Stretching is the best way to prevent injury and must be done before any type of strong physical activity, such as Softball.
For ANY player that is going to be throwing over hand or under hand, it is important that both the arms and legs be stretched out properly before hand.
The following are the best stretches to do prior to playing Softball and you will need a partner to help stretch your arms:
The Pull Across: Have your partner stand on the right side of your body. Have them reach across and grab your left arm and pull it toward them, they can place their left hand on your right shoulder for support. They should pull until you feel a good stretch then tell them to stop. When you say stop then your partner should hold that position for 12 sec. This stretch should be done to both arms and when stretching your other arm then your partner should be on your left.
The Pull Behind: This stretch is similar to the Pull across, your partner stretches your arm exactly the same way but your arm is pulled across from behind your back.
The Cross Behind: Place both arms behind your back with elbows completely straight and your palms facing toward the sky. Keep your arms straight the whole time and have your partner cross your arms until you feel them stretch, tell them to stop and hold it for 12 sec.
The Pull Down: Put your arm straight up like your raising your hand then bend your elbow so that your palm is behind your head. Your partner should hold your elbow with one hand and have their other hand on your wrist and then push on the elbow and pull down on the wrist tell you feel it stretch. Again hold for 12sec. and stretch both arms.
The Pull Up: Place one arm behind your back with your elbow bent, make the shape of a V with your arm. Your partner should hold the elbow with one hand and have their other hand on your wrist, then they should push on the elbow and pull up on the wrist. Hold for 12 sec. do both arms.
The L Stretch Back: Make the shape of an L with your arm, elbow the same height as shoulder and hand lined up with elbow. Have your partner hold the elbow and put the other hand on the wrist, your partner should keep the elbow where it is while moving the wrist in a backward motion. Hold 12 sec. do both arms.
The L Stretch Forward: Make the same L shape only the L should be upside down, in other words the elbow should be lined up with your shoulder and your hand should be lined up with your waist in an upside down L. Your partner should hold your elbow with one hand and have the other on the wrist. The partner should keep the elbow where it is and push the elbow forward tell it starts to go behind you. Hold for 12 sec. do both arms.
The Twist Right: Make your arm completely straight. Your partner should hold your elbow with one hand and hold your wrist with the other. They should then twist both their hands to the right at the same time. Then hold 12 sec. and do both arms.
The Twist Left: It's exactly the same as the twist right but this time have them twist your arm to the left. Hold for 12 sec. and do both arms.
The Shake Out: Keep your arm straight and have your partner hold your hand with the tips of both of their hands. They should then shake your arm by creating small but fast waves with your arm. Shake the arm for 20 sec. and do this to both arms.
The Butterfly Stretch: Sit on the floor with the bottoms of both your feet touching each other, try to get your knees as low to the ground as you can. Push your knees down with your elbows or knees and then lean out and try to touch the ground out in front of you. Hold this position for 1 min.
The Flamingo Stretch: Stand up and lift one leg off the ground like a flamingo. Grab your foot and hold it behind you for 30 sec. Do this to both legs.
One Leg Out One Leg In: Sit on the ground and place one leg bent in toward your body with the knee close to the ground and the other leg out and completely straight. Reach out and touch the toes of the leg that is straight. Be sure to reach out and touch your toes with both hands. Hold 30 sec. and then switch this position with your other leg and hold 30 sec.
Touch Your Toes: Sitting on the ground put your feet out in front of you, ankles touching, legs completely straight, then lean out and touch your toes with both hands, hold for 30 sec.
Back Stretch: Sitting on the ground have one leg out in front of you completely straight. Then bend the other leg up and over the straight leg, reach around with your arm and push on your knee while looking over your shoulder. Then switch which leg is straight and which is bent and then look over the opposite shoulder.
There are several other leg stretches that can been done and it never hurts to do as many as you can.
All these stretches are merely suggestions and I would recommend that you go through them with me in a lesson before ever trying to do them on your own.
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