3 Ways to Crack Your Back

IF YOU HAVE DISK PROBLEMS, DO NOT TRY THESE UNLESS YOU CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN. If these cause any pain at all, then stop use of these stretches. Other than that, give it a try. They are great for stretching and increasing mobility in the spine.

Lower Body Stretching Routine

Today I am going to show you some of my go-to stretches for my lower body. I used to do these during football and track season. These will increase flexability in the hip flexors, glutes,hamstrings, lower back and more! Hope everyone is having a great Monday. I will see you guys tomorrow with another video!

    -Alex Costa-

 

4 Hip Warm Ups You Need To Be Doing

Welcome back to another video! I am visiting mobility again. I get a lot of comments and questions about tight hips so I wanted to make a video for all you weight lifters, athletes and gym goers that want better hip mobility. Thses warm up exercises made a huge difference in my performance and really helped ease any hip pains I had from them being tight. I hope all of you are having a great week, keep grinding and doing your thing! I’ll catch you guys tomorrow for another a video!

           -Alex Costa-

CONTENT EVERYDAY FOR NEXT 30 DAYS!

I am excited to bring you something I will be doing for this month of October! This is my introduction video to the whole month of DAILY CONTENT. I will be posting a video to YouTube and Costafitness.org EVRYDAY this month. The videos will be over a lot whether its a vlog for your entertainment or a nutrional video, exercise tips, speed/agility, Q&A, or even one of our workouts, you will have something NEW EVERYDAY! Sometimes the computer I use has issues uploading but we’re going for broke here! Tune in everyday to both platforms and see what I post to help you! I will probably have the daily post up anywhere around 9am -12pm each day. I hope you guys enjoy this, I am excited to bring you all of this free content!!

Make sure you click the link below the video here and hit the “SUBSCRIBE” button on my YouTube page so you never miss a video!

 

SUBSCRIBE TO MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL HERE:

My YouTube Channel

 

Thank you for the support, I hope you all have a great start to your week!
-Alex Costa-

3 Stretches For Tight Calves

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Being a trainer, coach and former athlete of all different sports, one of the more occurring things I hear about is clients and players calves getting tight. Now it really isn’t a surprise for most athletes to go through some calf tightness from time to time. I mean when you think about it, we use our calf muscles a lot through the day. Walking, getting out of bed, driving and even when laying down most of us are moving our feet around which tends to activate the muscles in the calf. So really it’s not a big surprise when athletes especially go through this because they put strenuous pressure on those muscles as they use them to make cuts, run and jump. Today I am going to show you 3 stretches you can do to help get rid of soreness in those calves!

 

I would like to start off with a brief story though. When I was entering my sophomore year of high school, I went to Marshall University for a football camp. The picture below was the head coach of the football team and I before the camp had started. When we were competing against each other at the end, I had a weird feeling in my calf. At that time I didn’t know what a tight muscle felt like. I kept playing through it cause it would go away after about 3-5 seconds of locking up. Eventually it caught up to me.. I had thrown a pass and dropped to the ground after, holding my calf. It was completely locked in one position and it wasn’t moving. One of the kids that was on my team had ran over, grabbed my leg and pushed my foot back to stretch it. It finally released and I went to the team trainers. The next week or two was a little rough, it was sore and I was icing it each day so I was ready for practice when I got back.

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I have went through a few situations with my calves but I am telling you a story like this to let you know that I have been in that spot and experienced it. If I would have known what I do now, it would be a different ball game.

Now that story time is over, lets get into how you can fix up those tight calves with a few stretches!

Stretch #1)

This first one I am about to show you is pretty simple but I am going to explain a couple KEY things about this one. First of all, find a spot you can drive your heel into with keeping your toes up. This will put your foot into a dorsiflexion position. These stretches will be unilateral stretches so as we are stretching 1 calf at a time, make sure the leg is straight for this exercise. What that will do is stretch the big meaty part of the calf called the gastrocnemius muscle. My players love this one haha.

 

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Stretch #1

 

Stretch #2)

Next up will be a stretch to hit the soleus muscle which lies underneath the gastrocnemius. It is a little deeper so sometimes stretching different muscles in the calf can help depending on where the discomfort is. The thing you will want to notice about this stretch is the leg is NOT straight like the first one. The leg of the calve being stretched is slightly bent to help “turn off” the gastrocnemius and target the soleus.

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Stretch #2

 

Stretch #3)

A lot of times people may have some tightness in the front part of your calf around the shin area. This can be confused for shin splints at times. This usually tends to be a little tightness in the anterior tibialis. This stretch below will help stretch that muscle out.

The stretch will start off with you curling your toes and digging them into the ground slightly behind you. Next you will proceed with a forward shift of the knee which will begin the stretch.

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Stretch #3

 

KEY TAKEAWAYS

With all of this being said, I’d like to clear up a few commonly asked questions about this topic.

How long do I hold the stretches?

For these stretches, I would do them 1-2 times each side depending on how tight you are in the calves. I would hold stretches from 20-30 seconds each time.

When should I perform these stretches?

I would perform these type of stretches after a game or competition. After practice and runs. If it is really bugging you before practice then I would try these stretches for about 20 seconds each leg. Sometimes getting a little movement can help though.

What if my calves are still tight and are bothering me after trying the stretches?

If your calves are still irritating you, I would first check form on the stretches to make sure you’re doing them correctly. If that is not the problem, I would just recommend you visit your athletic trainer and get his opinion. Sometimes you may think something is tight but it could be a start to a stress fracture so just to play it safe, get a healthcare professional or athletic trainer to double check.

Sometimes foam rollers, heat and rest can help with tight muscles as well. I will go into detail with that in a different article. Also dehydration can be a problem too, so make sure you are drinking plenty of water.

 

Thank you for reading todays article! I have been very busy lately so I haven’t been able to keep up with the content production of the website or the vlog. I will try to work a little extra to get you all some content this week, thank you for your patience! Hope everyone has a great Monday and starts the week off strong!

-Alex Costa-

1 Stretch That ALL Athletes Need To Do

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When it comes to training my athletes, flexibility and mobility are a couple of the main components I want to increase for them. As any athlete probably knows by now, the more flexible and mobile you are, the less chance of suffering certain injuries. In todays article, I would like to show all of the athletes 1 great stretch that they should be performing.

As I have been dealing with more athletes over the last few months, I have heard a good majority talk to me and ask about tight hips. When tight hips occur, there can be 1 of many different problems but easily one of the most common problems is that the athlete may not always be warmed up the best or perform the right stretches to prepare his or her body. This stretch I am going to show you is more of a dynamic routine than a static hold. This simply means that instead of holding this stretching pose for 30 seconds, we will hold at each spot for about 1-2 seconds to get an increase in blood flow and get the target muscles ready.

Now that does not mean you can’t make it a static stretch and hold it for 20-30 seconds. If you do so, try to do that at night time before bed or after activities such as practice or training.

This stretch is not only getting the legs ready to go but it increases mobility in the spine, core, glutes and upper body as well. It really gets all of the main muscles you use when running ready to fire.

With all of this being said, let me explain how you will perform this stretch. I will break it down into 3 steps. Each position will be held for 1-2 seconds. You can do 2-3 sets of 8 repetitions each leg. There is different names for this stretch but I will call these lunge openers for now.

Step #1) Push up position

Everything here is pretty simple. Start off in a normal push up position with hands shoulder-width apart. (image below)

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Step #2) Spiderman lunge

We are now bringing our right foot up to the outside of the right hand. Dig the heel into the ground so that it stays planted. Try to keep somewhat of a neutral spine like I do below. My back isn’t arched or hyperextended, it stays in that neutral position. Also try NOT to dip the hips, keep them a little high which will lead to a little more of a stretch in the hamstring. (image below)

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Step #3) Open upper body

From here, we our going to take our right hand and point it to the sky. This will rotate the torso toward the right side opening the shoulders, chest, core and mobilizing the spine for a more fluent movement when running. After doing this side you can either alternate and go the other way or hit all of your reps on that side first then come to the left. (image below)

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I believe this can really be a great tool to throw in with your training as a warm up or a stretch after. I hope you all found this article helpful, if you did then share it with your teammates, fellow coaches, training buddies and anyone else that can use this!

Sorry for not posting as much these last 2 weeks. Football has been picking up and our season has officially begun. We won our first game 30-0 so we are off to a good start. I will keep everyone updated on my teams performance as the season goes on. Thank you for the support all around the world! Have a great Wednesday!

                       -Alex Costa-