Now that we’re back in action and playing basketball on a more regular basis it’s easy to think we don’t need to stretch before practice….. WRONG! Nothing is worse than pulling a muscle and having to sit out (or worse), simply because we didn’t take the time to stretch properly.

Here’s a great stretch to get your hamstrings ready for some hard-core exercise. Take the time to warm them up — you won’t be sorry!

This simple exercise begins with sitting on the floor with one leg bent and the other one straight. The player should be in a position where they can bend forward and grab their toes. Switch legs and perform this same exercise. Hold for 30 seconds. This will also stretch your lower back.

Remember that stretching is a important but one should not over do it. Make sure you aren’t bouncing during stretching, if this happens the player may risk injuring a muscle. Another sign of overdoing it is if you feel pain in your muscles. If this happens, stop stretching and just rest your muscles for a minute before trying the exercise again slowly.

Last but not least, make sure your breathing is nice and slow. Remember to never hold your breath during stretching. Make sure to stretch both before and after you play. This will keep you warmed up and ready to hit the court and then cooled down after a hard practice.