Stretches Help Prevent Sports Injuries

 By Elizabeth Davis, MD, Pediatric Sports Medicine Specialist

Whether in summer leagues or school sports camps, kids can avoid sports injuries and play their best by using the right stretches whenever they train or play.

How are stretches different? Some stretches warm up muscles before exercising, while others cool them down afterward. They’re known as dynamic stretches and static stretches, and are equally important in preventing sports injuries that can put kids on the bench.

Dynamic stretching 

is best for warming up, and uses movement and momentum to help muscles reach their range of motion. Dynamic stretches include jogging, arm swings, hip circles and walking lunges. Kids should warm up from five to 15 minutes before exercising.

Static stretching 

is ideal for cool downs and involves extending and holding a muscle slightly beyond its range of motion. This helps increase muscle flexibility, reduce tightening and prevent injuries. Common static stretches include hamstring and quadriceps stretches. Kids should cool down from five to 10 minutes after exercising.

Learn more about preventing sports injuries in this video at