Static stretching at the end of your run can bring your heart down, cut your risk of injury and lessen muscle soreness." Static stretching, on the other hand, is done at the end of your workout, and involves stretches that you hold in place for a period of time, without movement. Aim to stretch … I am injury prone and I do dynamic stretches before each run. If you are not doing it or often skip it, you are fine – do not start a static stretching routine. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides. Their flexibility could lead them to stretch too deeply, which can cause tears in the muscle. And that was reflected in my coaching: as the years passed and I became an upperclassmen at Connecticut College, we focused more on dynamic stretching and drills. Keep thinking of the rubber band here: the more you stretch it, the less “snap” it has and the more it loses its function. However, the issue is not just stretching before a run (which you should avoid) – it is also static stretching in general. Don’t wait until an injury forces you into a stretching routine. Performing stretching exercises after a run will help you cool down gradually and improve your flexibility. Report. It is frequently problematic amongst runners when it is tight. I definitely prefer foam rolling or dynamic stretching to static stretching. Dr. Cucuzzella is on board and notes that stretching is not usually a good treatment for injuries: But when the fascia [connective tissues in your body] become overly stressed, it can become bunched into a knot…. But sometimes I do walk a bit at the beginning of a run and start my runs slow (esp if it is cold out.). It promotes healing blood flow and increases range of motion. Do it immediately before running to get all of the benefits. The goal of the prolonged lengthening of the muscle is to help stretch the collagen fibers and provide you with a lasting lengthened muscle and, … Not only that, but other research has found that static stretching actually reduces running efficiency. I am also taking a course from RockTape on foam rolling next month & can’t wait! Stretch deeply into the muscles that keep you moving forward during your walk or run with this standing stretch. The stretching debate—both pre- and post-workout—seems never-ending. Sign up for SR's free running e-course and you'll get downloads like workouts, strength exercises, and ebooks to help you become a better runner: claim your free downloads here. Dynamic stretching is generally beneficial for endurance athletes. Experts compare stretching cold muscles to … Static Stretching for runners. I’m always in a rush. Hypermobile runners should be cautious about static stretching. Who's right? Add a few skips, lunges, and even a few short pickups… This is dynamic stretching. You’ll perform better, have a lower risk of injury, and feel better too! Flexibility is the ability to achieve large ranges of motion in the joints. Static stretches often isolate a single muscle group. This was the prevailing dogma for the first 5-6 years of my running career. Static stretching decreases tension and stiffness, especially when you hold the stretch for more than 15 seconds. Unlike static stretching (more on the science here), both theoretical and practical evidence points to … © Laura Norris and Laura Norris Running, 2019. All that requires mobility rather than flexibility (more on how to improve mobility later). Soon, our coaches barely recommended stretching. Static stretching is a very good way of improving your flexibility – with a consistent and thorough series of stretching exercises you’ll improve it over time. These dynamic warmup exercises … When you stretch before running, it’s to warm up. But that doesn’t mean that static stretching has no place in your training program. Alright! Does stretching before running accomplish the goals of a proper warm-up? Refer to it whenever you need that extra nudge to prioritize your recovery. A session of static stretching acutely impairs muscle strength and power. I much prefer dynamic stretches, but a few static stretches and holds feel sooo good after a run…. The below static stretches are most helpful to runners and hikers. If you’re stretching to stay healthy, you’re largely wasting your time. Training this way will improve your mobility, competence, and injury resilience. But static stretching can still have a place in any runners’ training program as long as a few caveats are met: I outlined some of my favorite static stretching examples in this new video: The 3 mistakes to avoid when stretching are: If you enjoy your static stretching routine, there’s no reason to stop. I am much more likely to foam roll later in the day. Please try again. It’s my preferred way of stretching because it’s more effective. These stretches are best done after exercising, when your muscles are warm and more elastic. Static stretching involves extending specific muscles and holding the position. Should You Stretch Before Running? The Best Stretches to Do Post-Run. Breathe deeply and regularly during the stretches. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to This Runner’s Recipes with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Eight stretches to try post-run: Hold each of these stretches for around half a minute, and depending on how long you’ve got, repeat once or twice … Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Improved flexibility. To combat muscle tightness, you want to foam roll, strength train, and perform dynamic stretches. I think if you get injured frequently you do things to minimize it. Don’t stretch a cold muscle before exercise. This tension in your muscles acts as a spring. But it wasn't always like that. If you do not, don’t change a thing. I have gotten much better with my active stretching before my run (probably because as I’ve gotten older it is really helpful). In fact, when done properly it can boost feelings of well-being and relaxation – the ingredients necessary for optimal recovery. He writes for over 200,000 runners a month and has helped tens of thousands of runners accomplish their goals with results-oriented coaching programs. I also do static stretches and foam rolling after runs and workouts. Don’t bounce, as that can overstretch a muscle and cause injury. I agree with everything you said, but want to add one thing. Snoolflamboyant. The problem with static stretching as a warm-up … The more flexible the runner, the lower their running economy. To combat muscle tightness, you want to foam roll, strength train, and perform dynamic stretches. The comparison with the rubber band makes it easy to understand why static stretching can be detrimental for a runner. It’s like yanking hard on the ends of a rope to untangle a knot: it only makes the knot harder and tighter. That’s because stretched muscles are less responsive and can’t hold as much tension. Ideally, runners will focus most of their time on a series of dynamic warm up exercises like the Mattock Routine above. Dynamic stretching takes the muscles through their full range of motion. Coupled with other activities that boost mobility and there’s little reason for static stretching. You can also perform these stretches periodically throughout the day, whenever you’re feeling tight. Download our free Cheat Sheet to foam rolling for runners, featuring a photo guide for: Get it here and hang it up where you foam roll. But runners don’t need exceptional levels of flexibility. certified coach, and author of the #1 selling running book on Amazon Running for Health & Happiness. What an excellent article, Laura. I like the rubber band comparison. And since they require active, functional movement, the flexibility you gain is more useful. Static Stretching for runners. The notion of static stretching is ingrained for many runners; however, research and practice indicate that static stretching may not be as beneficial as we once believed – and could even be detrimental for runners … A shorter version of the exercises is probably enough. One study found that static stretching may be beneficial for … The Seven Key Stretches For Runners In this video, Jon discusses the seven main lower limb stretches that should be completed after running.These are static stretches that should be held for th... English (US) I’ve been reading similar information to this about stretching for a few years now and it makes sense but I know not everyone agrees. In straight-up runner-science fashion, we’ll break down the stretching explanation like this: When an runner starts exercise by static stretching, she pushes cold muscles to their limit and risks potentially pulling a muscle. This is where my stance on stretching may surprise you: I consider it virtually worthless for injury prevention. … Ultimately, we don’t need a lot of flexibility to improve our running. Too often, we do exactly this in the name of physical therapy and traditional stretching exercises. Sometimes as long as a minute or two. their runs. If it … These exercises differ from the static recovery stretches you might do after a run that involve holding a certain position for a certain amount of time. Stand behind a chair, holding on to the back for balance. So while stretching before a run is definitely not recommended, stretching after a run may not be as detrimental. The goal of static stretching is flexibility or your range of. But if you can sprint, move well over some basic obstacles, or run over hurdles then you have good mobility. Well I’m safe because I rarely stretch. Oddly, it still divides many runners now. Then you'll love the free email lessons I've never released here on the blog. Static stretches for runners include calf, hip flexor, quadriceps, and iliotibial band stretches. However, at this stage static stretching is not very important and muscle tension could be held for about 10 seconds. We’ve got it all on video – take a look here. Decreased muscle tension equates to a poorer economy, both in theory and in practice. Now, it’s worth noting that there are outliers here, as there are with almost everything in exercise science. I’m just going to keep doing my thing. And I guess I will not start. Think of a rubber band: you want a rubber band that can easily snap back to its original shape, rather than one that becomes stretched beyond the point of use. Supportive Exercises For Runners. Recommended cool-down routine: 5-10 minutes of easy running; 3-4 series of stretches; Hold each position for 60 seconds; Exercise 1: Cool-down stretch for hips and quadriceps 6 years ago | 9 views. Stretching is one of those things that’s easy to put off, so long as we can still get out and run. But is stretching an effective warm-up routine? And I foam roll post-run. The notion of static stretching is ingrained for many runners; however, research and practice indicate that static stretching may not be as beneficial as we once believed – and could even be detrimental for runners in some circumstances. Flexibility is not necessarily beneficial for runners. In fact, many argue that being too flexible increases a runner’s risk of injury. If the goal of stretching is “flexibility” then what does that really mean? To prevent injury and hasten recovery, perform … It is worth noting that injuries often occur due to numerous factors, thus making it difficult to isolate the exact role of stretching on injury prevention. Filed Under: Running, Training Tips Tagged With: running, stretching, training tips. But soon, science started uncovering that what seems like common-sense may actually be harmful. In conclusion? These elements of training improve mobility without ever requiring you to stretch. As explained on the runners warm-up guide page, some easy stretches can be performed after a good warm-up walk or jog of 5 to 10 minutes. For example, extending an arm behind the back to work the triceps is a static stretch. Playing next. I do dynamic stretches that help me to warm up before a run: downward dog, high knees and butt kicks. Be sure to follow the tips below to obtain the greatest benefit from stretching: 1. Not only does completing a dynamic running warm up help get your blood flowing, but it loosens up your muscles prior to heading out on a run. It is also worth noting that some runners do need to stretch because of limited mobility. The most common times for stretching are either before running or stretching after you finish running. Once a light sweat breaks some static stretches can be performed. Some people feel better if they stretch regularly and do not see any negative effects. The stretching section includes all the essential stretches necessary for both runners and triathletes alike. Follow. Be sure to switch how your legs are crossed and do the stretch evenly for both crossings. Please check your email to confirm your subscription and download your copy of injury prevention exercises for runners. There was an error submitting your subscription. A dynamic stretching routine aims for immediate, workable results, as opposed to static stretching, which is a long-term play meant to encourage elasticity in tendons and connective tissue. Limit time spent in each stretch after a running (ideally 30 seconds or less, unless indicated by PT), Do not extend stretches beyond the end of your range of motion, Foam rolling can loosen tight muscles without the negative effects of stretching. 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