7 Daily Stretches to Keep Fans in the Game
Posted July 22, 2021
Despite not being on the field, fans, like you, play a pivotal role in deciding the outcome of your favorite team’s game. The passion and energy of a team’s crowd is often the difference between winning and losing, which is why keeping fans in the game is so important. Believe it or not, your favorite teams rely on keeping fans in the game every single game. A team’s fans are so important because the side that claims the loudest fans usually comes out on top. Whether your cheers boost team morale or distract the opponent, a noisy crowd always gives the home team a sizable advantage.
Last year, due to Covid-19, teams could only admit a limited number of fans into their stadium during games. Unfortunately, this resulted in many teams losing one of their greatest strengths, their passionate fans. However, as things begin returning to normal and stadiums fill back up to their full capacity, teams will once again rely on the fans to bring the energy, just like they did in previous years. This means it will be up to you to pack the stands and give your favorite team the home-field advantage that they once enjoyed
With such an important responsibility you have as a fan, preparing for each game is crucial to your team’s success, but having gone so long without attending one of your team’s games, you may have forgotten how much goes into each game day.
Why do Fans Need Gameday Preparation?
While attending sporting events is usually seen as a carefree day full of exciting activities, most people fail to realize how physically exhausting it can be. Without proper preparation and recovery, the next day could leave you feeling just as fatigued as the players. Early Saturday wake-up calls, followed by hours of standing at the tailgate, topped off with the rowdy atmosphere of a college football stadium can all take a physical toll on your body. Luckily, post-game aches and pains are easily avoided by increasing flexibility and incorporating some simple stretches into your daily routine.
Benefits of Daily Stretching
Daily stretching leads to increased flexibility, which is an essential building block for all physical activities. Being flexible plays a considerable role in helping your muscles extend to their maximum length. By increasing flexibility, your body will be capable of withstanding a greater amount of physical stress, allowing fans to enjoy the game comfortably. Increasing flexibility can also relieve tension and loosen your muscles, reducing the pain caused by walking long distances and prolonged periods of sitting and standing. Additionally, flexibility can improve muscle strength by allowing muscles to fully elongate during physical activity. People with increased flexibility can expect significant improvement in their balance, posture, and overall physical performance. All these benefits will be important in keeping fans in the game.
At-Home Stretches that are Keeping Fans in the Game
Working these exercises into your daily routine or even just performing these stretches the morning of the big game can go a long way towards preventing soreness and aches and keeping fans in the game. Additionally, many of these simple stretches can be done at home, with minimum equipment.
Split Squat Stretch
The split squat stretch is an excellent stretch for prolonged periods of standing. The stretch relieves legs pain and strengths thigh muscles.
- Starting in an upright position with your feet shoulder-width apart, move your left leg forward and place your left foot flat on the ground.
- Move your right leg behind your body, but only put your right foot’s toes on the ground.
- Slowly lower your hips until your right knee touches the floor.
- Hold this position for eight to 15 seconds.
- Alternating between reps, repeat this process five times on each side.
This stretch works the piriformis muscle located in the buttocks near the top of the hip joint. The piriformis stretch relieves pain in the lower back and hips, which is often caused by walking long distances.
- Start by lying flat on your back with both feet flat on the floor.
- Bring your left knee up and rest your left ankle over your right knee.
- Pull your left knee and ankle towards your chest until you feel tension in your upper left thigh; hold this position for 30 seconds.
- Alternating between reps, repeat this process three to five times on each leg.
Once the game starts, fans will spend most of their time sitting. Unfortunately, stadium seats and bleachers offer little to no lumbar support and can cause pain in many different areas of the spine. Exercises like the torso stretch combat pesky stadium seating by lengthening your lower spine and stretching your core muscles.
- Start standing upright, with your feet shoulder-length apart and neck centered in a neutral position.
- Interlock your fingers and raise your arms straight above your head with palms facing the ceiling.
- Gently bring back your shoulders a few inches and clinch together your shoulder blades, opening up your chest.
- Hold this position for 30 seconds, then lean a few inches to the right and then to the left, holding each side for 30 seconds.
- Repeat this process three or four times.
Posterior Neck Stretch
When seats lack back support, people will often slouch and jut their chin forward. This position strains the muscles running along the back of the neck and causes sharp pain in the affected area. The posterior neck stretch relieves pain by returning length to the back and sides of the neck.
- Start sitting upright, with your feet together and neck centered in a neutral position.
- Lower your head until your chin touches the top of your chest, once in this position, completely relax your neck and allow gravity to pull down your head.
- Hold this position for 30 seconds, then lead your right ear to your right shoulder and then your left ear to your left shoulder, holding each side for 30 seconds.
- Repeat this process three or four times.
Standing Hamstring Stretch
This exercise stretches the lower back muscles, glutes, hamstrings, and calves simultaneously.
- Stand straight with your legs hip-width apart and arms at your side.
- Bend forward at the waist and lower your head to the floor until your knees are at eye level. If you can, try to keep the knees locked.
- Grab the back of your leg and hold this position from 30 seconds to two minutes.
- Everyone starts at different levels, so if you can’t grab your legs, just hang your arms as low as you can. For a more difficult stretch, try placing your palms on the floor.
- Repeat this process three times.
The glute bridge is an excellent stretch for increasing hip flexor flexibility.
- Start flat on your back with your knees bent at a 45-degree angle and your feet hip-width apart.
- Tighten your abdominals and glutes and slowly push your hips forward.
- Once at your maximum height, hold this position from eight to 30 seconds and repeat five times.
The Spiderman stretches the hip flexors, lower back muscles, hamstrings, and quads. It’s a great warmup stretch to use before physical activity.
- Start in a standard pushup position, with arms straight and shoulder-width apart.
- Bring your right knee to your shoulder and your right foot outside. Your right foot should be flat on the floor.
- Thrust your hip forward and hold this position for eight to 15 seconds.
- Alternating between reps, repeat this process three times on each side.