How do I increase my flexibility for skating without getting injured?

Increasing flexibility to execute certain skating moves is very important. After an assessment has been done to reveal what muscles are inflexible and why, an appropriate flexibility program can be designed by a qualified trainer. Care should be administered to progress slowly through static and dynamic flexibility. An example of a static hip flexor stretch is assuming a half-kneeling position with the back knee on a pad. Both knees and toes should face forward. Tighten the back gluteals while remaining very tall in posture with the abdominals drawn-in. Most people feel the hip flexor stretch solely by contracting the gluteal maximally. A slight lean forward from the hips can be executed to further the stretch, as long as the gluteal remains contracted and the lumbar spine remains in a neutral position. A dynamic stretch for the hip flexors is a walking lunge with a twist. Step forward into a lunge position with tall posture, neither leaning the torso forward or backward. The back gluteal and abdominals should remain tight. With palms touching and extended out in front of chest, twist toward the outside of the front leg, return the arms to center, and stand up to follow with the opposite leg. Working through stretches in perfect form and progressing through the flexibility continuum appropriately are the keys to avoiding injuries while stretching. A good trainer can instruct each level of flexibility and explain what to watch and feel for. It is important to understand that forcing a body into positions it does not naturally have is dangerous and can result in injury. Dedication to details and perfect practice will also help avoid injury. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.