Due to the daily routine of sitting down for extended periods of time, gamers are often prone to aches and ailments in the hands and wrist, and stiffness in the shoulders and neck. Poor posture results in the increasing risk of getting injured. This is where stretching can come in and be of great help, by undoing some of the damage that the sport has caused, which helps to prevent and reduce injuries, and as such, boost gameplay and performance. With the proper stretching exercises and good gaming equipment, like the best gaming mouse, gamers will be well on their way to success. In this article, we talk about five of the best stretches that gamers and Esports athletes should do regularly.
5 Best Stretches for Gamers and Esports Athletes
There are various types of stretches that offer multiple benefits, where it’s important to note that consistency is key with the stretching exercises.
1. Brachial hand (Dead Hang)
Also known as the Dead Hang, this is a simple yet effective way to improve your shoulder health. Its name comes from the way that this exercise works to stretch your brachial artery. The brachial artery is the one supplying nutrients and blood to your arms, and it is important to enhance blood flow for professional gamers. The Brachial Hang is thus effective in ensuring that your arms receive the blood and nutrients they need, which helps it to heal from injuries and recover at a faster pace.
Do this stretching exercise by simply hanging yourself from a pull-up bar. Head to your neighborhood exercise playground to use the bar, or just purchase one that you can easily set up yourself at your room doorway. Grab onto it with palms faced to the front, and with your hands or arms aligned with the shoulders. Grip tightly, where your four fingers go over, and the thumb goes under. Lift your feet off the ground, then let yourself hang in a relaxed manner. The longer you hang on, the better your muscles including your biceps, triceps, and lats, are being stretched out. The branchial hang is also especially beneficial for competitive gamers as it tractions the spine, which is often in poor position during games.
2. Thoracic Mobility Stretch
Due to the average working life routine, increasingly more people today find themselves suffering from kyphosis, which is an excessive outward curvature of one’s spine, which causes a hunched back. Competitive gamers are most definitely not spared from this, as sitting down for long hours promotes a kyphotic posture. As this condition worsens, the body mechanics and the range of motions get more limited.
Grab a foam roller, which is to be placed on your upper back and just below the armpit area. With your legs up in the air and feet firm on the floor at a bit past the shoulder width, begin raising the arms up and behind your head, and attempt to place the back of your palm on the ground. To make further progress, make use of weights, but don’t rush to do this! Take it slow and steady.
3. Neck Traction
Neck aches are one of the most common ailments faced by professional gamers, as sitting at your seat the whole day causes much compression, which is worsened by a bad sitting posture. This occurs when the soft tissue is stretched tight and contracted on the anterior aspect of your spine for the spine to be returned to a proper posture. Neck traction is thus a great stretching exercise that can eliminate the compression after you’re done with your gaming session.
You can incorporate this exercise into your night routine right before bed. Sit back and let your head rest low and backward in the entirely opposite direction. The longer you do this, the better, and you can almost immediately feel the pressure being released off your shoulders, neck, and upper back. Stop and relax if your arms begin to feel slightly numb or tingly. This is an indication that you need to correct your posture. You can purchase the associate pillow device online, or from your local chiropractor!
4. Anti-Rounded Shoulder Stretch
Competitive gaming can cause your shoulders to get rounded forward, especially if there is a lack of specific physical training involved. No matter how good your sitting posture can be, working with the arms out in front of you for long hours will still pull the shoulders forward as well.
Consider purchasing this specific Bow Tie device product which is sold readily online, which when worn, brings and holds your shoulders in the proper position they should be in at all times. As this is not the most natural position for gamers to be in, wearing the device will already feel like a stretch exercise itself. It can be rather uncomfortable initially, but you’ll get used to the position, and it’ll feel great after you take off the device.
5. Hip Flexor Stretch
Finally, the hip flexor stretch is a complementary exercise that you can end your stretch routine with. This stretch also hits the psoas muscle, which can become tightened from long hours of sitting.
Get into the pose by kneeling down on one knee, and with your foot flat on the floor. Better yet, kneel on a cushioned surface which will be better for your knee’s comfort. One of the most common mistakes when doing the hip flexor stretch is hyperextending the back in a bid to stretch out even more. However, you merely need to crunch slightly forward and squeeze your glutes at the butt area at the same time. Imagine that you want to tuck in your butt underneath your body. Hold this position for about two minutes every day.
In all, stretching is a wonderful exercise that helps to facilitate smoother blood flow around the body and can be viewed as periods of breathers from your hours of gaming activity. Start incorporating a stretching routine into your daily hustle and bustle, and you’ll soon see how your health can improve overall. As time passes, you’ll find yourself unable to head to bed before you’ve done your daily stretches!