Flex & Stretch:

Your coach probably starts practice by having the team do warm-up exercises.

You might also do some light stretching. Coaches have you warm up and stretch before exercising for the same reason that professional athletes take time to warm up and stretch before practice or a game. Stretching helps prepare your body for the workout its about to receive.
Before stretching, it’s vital to warm up first. Warming up helps raise the temperature of the body and the muscles so they’ll be ready for exercise and prevent injuries.
Warming up also increases the heart rate, gets more blood and oxygen flowing to its muscles, and prepares the body to burn more energy. Usually five to ten minutes of warming up is sufficient. Example, if you’re getting ready to run, walk for 5-10 minutes first to warm up.
After the body is warmed up, it’s time to stretch. Always remember to warm up first, because stretching “cold” muscles could lead to injury. When muscles are warm, stretching properly can reduce injuries and give muscle tissues better flexibility, range of motion, posture, and coordination.
Stretching should never hurt, if you start to feel pain as a result of stretching STOP! Holding your stretches for 10-30 seconds helps your muscles lengthen. Try not to bounce when you stretch, can possibly cause damage to muscles.
Keep breathing during stretches. Proper breathing will make sure the muscles get the oxygen they need during stretching. And always make sure to stretch both sides of your body equally.
When you’re done playing, exercising, or practicing, it’s important to cool down. Stretching is an important part of the cooling down process. Stretching after helps to avoid tired, stiff, and sore muscles by relaxing them before returning to a normal pace.

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