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
5 thoughts on “My Quick and Dirty After-Derby Stretch”
We don’t do any stretches and it bothers me. I seem to be the only one though. I end up trying to to do something at home 20 minutes later since we go till the very last second before we have to leave our space. Thanks for this video! I may stop 10 minutes early to get some stretches in next time.
These are most of the stretches my league has done for years! Yay! I do add in a lower back stretch (http://cheyenne.massagetherapy.com/stretch-9.gif) as well though.
A lot of these are stretches that we already do, which is awesome to see!
People on my team have been sending me this article today: http://flatmatyoga.com/roller-derby-please-stop-with-the-pigeon-pose-obsession/
What’s your take on that?
I always did the pigeon prep stretch focusing on the glutes, and we have another glute stretch as well (lying on your back, put one leg up in the air, the opposite foot on your knee, and pull your straight leg towards you, leaning to that side to deepen the stretch if needed), so we’d still have the one glute stretch if we cut pigeon from our stretching. What do you think?
Thanks for this question, River Slam! If you check out another one of Kickit’s articles from Flat Mat Yoga, the alternative she suggests to the pigeon prep pose is in fact the one you’re likely describing – she calls it Reclined Pigeon. Flat Mat Yoga is my go-to (Kickit and I even teach together at Rollercon!) so I trust her advice and should have consulted her first! I like the pigeon pose and now that I have better hip flexibility than a few years ago, I can do it without feeling discomfort in my knees and ankles (but I always keep my front foot flexed) but for a group of wide-ranging body types, the reclined pigeon is probably a better bet. I have edited the article to provide this update!
Loved this video! It was cool to see the quad stretch lying down, as I’d normally do it standing up off-skates. Super useful!