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Chargers Find An Easy Way To Stay Healthy

Renewed Dedication To An Old Activity

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    SAN DIEGO, CA - MAY 16: Head coach Mike McCoy, middle, of the San Diego Chargers speaks with members of his team following stretching and workout drills during the San Diego Chargers rookie minicamp at the Chargers practice facility on May 16, 2014 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Kent C. Horner/Getty Images)

    The San Diego Chargers have made it through five training camp practices with your typical maladies.

    "Your normal nicks, bruises, cuts," said linebacker Donald Butler. "You're a little sore."

    But that's about the extend to it. The Bolts are relatively healthy, especially compared to several other NFL teams who have already lost key players for the entire season. There might be a simple, yet obvious solution for that.

    "I think we have to credit our strength staff," said Butler. "We're doing a lot more stretching."

    That's right. The thing we all hated in Junior High School physical education classes ... good, old-fashioned stretching is back.

    "We're been emphasizing a little more stretching than we did," said head coach Mike McCoy. "It's something we did more of this off-season. You're always looking to improve the team, and looking back at last year we had some pulls during the off-season program and training camp."

    Stretching lines have always been a part of NFL practices. But now, instead of simply going through the motions, the Chargers are stretching before, during, and especially after practice.

    "We're continuously encouraging the players to do every little extra detail to take care of their bodies," said McCoy.

    Although, in reality, it's a little more than a suggestion.

    "Coach doesn't give us much of a choice on that one," said Butler.

    "We take it very seriously," said defensive end Corey Liuget. "It keeps the lactic acid out of your muscles and gets you going for the next day of practice. It keeps you a little fresh."

    Research performed by The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons suggests post-exercise stretching can reduce muscle soreness and prevent injury, but is often neglected. The 2014 Chargers are paying stretching the attention it deserves, and it seems to be working.

    "We're coming back out here in a couple of hours," said quarterback Philip Rivers. "Getting a good stretch before finish, hopefully we can stay away from any Tweaks. We've been pretty good so far."

    Who knows? Perhaps extra stretching will help the Chargers extend the length of a playoff stay.