96: Stretch Exercises to Condition Your Body to Ace Your Training

“What doesn’t challenge you, doesn’t change you.”

Hi, and welcome back to the star player academy show, episode 96.

This is Marilyn Wo, I know your toughest challenge is to perform your best under pressure, so I’m here to give you my best ideas and resources to maximise your potential and enjoy your game as much as you can. Hope that helps.

I realised that for the 90 over episodes that I’ve been sharing with you to date, I haven’t touched on the conditioning of your body to help you stay on top of your game.

I know that I’ve been emphasising a lot on the mindfulness and mental aspect of how to be an elite or ace athlete, but besides all that, the whole body is ultimately connected as a whole system, so you cannot avoid conditioning the physical aspect as well. At the same time, nutrition and sleep are part of the equation too. So all of them have to be taken care of.

It’s one thing to know what an athlete is, but it’s another to ace as an athlete.

So for today’s episode, I will go into the basics of how to carry out mini exercises, workouts and stretches the right way to get you started off towards your arduous journey of performing as an ace athlete. Hope you are ready!

You might be asking why do you have to listen to this when you are already winning games or you are probably the best in your squad or club or even in your country.

Honestly, I know of many athletes who just simply rush through such exercises not thinking that it affects them. And I must say that I used to be like that, going through the motion for quite a number of years, making trial and error to finally figure out the best way to really efficiently perform to my best ability without killing myself.

No, seriously, you need to do these exercises regularly enough not just for standard operating procedure, but for flexibility and for building your bodily environment to prepare it for the damages your body will have to go through during training sessions.

Ultimately, how you condition yourself will affect how much your body can take and the injuries that will suffice, which then affect your mental aspect of your body. So you can see that whether you prepare yourself physically or mentally, anything that you do affects your whole body, it’s just how direct it affects you.

Like for the past two weeks I finally made my way back into the water to play my favourite game of canoe polo without conditioning my core muscles to take the impact the game brings. What happened is that for the past week, I was suffering a very bad and sharp pain in the back that not only affected my sleep, it affected my thoughts, because I started to worry if there was something wrong with me or not.

So what I’m trying to say here is, I was mentally ready to get down into the water, because I know what it takes for me to rough it out in the game. But I wasn’t ready for the after effects. My mind sort of understands, but my body couldn’t hold on to that. It teaches me that I needed to spend maybe a week or two to condition my core muscles first before taking on my first game since God knows when. You got to understand that it’s through this conditioning that you will be more mindful of your bodily needs and mentally sure that your body is ready for any impact. Sure you may feel a bit of ache here and there a day later, but it doesn’t cause too much harm to injure your body.

Some injuries can be so damaging, there’s no way you can turn back the clock to heal them. For many athletes, it may mean the end of being in the competitive sports or they may have to switch roles to do something that require less body contact. It may end up being an emotional time for them and I don’t wish that to happen to you. So it’s good to stretch and warm up and down correctly. Trust me, they matter.

Down through the years after training and learning various types of aerobics to help in my physical conditioning, I discovered strategies that will tone, firm, give energy, endurance, strength and the like through a single set of exercises.

After spending so much time and effort to train myself up, I realised there are indeed ways to prepare my body to be as efficient as I can within the shortest amount of time possible. I’m not asking you to take shortcuts.

All of us have the same amount of time a day, with this 24 hours, there’s so much we can do. While some athletes can train 6 hours a day 6 days a week, somehow they may perform with the same efficiency as those who train 3 hours a day 3 days a week. Not that you aim to train less.

What I mean is that we need to be mindful of the exercise we are doing, because every type of exercise affects the way we work and the effort we need to put in to produce a certain result.

Right now, we can perform a few of the exercises to help you see how, as an aspiring athlete, you can reach peak performance. We have to move swiftly and smoothly through the process, since the length I can write is limited. They may not be anything new, but there are so many exercises going around that sometimes you may get overwhelmed by what you should do.

We are going into action right now, here’s what you do:

Create a bit of space around you, stand with the legs slightly apart; reach up while stretching the body. This is the start of all exercises; rather it should be since stretching helps the elasticity in the body become flexible, i.e. the joints elasticity becomes flexible. Move onto side stretches, performing the action four times.

After side stretches move to arms swings performing the action four times, then back to side stretches performing the action twice. Next, perform the elbow lifts eight times; two sets and the torso twist combined eight times, two sets.

The elbow lifts is placing the arms over the hand with the elbows bent, and hands cupped at the elbows while lifting over the head, while the torso twist is turning side to side with the hands cupped over the elbows.

Exercise regimen should continue with side stretches six times, arm swings twice, elbow lift and torso twist eight times, four sets, side stretches eight times, arm swing four times, and reach up to conclude.

Moving on we can now start head roll twice, and knee lifts and elbow touches sixteen times. Standing straight up to the side, lift the knee left, touch the knee with the elbow, down and to the right.

Now move onto the forward bob and elbow touch performing the action four times. The forward bob is similar to the knee lifts, only you raise the left leg while touching the opposite elbow to the knee, bob forward, up and down again.

Move into the forward lunge exercise while touching the elbows to the knee one time. Thus, touch the opposite knee while bringing the leg up right, down to the floor in a forward lunge, hold, up, and back down again.

Repeat the regimen, thus knee lifts eight times, forward bob four times, forward lunge one time, forward bob four times, and forward lunge twice.

The following procedure starts with side steps. Perform side steps while snapping your fingers and clapping your hands. Step front while slowly moving the left hip to the left side, now bring the feet front together, step left, and touch and back again. We have concluded the warm up and stretch exercise. Now we can move into a full body workout.


Starting with the toe touches, bend right with both hands touching the left toes, up and touch the hips, hands over head, down while touching the hips, and down left. Perform the action sixteen times. Rock it, thus step left leg to the left side while pointing the left hand down to the floor, and rock it to the right side. Perform the action 32 times. Do not forget to point the toes. Repeat toe touches sixteen times.

Next move to the hip twists, thus placing the foot outward, while turning to the left side, leaning backward, and pushing the hips outward at the same time. Bring the foot back in position and perform the same action on the next side.

Now you do a flick kick, also known as “snap the fingers”, hop on the left foot, kick out, and hop on the right foot, while kicking it high. Now you have completed the second set.

I hope you are able to visualise what I’ve explained. If you want to learn more, do go to the show notes at starplayeracademy.com/96 to follow it step by step after this show.

In general, the body composes many parts, including the neck, quadriceps, stomach, hamstrings, lower back, hip adductors, hip abductors, triceps, pectoralis major, biceps, deltoids, and latissimus dorsi. While you ask what in the world does this have to do with reaching your peak performance to become an ace athletic, you should realize it has everything in the word of exercise to do with it. The biggest mistakes football players, baseball, runners, and other sporting athletes make is training in one area. In other words, a runner will strive to reach the peaks of endurance, failing to realize that endurance is not the only achievement in becoming an ace athletic.

Therefore, you must learn the exercises required of you to work all parts of the body if you want to become an ace athletic.

What it takes:

Neck: instead of rotating the neck, down, up, around and repeating the process, work the neck properly. In other words, move the neck while raising the shoulders, moving side to side. Rotating up and down will only cause stress to the spine. Most people are unaware of this, including professional trainers.

Quadriceps: to build the quadriceps you will need to conform to ongoing leg presses at least three times per week.

Stomach: sit-ups are common, but even pro trainers are unaware that sit-ups cause damage to the spine if not performed properly. Inappropriate sit-ups will affect the neck first and then harm the spine. Instead of going all the way back on the bench or floor, while holding your hands at the back of the neck, try half sit-ups while using equipment to support your body.

Hamstrings: Leg presses work wonders to enhance the strength and staying power in hamstrings.

Lower back: Again, sit-ups should be, avoided while working the lower back. You should try stretches that release stress from the back.

Hip adductors and hip abductors require aerobic training strategies and will show results from leg presses.

Triceps: Use decline presses properly while working on the triceps.

Pectoralis majors: Compound rows work wonder in keeping this part of the body healthy. This is the chest are.

Biceps: Decline presses will work the biceps sufficiently.

Latissimus Dorsi: Again, use decline presses to reduce and fit the latissimus dorsi.

Aspiring athletes have to maintain a workable schedule in exercising. Most athletes will train daily, however the body will work wonders exercising three times per week. At the start, you should work each weight section that works all parts of your body around fifteen minutes start and work toward one-hour regimens. Overtraining regardless of what anyone tells you harms the body. You may not notice the harm now, but believe me somewhere down the road you will. Likewise, under training can do just as much damage if not more, thus you must work out a regimen that is right for you.

Still, there is more than just exercise involved if you want to become an ace athletic. You must also set up a diet or nutrition plan and stick with it. Many aspiring or peak performance athletes will use supplements while conforming to a workable diet. The supplements chosen often help enhance human growth hormones.

Athletes should avoid drugs, smoking, and excessive alcohol, since it will only defeat the efforts. I’m sure you’ve heard of people getting bad side effects from taking supplements. Some really do have a lot of junk in them.

I used to take creatine to supplement my diet and workouts, and I started getting break outs on my whole back, it was itchy and painful at the same time. But not all supplements are bad. In the next episode, I will share with you some of the great supplements out there that we can safely take to energise us throughout the day and improve our performance.

With that said, many athletes today are shooting up supplemental hormonal growth solutions in an attempt to build mass. You want to avoid this, since you are only adding trouble to a problem. There are many supplements that have short-lived benefits, therefore it’s still best to train, exercise, and eat right to become an ace athlete rather than rely too much on such supplements.

With that, we have come to the end of today’s episode.


Before you go, I have a quote for you, “What doesn’t challenge you, doesn’t change you.”


Thank you all for joining me today. If you are wondering what you can do to be the best athlete you can ever be, go to starplayeracademy.com, I’ve prepared a cheat sheet that shows you 15 success traits of a serious athlete that you can follow in one glance. So head over to starplayeracademy.com right now, and till tomorrow.


I look forward to see you become a StarPlayer.

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