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Take It From Taylor: Stretching After Riding

Dec 13, 2011

Author: Taylor Godber

A typical after-riding agenda consists of a stop on the way home for a coffee at
the local hang out or a beer at the apres spot of choice. Regardless of what
liquid poison you pick this is typically followed by walking into the house and grabbing
a bite to eat, getting changed out of wet gear and the classic Facebook chat,
TV watching, nap time or getting ready for work. To be honest, if you have
even made it that far versus passing out in all your gear on the couch then
kudos to you. As rushed or lazy as you may be there is something that is
missing in this ‘day in the life’ of the shredder that reaps many benefits,
one of which may prevent you from being confined to the couch all day
instead of slashing the pow. This tedious task is the ever-avoided, stretch.
As great as it might feel to stretch and the benefits of it are numerous, it
seems to be forgotten or consciously pushed to the side. Unless you are a
devoted yogi we all seem to avoid these actions. Stretching actually requires
a little bit of motivation. Yes that’s right, you actually have to do the
exercises and hold them for the prescribed time. So here are some reasons
to get ‘your a$$ up’ and follow through with an after riding stretching
regime:

1. Improves range of motion (ROM)
2. Increases muscle control
3. Increases muscle strength
4. Relaxes and balances tension in muscles

Plain and simple, stretching = elongated muscles = more power and movement =
prevention against tendon and muscle damage.

This entire stretching session will take a meer 15 minutes, so no excuses. Get down to business.

(CAUTION: Always ease into stretches gradually instead of making sudden
movements, to decrease probability of injury.)

 

Piriformis Stretch

Why it’s good: Stretches your lateral rotators of the hip. These are the
muscles that you use to initiate spins while snowboarding.

How to:

1.Lie on your back with your left leg bent (with your left foot right under
your knee) and your right foot on your left knee (your right knee and foot
should be make your shin parallel to the floor).

2. Slightly lift your left leg off of the floor. Clasp your hand around your left
hamstring.

3. Gently pull your left leg towards your chest, while keeping your right foot
rested on your left leg. Stop when you start to feel a stretch.

4. Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

5. Slowly lower your left leg back to the floor and repeat on the opposite
side.



Cat-Cow Stretch


Why it’s good: Stretches your lower back and also assists to realign your
spine and pelvis.

How to:

1.On your hands and knees in a table top position. Make sure that your
hands are shoulder width apart and fingers are pointed forwards.

2. Engage your core muscles (abs).

3. In a slow controlled movement begin to round your back as high as you
can, while breathing in. Let your head drop and tuck your pelvis under.

4. Hold for 10-15 seconds.

5. While breathing out un-round your back allowing your pelvis to move
towards the floor while raising your head.

6. Hold for 10-15 seconds.

7. Repeat both movements back to back 5-10 times

 

Seated Hamstring Stretch

 

How to:

1. Sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you.

2. With your toes flexed (pointing the ceiling).

3. With a flat back and your arms at your sides and tilt at your chest towards
your legs.

4. Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

5. Reach your arms out towards your toes, you may now round your back.

6. Use a resistance band or towel to help pull yourself closer to your legs.

7. Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

8. When releasing out of the stretch always move slowly.

 

Lying (prone) Quadricep Stretch

How to:

1. Lie on your stomach on the floor, with your forehead on the ground,
and with one your left arm extended forward.

2. Bring your right foot to your right hand, by bending at the knee.

3. Gently bring your right foot towards your bum until you feel a stretch.

4. Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

5. Repeat on the left side.

 

Standing Shoulder Stretch

Why it’s good:This stretch assists improving posture, by opening your
chest and is a great simple shoulder stretch.

How to:

1. Standing or sitting bring bring your left hand behind your head and rest it
behind your neck.

2.With your right hand grab your left elbow and gently push you elbow
down, thus pushing your left hand further down your back, until you feel
stretch.

3. Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

4. Repeat on other side.

 

Upward Dog

Why it’s good: Stretches your hip flexor and psoas(iliopsoas). This stretch
also targets your abdominals. These muscles pull your knee bone upward.
The iliopsoa is the only muscle to attach the spine to the leg.

How to:

1. This stretch is a yoga posture that will assist and stretching your entire
front side of your body.

2.Lie on your stomach on the floor with your just under your shoulders. YOur
elbows should right against your ribs.

3.Push your chest off of the ground, through your hands until your arms are
completely straight ( do not lock your elbows).

4.Keeping your legs rooted to the ground, gently push your pelvis into the
floor.

5.You should feel a stretch through your abs, your hip flexors as well as your
iliopsoas.

6. Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

 

Standing Calf and Achilles Tendon Stretch

Why it’s good: Stretches your calves and achilles tendons.

How to:

1. Standing in a lunge; right foot in front of your left foot, with both toes
facing forward. If it helps you with stability put your hands in front of you on
a wall at about shoulder height. Make sure to keep your back straight. Your
front foot should be roughly 1ft away from the wall.

2. With your leading knee bent just above you foot, never any further over.
Straighten your back leg with your heel on the floor. Lunge deeper. This will
stretch your calve.

3.Hold for 30 seconds - 1 minute

4.Staying in the same position, slowly and slightly bend your leg that is
straight. You should feel an immediate stretch in your achilles tendon.

5.Hold for 30 seconds- 1 minute.

6.Repeat steps 1-5 on the other leg.

*Be very careful as to not overstretch your achilles tendon. Tendons are not
as flexible in comparison to muscles. Over stretching your tendon can cause
them to tear or lock into a new length. So be gentle!



IT Band Stretch- Standing Cross Legged Toe-Touch


Why it’s good: Tight IT bands are a common source of knee and hip
pain.

How to:

1. Stand tall with your right foot crossed over your left foot. You feet should
be just a little bit less than shoulder width apart.

2. Bend at the waist and with straight arms reach for your toes.

3. Try to keep your legs as straight as possible. (Do not lock your knees
though, always keep a very slight bend at them).

4. Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

5. Repeat with your left foot crossed over your right foot.


Neck Stretch- Lateral Neck Flexion Stretch

How to:

1.This stretch can be done either sitting or standing. Sit tall or stand tall.
Engage your core.

2. Place your left hand palm just above your right ear.

3. Gently tilt your left ear towards your left shoulder, while keeping your
gaze forwards.

4. Use your left hand to carefully assist the movement.

5. Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

6. Repeat on the other side.



Taylor Godber is currently in the process of becoming a certified personal trainer and is also working towards a diploma in nutrition, specializing in sports and fitness.


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