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Flexibility

In most sports, stretching is just seen as a way to quickly loosen up and prepare muscles for a workout or competition. As a result, increasing range of motion is not included as part of most training regimens.

But getting your legs up and down through a full range of motion, as fast as possible is important when it comes to increasing your stride length, and will help you increase your speed.

So including range-of-motion into your training is paramount.

When muscles stretch at high rates of speed, like during running or cutting, the nervous system reacts to protect it by contracting the antagonist muscle to regulate the movement.

In flexibility-trained athletes this, mechanism is reduced, thereby allowing for less-restrained movement, and a longer stride.

So, for example, increasing the range of motion in your your hamstrings and glutes is as important as strengthening your hip flexors and core when it comes to getting your knees up.

Static Flexibility

A great way to increase static range of motion is to create a consistent regiment where you statically stretch your legs, back, chest, and hips every day on your own.

Here are some stretching exercises you can do before and after workouts to increase your static range of motion:

Static Stretching Exercises

Static Hamstring Stretch Exercises

Static Groin Stretch Exercises

Static Hip Flexor Stretch Exercises

Static Quad Stretch Exercises

Static Calf Stretch Exercises

Static Glute Stretch Exercises

Static Back Stretch Exercises

Warm Up and Cool Down
During any workout you should include a session of stretching during your warm up (followed by dynamic stretching exercises), light stretching between exercises, and another session durning your cool down.

Stretching after a workout is a great way to increase your range of motion and help speed up your recovery.

Another great way to start increasing your range of motion is to take up yoga. Yoga is great because in addition to increasing your static range of motion, it can help you build core strength and isometric muscular endurance.

Oh, and I would suggest that if you've never done it before to start off in a less intense form of yoga or take beginner's classes at your local gym. Yoga is no joke and exposes your body to positions you might have never been in, so trying to run before you walk might not end well.

This will definitely improve your static flexibility.

Dynamic Flexibility

Dynamic flexibility is the range of motion your muscles use while you move dynamically, like when you're playing cornerback.

The best way to increase dynamic range of motion is to perform drills where the dynamic movements are exaggerated and force your body to stretch at a high speed.

Dynamic stretching exercises have been shown to increase performance in comparison to static stretching before competition.

You can perform dynamic stretching solely, or after a session of static stretching. I would recommend including the static session beforehand just to be sure you're properly warmed-up.

Here are some dynamic stretching exercises you can perform before your speed training workouts and games:

Dynamic Stretching Exercises

High Kicks


Whirl Kicks


Toe Grabs


Dynamic Hurdle Stretch


Scorpions


Knee Grabs


Sumo Stretch


Walking Lunges


Dynamic Warm-Up Exercises


Scissor Kicks


Russian Kicks


High Knees


Karaoke


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