We’ve all been there.
Practice ran late and you’ve got a big meeting at work first thing tomorrow. As quickly as you can, you gear down, throw your sweaty gear into your bag and run out the door – only to wake up the next morning feeling like you’ve been run over by a cement mixer.
You forgot to stretch again.
But more importantly, you probably didn’t even realize your post-practice stretching routine is not only for ironing out your sore muscles from roller derby, but also for actually making you a better skater!
As I explain in this video, flexibility is a key component of your athletic fitness. Having flexibility imbalances or restrictions can actually impede your ability to generate full power from your muscles! Crazy, right?
“Stretching,” however, sounds like one of those super-boring chores where you can’t see results but you know you’re supposed to do it anyway. Like flossing or taking your vitamins. Yawn.
That’s why “flexibility training” is my preferred term for the after-derby stretch session. It gives the effort a mission – to tend to your hard-workin’ muscles and make you a better athlete. You’re not just stretching after roller derby practice, you’re TRAINING. Much more exciting, right?
(By the way, you should also read up on Why Your Stretching Routine is Bogus. And if you’re looking for a pre-practice mobility routine, check out my On-Skate and Off-Skate dynamic warmups. I’ve got all your bases covered!)
Incorporating flexibility training into your regular routine is a prime way to keep all the gears oiled and running smoothly. That’s why I’m sharing my Quick and Dirty Post-Derby Stretch (aka flexibility routine!): to give you a bare bones, full body flexibility sesh so you have no excuses for skipping it after a long practice!
Here’s the drill!
It should take you less than 10 minutes to get in your stretching after roller derby practice:
Do this together with your whole team in all your gear right after your on-skate cool down, for minimal gearing-down time wastage.
A session like this, with static stretches, is ideal for after a workout, but not before. Read more about why here.
Hold each stretch for 30 seconds minimum to get a flexibility benefit!
Here are the moves and the area targeted:
- Chin to Armpit – Neck & trapezius
- Charlie’s Angels – shoulders and upper back
- Kneeling hip flexor stretch – hip flexor muscles
- Kneeling Hamstring stretch – hamstring
- Pigeon pose – glutes, piriformis ** UPDATE ** – SEE BELOW.
- Taco Stand – adductors, groin
- Seated quad stretch – Quadriceps and hip flexors
**UPDATE: Shortly after posting this, my good friend Lemony Kickit, aka Kat Selvocki from Flat Mat Yoga posted a great article where she admonished the derby community for doing pigeon pose in their skates! OOPS. So… yeah. It works for me (and I always keep my front foot flexed to protect my joints), but depending on your build and flexibility, it might add too much strain. As an alternative, please try “Reclining Pigeon” instead, also sometimes known as a ‘figure four’ stretch. To make the stretch sequence flow a little better, you might shift this to the end.**
Now I want to hear from you! Is there a stretch – ahem – flexibility training exercise, you love to do after practice? Holler at me in the comments!
xo Booty Quake