Assistant Professor Benjamin Soon, who is in charge of a new physiotherapy programme at the Singapore Institute of Technology, gives some tips on stretching and strengthening exercises.
National water polo player Lim Wen Xin demonstrates.
1. SITTING GROIN STRETCH
• Sit on the ground with the soles of the feet touching.
• Clasp the feet together with your hands and draw in the heels close to your body. Drop your knees towards the ground as much as you comfortably can.
• Finally, lean your body forward and hold the position for 15 seconds. Do the stretch twice.
This stretches the hip adductors (which pull the hip towards the body's mid-line) and hip internal rotators, which help to rotate the thighs inwards.
2. SITTING HAMSTRING STRETCH
• Start in a sitting position with one leg bent and the other fully straightened at the knee. Tuck the bent leg as close to your body as possible.
• Lean your body towards the straightened leg and use both hands to hold the ankle while keeping the head down.
• Stay in this position for 15 seconds. Switch legs and repeat. Do each stretch twice.
This stretches the back muscles and hamstring on the straightened leg.
3. STANDING CHEST STRETCH
• Stand straight and place your right forearm against a wall with your elbow bent at a 90-degree angle.
• Gently turn your body away from the wall until you feel a stretch at the front of your chest and shoulder.
• Hold the position for 15 seconds and repeat twice. Do the same for the other side.
This stretches the chest muscles and shoulder internal rotators.
4. STRENGTHENING WITH RESISTANCE BAND
• Secure a resistance band on a stationary object, making sure that both ends are free and are of equal length.
• Hold one end of the resistance band in each hand.
• Stand straight and pull the resistance band by raising your arms upwards.
• Keep the elbow straight at all times.
• Hold the position for 10 seconds. Repeat 10 times.
This exercise strengthens the deltoids in the shoulders, biceps, and the back and core muscles around the torso.
5. GOING FOR THE SHOT
• Set your body into a slight rotation, with the shoulder in full external rotation, ready to release the ball for the powerful shot.