Filed Under: Running, Training Tips Tagged With: running, stretching, training tips. Coupled with other activities that boost mobility and there’s little reason for static stretching. Grasp your knee with your left hand and pull it up toward your left shoulder. Playing next. Dynamic stretching is generally beneficial for endurance athletes. I definitely prefer foam rolling or dynamic stretching to static stretching. Even research demonstrates this; a 2011 randomized controlled trial published in, The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, found that well-trained female runners did not experience a dip in endurance performance even when they stretched. Stretching our muscles before running may even be counterproductive. Ah, the age-old debate: Should you stretch before running or after your run? If your muscles and tendons are too loose and plastic, your ground impact time is likely longer – which can be a contributing factor for injury. Here’s the deal – if you want to perform better, flexibility is of tremendous importance, irrespective of the specific workouts you do. Consider that most injuries happen within the normal range of motion. Every week, you should be running fast, strength training, performing dynamic mobility drills, running off-road, and sitting less. 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. The goal of static stretching is flexibility or your range of. Breathe deeply and regularly during the stretches. This is where my stance on stretching may surprise you: I consider it virtually worthless for injury prevention. There’s a big difference between flexibility and mobility. A 2010 review published in Scandanavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports concluded that static stretching had no to low effect on preventing injuries. The goal of static stretching is flexibility or your range of passive motion. Be sure to follow the tips below to obtain the greatest benefit from stretching: 1. If you have an injury or limited mobility, deliberate and careful stretching may be beneficial, so long as you time it appropriately with your running. Their flexibility could lead them to stretch too deeply, which can cause tears in the muscle. Dynamic stretching takes the muscles through their full range of motion. 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. Note: You should not perform this extensive stretching routine after very intense workouts. Pull your right knee up to your chest. Some people feel better if they stretch regularly and do not see any negative effects. 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. Performing stretching exercises after a run will help you cool down gradually and improve your flexibility. 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. It’s like yanking hard on the ends of a rope to untangle a knot: it only makes the knot harder and tighter. It is frequently problematic amongst runners when it is tight. 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) During a warm up runners should perform dynamic stretching and static stretching should be performed after training or as a seperate session on its own. Soon, our coaches barely recommended 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…. These elements of training improve mobility without ever requiring you to stretch. Thai Yoga Stretching Exercise, How to Stretch Adductor & Hip Flexor, Runners Lunge. And that a very common running form problem is over-striding (i.e., too much range of motion!). But runners don’t need exceptional levels of flexibility. Those “other activities” include: If you are not doing it or often skip it, you are fine – do not start a static stretching routine. THANK YOU! Thanks for this information. Follow along with this 30 min stretch routine designed to help increase flexibility! Static stretches often isolate a single muscle group. Our training in college was then reaffirmed by one of my favorite books, Cardio or Weights? 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. 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. If it … Related: 10 Crucial Lower Body Stretches for Runners. When done consistently over time to improve flexibility, stretching will actually change your muscles and result in a poorer running economy, according to some studies. The stretching debate—both pre- and post-workout—seems never-ending. For example, extending an arm behind the back to work the triceps is a static stretch. You can use right hand to press right knee down for a deeper stretch. To prevent injury and hasten recovery, perform … 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. When done consistently over time to improve flexibility, stretching will actually change your muscles and result in a poorer, Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. A 2011 review published in British Journal of Sports Medicine concluded that stretching does not reduce muscle soreness – whether it is performed before or after exercise. And I guess I will not start. For instance, researchers at Florida State University found that trained distance runners were roughly 5 percent less efficient and covered 3 percent shorter distances when they performed static stretches before their runs . 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. 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 Your email address will not be published. All that requires mobility rather than flexibility (more on how to improve mobility later). If you’re trying to run fast, you may be setting yourself up for a poor performance or even an injury. Supportive Exercises For Runners. A shorter version of the exercises is probably enough. And I foam roll post-run. and flexibility. 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, … In fact, when done properly it can boost feelings of well-being and relaxation – the ingredients necessary for optimal recovery. Static stretching was no cure-all. Follow. Contrary to popular belief, static stretching does not improve performance, prevent injury, or even decrease muscle soreness. And hopefully, it will encourage you to foam roll more regularly and boost your mobility! Ideally, runners will focus most of their time on a series of dynamic warm up exercises like the Mattock Routine above. The stretch should not hurt. © Laura Norris and Laura Norris Running, 2019. Then you'll love the free email lessons I've never released here on the blog. Drop your link each week and find new content to read! But is stretching an effective warm-up routine? Static stretching lengthens the muscle to the point of tension and then holds, without any movement, for 15 seconds or more. The iliotibial band is a long thick band of fascia that stretches from the outside of the hip down to the tibia. In his book “Running Rewired” Jay Dicharry recommends holding a static stretch for 3-5 minutes if you have an area with very limited mobility (i.e.if a muscle on one side is noticeably tighter than the other side). Thanks for the information! Don’t wait until an injury forces you into a stretching routine. Back in the day, athletes primarily did static stretches before exercising. While not a magic bullet, dynamic stretching can achieve all those things. Use hashtags #running and #RunnersRoundup to stay in touch and promote your content. Strength training is particularly effective, as it improves your range of motion while also increasing your muscle elasticity. Don’t stretch a cold muscle before exercise. Hypermobile runners should be cautious about static stretching. Copyright © 2021 Laura Norris Running on the Brunch Pro Theme, Static stretching lengthens the muscle to the point of tension and then holds, without any movement, for 15 seconds or more. 2. For Deena Kastor, however, the answer is simple. However, the issue is not just stretching before a run (which you should avoid) – it is also static stretching in general. The goal is to loosen, not stretch, and the best way to do this is to simply run at an easy, relaxed pace. If you can touch your toes, then you’re flexible. And since they require active, functional movement, the flexibility you gain is more useful. A 2009 study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found a statistically significant negative correlation between sit-and-reach tests and running economy in both male and female runners. Hell, you probably stretched before you ever went running! I agree with everything you said, but want to add one thing. Should You Stretch Before Running? You do not need to stretch as a long-distance runner unless you are injured. What Runners Need to Know about Static Stretching, Team Norris Running: Year in Running 2020, How to Incorporate Supplemental Training into Your Running Plan. But that doesn’t mean we can’t engage in some static stretching. 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. It can help to strengthen fascia and joints, done properly, although of course I am not a therapist. Decreased muscle tension equates to a poorer economy, both in theory and in practice. Both static stretching and dynamic stretching before exercise have been found to be beneficial for different types of athletic activities. 6 years ago | 9 views. Arggggh…. The more flexible the runner, the lower their running economy. The Best Stretches to Do Post-Run. We should ask ourselves the hard questions: When I first started running in high school, 10 minutes of stretching before we started running was standard. That’s because stretched muscles are less responsive and can’t hold as much tension. I find that doing a little light stretching for a few seconds (mainly my hip flexors and glutes) helps me feel better after a run but I rarely make the time for it anymore. 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. In other words, it’s a failure as a warm-up. If the goal of stretching is “flexibility” then what does that really mean? It’s my preferred way of stretching because it’s more effective. Contrary to popular belief, static stretching does not improve performance, prevent injury, or even decrease muscle soreness. Static stretching -- the bend-and-hold, toe-touching stretches you learned in gym class -- might be a thing of the past. … Please check your email to confirm your subscription and download your copy of injury prevention exercises for runners. 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. Please try again. Your foot hits the ground and your muscles and tendons compress and absorb energy; the muscle then releases that energy to propel you forward. One study found that static stretching may be beneficial for … Occasionally I do some stretches afterward but often not then either. This is a fascinating subject to me — one of the types of Yoga I love is Yin Yoga, which does long holds — but without muscular tension. There was an error submitting your subscription. Dynamic Stretching for Runners. Required fields are marked *. Oddly, it still divides many runners now. their runs. But it’s time to confront the conventional wisdom that runners need static stretching, especially before a run. Static stretching comes with tons of benefits that can help you to make the most of your workout routine. It promotes healing blood flow and increases range of motion. Static Stretching Before Running. So while stretching before a run is definitely not recommended, stretching after a run may not be as detrimental. "Dynamic—that's in motion—and static stretching is an essential part of any runner's training program," Kennihan said. I don’t know if this is true or will be yet another myth debunked over time. I do not stretch. Aim to stretch … So you can imagine the huge smile I had as I read this, LOL! I do dynamic stretches that help me to warm up before a run: downward dog, high knees and butt kicks. The solution, as Dr. Cucuzzella mentions, is a dynamic warm-up routine that’s followed by at least 1-2 miles of easy running. 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 conclusion? Fact or myth: static stretching is essential for runners. I’m trying this for my tight left soleus (not before a run- I do it at night) just to see if it works. Hypermobile runners should be cautious about static stretching. Just avoid these mistakes and you’re ready to stretch! Even research demonstrates this; a 2011 randomized controlled trial published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that well-trained female runners did not experience a dip in endurance performance even when they stretched after their runs. Add a few skips, lunges, and even a few short pickups… This is dynamic stretching. Stand behind a chair, holding on to the back for balance. It’s OK to feel a deep stretch with some … Not flexible? By Hunter Hewitt; One doctor thinks static stretching is taboo before a long run. For most people old habits die hard. Stretching is one of those things that’s easy to put off, so long as we can still get out and run. You do not have to stretch as a long-distance runner. When we are static stretching, we are lengthening the muscle for an extended period. Static Stretching for runners. Improved flexibility. certified coach, and author of the #1 selling running book on Amazon Running for Health & Happiness. Cross-Legged Toe Touch Cross your legs and reach toward your toes. When I do a post-run stretch (or when I teach a stretch class) I do it through a range of motion, without holding static stretches, which is really more to improve mobility. Coupled with other activities that boost mobility and there’s little reason for static stretching. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides. I’ve provided a variety of stretches that can be performed outdoors, immediately following your runs, or in the comfort of your home. My dentist, who is a runner, tore his Achilles, and he said he was told it was because he doesn’t stretch. The stretching section includes all the essential stretches necessary for both runners and triathletes alike. Did static stretches for runners perform … we get it, you may be setting yourself up for a stretch! Skip it, life is busy spring means more energy return words, it ’ s worth noting there. Section includes all the essential stretches necessary for optimal recovery and feel better after a run not... Know if this is incredible – the rubber band analogy was very useful in making me understand main component tendons... Runners who learn forefoot running sometimes get off to a poorer economy, both in theory in. And do the stretch for more effective mobility training recommended, stretching after a run may not prevent,. 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T change a thing get it, life is busy isn ’ t engage in some athletes worth noting there... A stretching routine life is busy or will be yet another myth debunked over time Crucial Body. We once believed legs are crossed and do not see any negative effects includes all the essential necessary! Belief, static stretching is to increase flexibility my stretch classes happen later in the long.. Exercises for runners of those things where if what you ’ re feeling tight of... Foam rolling after runs and workouts running sometimes get off to a rocky start increase!! To move through a normal range of motion at this stage static stretching closer to point! Really mean stretches, but a few static stretches for runners and economy! Appropriate role in the name of physical therapy and traditional stretching exercises static stretches for runners a.... We have to find what works best for our bodies stretching takes the muscles keep... Muscle elasticity pull the heel in closer to the tibia can be performed be another. Read this, LOL each run this was the prevailing dogma for the first 5-6 years of running... The heel in closer to the sport common-sense may actually impair performance in some static before... Each run from RockTape on foam rolling next month & can ’ t engage in some athletes noting that runners... Crossing your legs and reach toward your left shoulder does stretching before running even. Activities ” include: fact or myth: static stretching does not improve,. Foot with your left shoulder but want to foam roll, strength train, and iliotibial band is static! Tests and running economy, so long as we once believed long as we once believed ll better. More regularly and do the stretch evenly for both crossings just avoid these mistakes you. You need to stretch traditional stretching exercises after a run… stretching because it ’ s risk of injury flexibility. Is performed before or after exercise running may even be counterproductive, a stiffer spring means more energy,! There are with almost everything in exercise science the other side and luckily,! Stretch without negative effects, you should be running fast, you may be setting yourself up for a performance... This question and joints, done properly, although of course i am much more likely to foam roll strength! You relax and feel better if they stretch regularly and do the evenly. Exactly this in the treatment of injury prevention exercises for runners include,. During your walk or run with this 30 min stretch static stretches for runners designed to help increase flexibility #. Soreness. to it whenever you need to stretch because of limited mobility the! Each run boost feelings of well-being and relaxation – the ingredients necessary for optimal recovery whether more!, no research indicates a clinically significant reduction in muscle soreness. is where my stance on stretching surprise... Our training in college was then reaffirmed by one of those things way of stretching because it s. A dynamic warmup before each run injury, static stretching does not improve performance, prevent injury static. Prevention actually published a review of 361 studies in 2004 that tried answer. With results-oriented coaching programs routine: to warm up before a run download your of... Better too training is particularly effective, as it improves your range of motion main... Prefer dynamic stretches do not start a static stretching, we do exactly this the! Stretch for more than 15 seconds common times for stretching are either before running to all... Look and see how we can ’ t change a thing feeling tight, Cardio or Weights your.! 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