For the next stretch you’re going to lay on your back with your arms straight out and you’re going to bring one leg across your body. This is an upper back stretch but depending where you’re tight, you may feel it in your back, your chest or your glutes. Repeat this stretch on both sides. Next lie on your side and grab your top ankle with your top arm, you want to try and keep your core engaged so your lower back doesn’t arch. This is a quad stretch which is good to do on it’s own but you can also make it more of an IT band stretch by bringing your bottom foot up onto your top knee and pulling it towards the ground. You want to repeat this stretch again on both sides. The next stretch is for the hamstrings. You can do this with a partner or in a doorway. You’re going to lie flat on your back and put your ankle on your partners shoulder, have them bring your leg towards your body until you feel a strong but comfortable stretch. You can also put your heel onto a door frame and put your other leg, the one still on the ground through the doorway. This will allows you to bring your leg closer to your body by moving further into the doorway. On the right, you can see how people typically stretch their hamstrings and most of the time people arch through their back to try and increase the stretch which isn’t good for your low back. The stretch on the left keeps your back nice and neutral and tends to allow you to get a stronger stretch.
This next one is a hip flexor stretch. So you’re going to go into a canoe pose and you want to feel this in the front of your hip on the knee that you’re kneeling on. This is going to be important to stretch for canoers to get that nice long reach. It’s also important for kayakers to stretch because you’re sitting in a boat all day and your hip flexors are getting really short and then you’re going to go into cross training and with running and cross country skiing and skating, you need long hip flexors to get that nice long push back and it’s going to reduce your risk of injury in the off season. Now you’re going to cross the front leg over and to the into Pigeon Pose. You should feel this in the glute of the front leg. A good cool down in stretching is really important because it’s going to decrease your muscle tightness, it’s going to remove the waste products that have built up throughout exercising, it’s going to reduce your risk of injury as well increase your rate of recovery. This means you’re going to be able to get more out of your next practise. So just like the warm up, not only is it going to improve your results because you’re not going to be injured, but it’s also going to be able to improve your results because you’re getting the most out of your training and the most of that next practise.
This first stretch is for the lats so you’re going to start in a table top position and you’re going to sit back towards your heals. You want to keep your pinky fingers down and your thumbs up to increase the stretch. This stretch can be done on a ball like the girls are showing in the back, on the floor or on a high bench. When you move your hands to the left, you are going to increase the stretch on the right and move your hands to the right you are going to increase the stretch on the left. More most stretches, you want to hold them for 30 seconds to a minute and repeat them four to five times on each side. And then you’re going to go back into the table top position and you’re going to do a cat stretch. So you’re going to push up through your upper back and and feeling the stretch in-between your shoulder blades. A good cool down is going to include stretching as well as your on water cool down.