Fitball Factory is a workout concept providing group-training classes that combine football drills with strength and cardio interval training. These workouts are designed to improve technical aspects of your game and get you in shape at the same time, whether your goals are football or fitness related. In the fourth in a series of articles founder Kameron Jaff explains how fitball is using dynamic stretching ahead of static moves.
There’s a whole misconception about static stretching, the science is out now that you should in fact do dynamic stretches. The idea is to replicate movement and unless you’re doing yoga you’re not going to be doing that static stretch in a football game or exercise situation. Dynamic stretching is moving across different lateral planes of your body and that’s what I recommend both from a football perspective and from a fitness perspective. Static stretching should be avoided and if you speak to anyone in the fitness field the studies are there to show that dynamic stretching is the way forward. These are some of the exercises we do in our fitball sessions.
This really warms up the body and gets the heart rate pumping. It’s a dynamic move that you’d replicate when on a football pitch. Plus it develops strength and endurance of the quads. Stretches the hip extensors, which include the gluteal muscles. These benefits lead to a longer stride for faster, more efficient running. I usually drink a Red Bull an hour or so before doing this move.
This is a simple cardiovascular exercise that strengthens the hamstrings, stretches the quads and provides a good warm-up to any cardio activity. It’s like a reverse of the high knees; you’re lifting your heels to your butt, like an intense running on the spot.
This is one of the most effective lower-body stretches you can do as they effectively work your glutes and quadriceps and also engage your hamstrings. So your legs are getting used to the movement they’ll be getting during a football match.
This is a great way to warm up the back of your legs. You should be stood upright and you want to bring your leg up to your opposite arm, as high as you can, keeping both your arms and legs as straight as possible.
This is more important than people realise, you want to target your obliques, which means rotating at the lumbar spine, not at the hips. The movement strengthens your core and also works your upper back muscles. Plant your feet, lift your arms and rotate your torso.