Pietra Fitness for Athletes
Pietra Fitness has just released a Fitness Series specifically designed with athletes in mind. The Athlete series will transform your athletic performance...
Much research supports the notion that greater muscular strength can enhance the ability to perform general sport skills such as jumping, sprinting, and change of direction tasks. Further research indicates that stronger athletes produce superior performances during sport specific tasks. Greater muscular strength allows an individual to potentiate earlier and to a greater extent, but also decreases the risk of injury¹. Stretching plays a vital role in an athlete’s training and performance.
Whether you want to improve your form, increase flexibility, or relieve pain and tension, stretching can help.
Read on to learn about the benefits of stretching, tips for stretching safely, and Pietra Fitness classes that will specifically help athletes improve in their sport through both stretching and strengthening workouts that target specific sports.
Benefits of Stretching
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends stretching activities be done at least two or three days per week.²
Stretching offers numerous health and fitness benefits, especially for athletes:
- Increase flexibility and posture
- Improve circulation
- Increases range of motion
- Reduces pain and risk of injury
- Relieves stress and help your body recuperate after a workout
- Improves athletic performance
Static vs. Dynamic Stretching
There are two main types of stretching: Static stretches and Dynamic stretches. Each type has a specific purpose, unique benefits, and plays an important role in your fitness routine as an athlete.
Static stretches are those in which you stand, sit, or lie down to hold a single position for 20-45 seconds. They help increase your flexibility and reduce your risk of injury. Some studies have shown that Static stretches may actually decrease athletic performance if done before you play or compete so you should only perform these stretches during the cool-down portion of your workout.³
Dynamic stretches, on the other hand, are controlled movements that prepare your muscles, ligaments and other soft tissues for performance. You should perform these types of stretches before any athletic event (including practice) to improve speed, agility and acceleration.
Of course, while whole-body stretches are important, the primary focus area of your stretching will be determined by your sport. For example, a soccer player will want to focus on warming up their knees and feet, while softball players will focus more on stretching their shoulders and arms.
Each class offered by Pietra Fitness incorporates both Dynamic and Static stretches to help you improve your athletic ability and to help keep your body safe both on and off the field.
Tips for stretching safely
As previously mentioned, if done carelessly it can actually decrease your performance and cause serious injury.
- Warm up the muscles before stretching.
- Stretching isn't supposed to hurt. You want to feel some tension but if you experience pain, you should stop immediately as you run the risk of injury.
- Don’t forget to breathe while you stretch.
Best Workouts for Athletes
Looking for effective, full body stretches to use as a warm up before your next game or as a wind-down after practice? Or maybe you are looking for a class that will actually enhance and improve your athletic performance? Pietra Fitness has something for you with our new series for athletes.
Pietra Fitness has just released a Fitness Series specifically designed with athletes in mind. The Athlete series will transform your athletic performance through full-body workouts that will improve your flexibility, balance, range of motion, and strength.
Meet the Instructor
Lori’s background as a competitive baton twirler and Feature Twirler for the Detroit Lions, in addition to being a physical therapist in sports medicine helps her to guide, modify, and relate to clients – both in the clinic helping an athlete get back to performance and while leading Pietra Fitness classes. She has a special interest in “body sports” or sports that require a heightened awareness movement and postures such as dance, martial arts, golf, cheer, and gymnastics. She also loves to teach and share. Pietra Fitness has ultimately brought all of Lori’s strengths together: mind (physical therapy) + body (wellness) + spirit (Scripture and prayer) plus passing it forward (teaching).
Try one or all of the classes in this series:
Athlete: 17-minute Warm Up
Focus: Whole Body Warm Up
Athletes place a high amount of stress on their bodies to compete in sports so they should prepare and be ready! Warming up is a crucial part of preparation. This 17-minute general warmup can be used before any sport or activity. Lori takes you through dynamic exercises that increase the temperature of the muscles, increase the heart rate, and send blood flow to the working muscles. The movements will also enhance the neuromuscular relationship between the muscles in the body and the nerves, which will help athletes to be in better control of their movements and functions.
Athlete: Rotational Sports
Focus: Rotational Movements
Every sport requires rotational movements, but this movement is necessary in higher demands in certain sports such as tennis, golf, figure skating, dance, baseball, and gymnastics. The athlete in these sports uses twisting within the torso to perform the movements needed to play. Lori prepares the rotational athlete by working on strength and mobility in the core and hips as well as the entire body. You will leave the class ready and able to practice your skills in a more improved way. The meditation will have you thinking about God’s plans for you.
Athlete: Footwork Sports
Good footwork is necessary to a certain degree in all sports, but it is so important in certain sports that increased speed and agility can make or break the game. When you are prepared to move on your feet quickly and precisely, you will start to see that you are in better control of your body throughout your movements. This skill can take your game to the next level. It can also help to reduce the risk of injury as you learn to maintain proper form during quick changes in direction and initiating movements. The meditation will have you focusing on God’s constant gaze of love.
Athlete: Running Sports
Focus: Running Form and Mechanics
This class is great for those wishing to improve their performance in running sports. Many runners focus solely on hitting the pavement but lack the skills necessary to enhance their running outcomes. Lori focuses on running form, mechanics, and knee drive especially using the core. She also focuses on building all those slow- and fast-twitch muscles in your body that will effectively change your running for the better. Be prepared to improve your stamina, speed, strength, and skill! The meditation will have you contemplating the primacy of love.
Athlete: Upper Body Sports
Focus: Upper body Stretching and Strengthening
For athletes, upper body strength and flexibility can be crucial, especially for certain sports like rowing, baseball, tennis, volleyball, and pole vaulting. When an athlete is weak in these areas, they can be susceptible to numerous kinds of injuries. Also, the low back muscles often compensate for the arms and shoulders which can result in injury or strain. This workout focuses on building strength in the upper body as well as stretching necessary muscles needed to support upper body movement. The meditation will have you contemplating God’s gift of rest through sports.
Athlete: Post Activity Stretch
Focus: Whole Body Stretch
The best remedy to staying injury free is to have a consistent program of stretching after your sport or practice. Stretching after your game or workout can help increase your flexibility and range of motion, reduce the risk of injury, decrease muscle tension and stress in your body, and promote increased circulation. It can even help improve your performance the next time you play. The extra time you spend stretching is well worth it; your body will thank you!