Pickleball players often overlook the importance of neck flexibility, yet it plays a crucial role in maintaining agility and preventing injuries on the court. As highlighted by personal trainer Brady Burman-Magday, a specific neck stretch can be a game-changer for players dealing with stiffness. This exercise not only enhances neck mobility but also contributes to overall performance.
The Neck Stretch: Step-by-Step
- Find a Suitable Surface: Use a firm bench, chair, or couch. Ensure it’s stable and at a comfortable height.
- Positioning: Sit on the ground and place your head near the edge of the chosen surface. Your head should be comfortably resting on the edge.
- Leg Placement: Extend your legs out in front of you. Keep them straight and aligned with your body.
- Raising the Hips: Carefully raise your hips upwards, creating a bridge position. Your body weight should be supported by your neck and feet.
- Hand Assistance: For beginners, use your hands to gently support your neck. As you grow more comfortable with the exercise, try to reduce reliance on your hands.
- Hold the Stretch: Maintain this position for 5 seconds. Focus on a steady, controlled breathing pattern.
- Repetition: Gently lower your hips back to the starting position and repeat the stretch. Aim for multiple repetitions, gradually increasing the duration as you build neck strength.
Watch and Learn
Watch personal trainer Brady Burman-Magday’s video for a super clear guide on how to nail this stretch just right. It’s a total game-changer for making sure you’re doing it safely and effectively!
Additional Tips for Optimal Results
- Incorporate Regularly: Include this stretch in your regular warm-up and cool-down routines to maintain neck flexibility.
- Progress Gradually: Start with shorter durations and increase as your neck becomes stronger and more flexible.
- Listen to Your Body: If you experience any pain or discomfort, stop immediately and consult a healthcare professional.
Enhancing the Stretch for Advanced Players
For those who have mastered the basic neck stretch, consider these variations to further challenge and strengthen your neck muscles:
- Weighted Stretch: Place a light weight on your forehead to add resistance.
- Dynamic Movements: Incorporate gentle side-to-side or up-and-down movements of the head while in the raised position.
- Longer Holds: Gradually increase the hold time, aiming for up to 10-15 seconds as you progress.
To Sum Up
Brady Burman-Magday, our go-to personal trainer, swears by this neck stretch to kick stiffness to the curb and boost mobility – super important for acing your pickleball game. Stick with this stretch regularly, and you’ll notice a big difference in how strong and bendy your neck feels.
It’s all about keeping up with it to stay quick on your feet and sharp in the game. So, keep at it, stay limber, and rock that pickleball court!
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