body temperature will be beneficial to getting greater range of motion with your stretches and mobility exercises.
Using the picture here, you can stretch the adductor on the stance leg. By moving the hips forward and back, you can hit different components of the muscle belly. I would follow this by placing the knee on the mat then focus on stretching the opposite side in this kneeling position. Again moving the hips forward and back will hit varying areas of the muscle. I would repeat this cycle on the opposite side.
Dynamic Lunge: This is a dynamic stretch that we do with most of our sports. This is a great full kinetic chain stretch as this will work on increased hip motion in flexion and extension, spinal motion and ankle motion. Since this is done with movement and in full weight bearing, you will see a quicker impact on range of motion versus traditional static stretching. One key that you should pay attention to (which is pointed out in the video) is that you need to make sure you are not allowing your knee to go in toward midline when you step through or as you go through the movement. If you allow this to happen, this will continue to contribute to some of the common weaknesses that we see that put athletes at risk for lower limb injuries.
I usually recommend this as a great preventative tool but also for those that are coming back from an injury. Typically we will have them lunge down the length of the mats and back. This is typically done before drills and live rolling.
Dynamic Sumo: This is another dynamic stretch that we do with a lot of our sports. This is another great movement which works the whole kinetic chain. This will focus a lot on hamstrings, lumbar spine and calves. One key to keep in mind is during the push-up phase of this motion. When doing this, make sure to keep the abs tight and walk it out to a hip and spine neutral position. As you raise one foot up to push up, do not allow rotation at the spine and do not raise your hips up in the air. With the toe up portion, make sure to keep your knees straight and walk up as far as you can to your hands.
I usually recommend this not only as a prevention exercise but also a great exercise for someone returning from hamstring strains. This dynamic motion works on the full range of motion of the hamstring while also bringing in the core component which is essential. Proper core strength helps to stabilize the pelvis so that the hamstrings can pull on it without becoming strained. Usually I will have them perform down the mat and return to complete.
With the two static stretches (pictures and not videos), it is important to NOT bounce when you get to the end range of motion. This simply causes the muscle to contract which then limits the amount of motion you will get. These should be held for 30 sec to 1 minute. As you stretch, you should not feel pain but more of a deep stretch. If you feel pain, simply back off the range slightly to relieve the pain and hold your stretch there. Eventually you will be able to go to further and further ranges of motion.