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What muscles are important to stretch for water polo?

It is important to stretch the lats (latissimus dorsi), chest, and front shoulders (anterior deltoids) because swimming uses these muscles and many water polo players have protracted shoulders. Begin your flexibility routine by foam rolling the lats and middle back area for 30 seconds. Foam rolling is form of self-massage in which you apply pressure with a foam roller to tight areas of muscle. This breaks up adhesions, or "knots", in the muscle and relaxes the muscle to allow for greater range of motion. Once you have completed the foam rolling, perform 1-3 sets of static stretches for the lats, chest, and shoulders. Be sure to hold each stretch for 30 seconds to allow your muscle time to relax and elongate. To stretch the lats, position yourself on the floor on the hands and knees. Using a stability ball, place one arm extended with the thumb up on the ball. Slowly lower your torso until you feel the stretch develop in the back. To perform the chest stretch, use the same starting position as the lat stretch except put the ball out to the side. Place the arm on the ball with the palm facing down and lower your torso until you feel the stretch in the chest and shoulder and hold the position.

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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.