Modified Couch Stretch

free-standing-couch-stretchHave athletes begin in standard Samson, a deep lunge with their rear knee on the ground. Then cue them to reach for their rear foot/ankle, which will expand the stretch to include the length of their quadricep/rectus femoris.

If athletes complain of discomfort in their rear knee, they can put their knee on an abmat or pad. Also, cue them to rest the TOP of their knee, not their kneecap, on the ground.

Thoracic spine and shoulder opener

thoracic-and-shoulder-stretchHave athletes begin laying on one side, their hips and shoulders stacked, the bottom arm extended to one side and the top arm bent with the hand behind the head. Cue them to bend their top knee and let the toe of that foot rest on the floor behind them. Then cue them to slowly rotate their shoulders so that the top elbow reaches behind them to the floor. Their hips should stay stacked (the top butt cheek should not touch the floor). Ideally, their top shoulder blade will lay flat on the ground like their bottom one, and their hips will remain in place.

Bird Dog (Back and Core)

bird-dog-stretchThis movement strengthens the core and back. Good for warm-up.

Have athletes begin in table top. Cue them to tighten their¬†¬† abs by pulling belly into the spine. Then have them extend the right leg back and the left arm straight ahead, and then switch. Make sure they’re not twisting or torquing. Holds can be extended for an isometric core strength movement.

Supine Shoulder Stretch

supine-shoulder-openerSupine Shoulder Stretch

Have athletes sit on their butt with feet flat on the floor and their knees bent. Ask them to place their hands palms down, fingers towards their body, on the floor behind their hips. Then, tell them to lean back toward the floor, driving their elbows behind them. To deepen the stretch, have them push their heels further away from their hands and then move their butt closer to their heels.

Kettlebell Arm Bar

kbarmbarKettlebell Arm Bar. Shoulder opener; also stretches pectoral muscles. Kb weight should be light.

Cues: Have athletes begin on their backs, pushing the kb up from one side to locked out in the air above their face. They should then bring their non-kb arm straight over head, palm up, to lie on the floor above their head.

Then, have them slowly roll onto the side without the kb, so that the palm of the hand on the ground rotates to the floor, and the top leg continues to rotate over the body. The kb should remain stationary, locking that shoulder and chest as the rest of the body rotates around it.