Learn how to stretch properly.
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Proper stretching is key to athletic performance

According to Dr. Stark, a properly stretched and elongated muscle actually stores energy which helps an athlete perform to the best of his ability. A stretch should immediately precede a skill-level activity or sports competition in order for the athlete to take advantage of the increased power of the muscles. For example: If a sprinter warms up and stretches but stands around for 20-30 minutes before competition, the muscles with contract back to their original resting length and the energy stored in the muscles by stretching is wasted! Dr. Stark admits we have great coaches and we spend a lot of time working on an athlete’s skill level, but we only pay lip service to the preparation and warm-up before those skills are addressed. Without stretching , the athlete becomes susceptible to tearing and scaring in the muscle structures which leads to chronic injuries.

Dr Steven D. Stark - Podiatry, Orthotics, Sports Medicine - Vancouver, White Rock