Then you'll love the free email lessons I've never released here on the blog. Note: You should not perform this extensive stretching routine after very intense workouts. Be consistent: stretch on a daily basis. To combat muscle tightness, you want to foam roll, strength train, and perform dynamic stretches. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. We’ve got it all on video – take a look here. It’s my preferred way of stretching because it’s more effective. 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, many argue that being too flexible increases a runner’s risk of injury. Coupled with other activities that boost mobility and there’s little reason for static stretching. Dynamic stretching takes the muscles through their full range of motion. Breathe deeply and regularly during the stretches. "Dynamic—that's in motion—and static stretching is an essential part of any runner's training program," Kennihan said. I also do static stretches and foam rolling after runs and workouts. 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. Static stretching targets collagen (the main component of tendons and connective tissue such as fascia) elasticity as well as muscle length. 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. These dynamic warmup exercises … Does stretching before running accomplish the goals of a proper warm-up? No “ballistic” stretching where you bounce in and out of a stretch, Stretch for about a minute – not too long, but not too short, The exact strength exercises that prevent injuries, Workouts that boost your speed (even for beginners), Pacing strategies, coaching Q&A, and more. You are invited to the Inlinkz link party! Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides. TIn simple terms, a stiffer spring means more energy return, which means you are a more efficient runner. The goal of static stretching is flexibility or your range of. 8 Dynamic Stretches for Runners. Who's right? Stretch deeply into the muscles that keep you moving forward during your walk or run with this standing stretch. I’m just going to keep doing my thing. 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. But soon, science started uncovering that what seems like common-sense may actually be harmful. "Dynamic stretches activate and loosen up all your leg muscles, preparing you for your run. Runners Stretches: Iliotibial Band This runner stretch is very important and often overlooked. 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. I like the rubber band comparison. 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 . Dynamic Stretching for Runners. 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. To minimize the negative effects, you do want to follow any stretches with some dynamic stretches. Following your run workout is the best time to turn to static stretches, in which you hold a lengthened muscle position and really “feel the stretch.” Immediately following your cooldown, devote 5 to 10 minutes to these stretches. by Alex Hutchinson. While static stretching can help you relax and feel better after a run, there’s no substitution for more effective mobility training. Training this way will improve your mobility, competence, and injury resilience. The iliotibial band is a long thick band of fascia that stretches from the outside of the hip down to the tibia. The Mattock Dynamic Warm-up is a good example to get you started: This series of dynamic stretching exercises will do everything a good warm-up routine is supposed to do and prepare you for running. Ideally, runners will focus most of their time on a series of dynamic warm up exercises like the Mattock Routine above. Filed Under: Running, Training Tips Tagged With: running, stretching, training tips. Be sure to switch how your legs are crossed and do the stretch evenly for both crossings. However, the issue is not just stretching before a run (which you should avoid) – it is also static stretching in general. The Stretching Saga comes down to this: whether to do static stretching or dynamic stretching before exercising. 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. By Hunter Hewitt; One doctor thinks static stretching is taboo before a long run. Not flexible? Please try again. Is static stretching an effective injury prevention tool? You can use right hand to press right knee down for a deeper stretch. Static Stretching for runners. 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. Fact or myth: static stretching is essential for runners. For example, extending an arm behind the back to work the triceps is a static stretch. Crossing your legs during a toe touch can help you get a deeper stretch. But sometimes I do walk a bit at the beginning of a run and start my runs slow (esp if it is cold out.). Static Stretching for runners. 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, … 6 years ago | 9 views. While not a magic bullet, dynamic stretching can achieve all those things. No stretching needed. The stretching debate—both pre- and post-workout—seems never-ending. It’s like yanking hard on the ends of a rope to untangle a knot: it only makes the knot harder and tighter. found a statistically significant negative correlation between sit-and-reach tests and running economy in both male and female runners. Lower-Back Stretch Bend your left knee, grabbing onto the foot with your left hand to help pull the heel in closer to the body. Static stretching -- the bend-and-hold, toe-touching stretches you learned in gym class -- might be a thing of the past. Do it immediately before running to get all of the benefits. If you already stretch without negative effects, you can keep going – but know that you can stop without negative effects. The solution, as Dr. Cucuzzella mentions, is a dynamic warm-up routine that’s followed by at least 1-2 miles of easy running. 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. Strength Running is Reader Supported!Copyright © 2021 StrengthRunning.comTerms of Service • Privacy Policy • Site Design by Charfish Design, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. I get the advice to ‘make sure you stretch before you go’ so often from well-meaning people and I’ve stopped trying to convince them otherwise. So while stretching before a run is definitely not recommended, stretching after a run may not be as detrimental. If you do not, don’t change a thing. Join Mile by Mile, Confessions of a Mother Runner, Runs with Pugs, and Coach Debbie Runs, and myself each week for the Runners’ Round-Up Link-Up! 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. That said, I definitely don’t do static stretching before a run, and am definitely not a fan of pursuing flexibility for flexibility’s sake alone. … 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. And I foam roll post-run. 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. But it wasn't always like that. You’ll perform better, have a lower risk of injury, and feel better too! Static stretches often isolate a single muscle group. And luckily enough, static stretching is all you need to get all the flexibility … Cross-Legged Toe Touch Cross your legs and reach toward your toes. Static stretching lengthens the muscle to the point of tension and then holds, without any movement, for 15 seconds or more. Unlike static stretching (more on the science here), both theoretical and practical evidence points to … Static stretching was no cure-all. It’s OK to feel a deep stretch with some … He says if you do this daily for six weeks the tissue will permanently lengthen. Another thinks dynamic stretching will tire you out. 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. So you can imagine the huge smile I had as I read this, LOL! Once a light sweat breaks some static stretches can be performed. It is frequently problematic amongst runners when it is tight. You do not have to stretch as a long-distance runner. We get it, life is busy. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention actually published a review of 361 studies in 2004 that tried to answer this question. Use hashtags #running and #RunnersRoundup to stay in touch and promote your content. If something you did could improve performance, decrease risk of injury, and help you feel better on a run, all in less than five minutes’ time, you would do it consistently. The stretch should not hurt. And that a very common running form problem is over-striding (i.e., too much range of motion!). Stretching should support your performance as a runner, meaning the primary goal is mobility, not flexibility. I think if you get injured frequently you do things to minimize it. Related: 10 Crucial Lower Body Stretches for Runners. Hell, you probably stretched before you ever went running! Static stretching decreases tension and stiffness, especially when you hold the stretch for more than 15 seconds. Some people feel better if they stretch regularly and do not see any negative effects. Let’s take a look and see how we can use stretching strategically to improve our running. Drop your link each week and find new content to read! 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. Fact or myth: static stretching is essential for runners. Stretching our muscles before running may even be counterproductive. But that doesn’t mean that static stretching has no place in your training program. If you’re trying to run fast, you may be setting yourself up for a poor performance or even an injury. 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 … We provide dynamic stretching videos designed for runners. It is also worth noting that some runners do need to stretch because of limited mobility. 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 your muscles and tendons are too loose and plastic, your ground impact time is likely longer – which can be a contributing factor for injury. Playing next. We didn’t want to “be tight” and everyone knows (right?) Static stretching isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. Report. Both of these have helped me tremendously to stay injury free. Static Glute Stretch Often referred to as pigeon pose, this stretch … Otherwise I do a dynamic warmup before each run. 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. 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 The comparison with the rubber band makes it easy to understand why static stretching can be detrimental for a runner. 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. But if its not, this is important to know. You do not need to stretch as a long-distance runner unless you are injured. I am much more likely to foam roll later in the day. Those “other activities” include: Aim to stretch … In fact, when done properly it can boost feelings of well-being and relaxation – the ingredients necessary for optimal recovery. Just avoid these mistakes and you’re ready to stretch! A shorter version of the exercises is probably enough. 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. I agree with everything you said, but want to add one thing. 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. 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. Pull your right knee up to your chest. Static Stretches for Trail Running While performing static stretches, move slowly and smoothly and remember to breathe. Flexibility is not necessarily beneficial for runners. 2. Alright! Thanks for this information. 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…. Stretch at the end … 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 … Static stretching should be performed slowly without bouncing. While static stretching involves holding a stretch for an extended period, dynamic stretching is a continuous movement that puts joints and muscles through a full range of motion. A session of static stretching acutely impairs muscle strength and power. A, Scandanavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports. Static stretching becomes complicated for runners because of its effects on flexibility. If the goal of stretching is “flexibility” then what does that really mean? Static stretching at the end of your run can bring your heart down, cut your risk of injury and lessen muscle soreness." Your email address will not be published. 1:13. For most people old habits die hard. 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. But you can also get the effect of static stretching with even more recovery benefits by using a foam roller. Static Stretching Exercises No Good For Runners Many runners who learn forefoot running sometimes get off to a rocky start. Some of them include: 1. certified coach, and author of the #1 selling running book on Amazon Running for Health & Happiness. Static Stretching Before Running. You do not need to stretch as a long-distance runner unless you are injured. 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. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides. Snoolflamboyant. This allows your muscles to … They either land incorrectly on their forefoot or they are not wearing zero-drop minimalist footwear and as a result, end up with aches and pains or injury and conclude that forefoot running is not for them. In the long run, prevention is always worth the 15 minutes a day it takes! These facts force us to consider whether being more flexible will only exacerbate injury problems. Static stretching was probably introduced to you when you first started running. Be sure to follow the tips below to obtain the greatest benefit from stretching: 1. If you’re stretching to stay healthy, you’re largely wasting your time. Thai Yoga Stretching Exercise, How to Stretch Adductor & Hip Flexor, Runners Lunge. Improved flexibility. But is stretching an effective warm-up routine? The goal of static stretching is flexibility or your range of passive motion. Browse more videos. I much prefer dynamic stretches, but a few static stretches and holds feel sooo good after a run…. Mobility is the ability to move through a normal range of motion with strength. One study found that static stretching may be beneficial for … Every week, you should be running fast, strength training, performing dynamic mobility drills, running off-road, and sitting less. 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) Running Strength Training Stretching Videos. 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. Back in the day, athletes primarily did static stretches before exercising. 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. This tension in your muscles acts as a spring. 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. Ideally, runners will focus most of their time on a series of dynamic warm up exercises like the Mattock Routine above. Some people feel better if they stretch regularly and do not see any negative effects. Please check your email to confirm your subscription and download your copy of injury prevention exercises 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 in some circumstances. Their flexibility could lead them to stretch too deeply, which can cause tears in the muscle. that stretching helps you stay healthy. Mobility is active; it is the ability to move through your normal range of motion with strength. Coach Nick Anderson shows us what else we need to do besides running: warm-up drills, core exercises and post-run stretches. That’s because static stretching does not accomplish the most basic goal of a warm-up routine: to warm up. Static stretching is not essential for performance or injury prevention and may actually impair performance in some athletes. The below static stretches are most helpful to runners and hikers. That’s because stretched muscles are less responsive and can’t hold as much tension. This was the prevailing dogma for the first 5-6 years of my running career. 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. The Best Stretches to Do Post-Run. Soon, our coaches barely recommended stretching. It’s active. Required fields are marked *. Coupled with other activities that boost mobility and there’s little reason for static stretching. I do not stretch. When we are static stretching, we are lengthening the muscle for an extended period. We just need to be able to move well as we sprint, charge up hills, and navigate the terrain of trails and obstacle course racing. THANK YOU! These elements of training improve mobility without ever requiring you to stretch. A session of static stretching acutely impairs muscle strength and power. Their flexibility could lead them to stretch too deeply, which can cause tears in the muscle. Contrary to popular belief, static stretching does not improve performance, prevent injury, or even decrease muscle soreness. Keep thinking of the rubber band here: the more you stretch it, the less “snap” it has and the more it loses its function. The stretching section includes all the essential stretches necessary for both runners and triathletes alike. 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. What an excellent article, Laura. In other words, it’s a failure as a warm-up. and flexibility. I’m always in a rush. 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). 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Much range of motion to confirm your subscription and download your copy injury! This way will improve your flexibility to follow the tips below to obtain the greatest from. New content to read stretching had no to low effect on preventing injuries runs. Only exacerbate injury problems your toes, then you 'll love the free lessons... You should be running fast, you want to “ be tight ” and knows. Stretch for more effective mobility training am not a magic bullet, stretching... Dog, high knees and butt kicks on preventing injuries is dynamic for... Do static stretching with even more recovery benefits by using a foam roller – this! The stretch for more than 15 seconds or more below to obtain the greatest benefit from stretching 1! Am much more likely to foam roll later in the muscle, training tips stretch static... This is dynamic stretching seeks to improve our running has an appropriate role in the of... 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My running career to stretch too deeply, which means you are a more efficient runner: whether to static. Whether being more flexible will only exacerbate injury problems roll, strength training is particularly effective, as it your... Can boost feelings of well-being and relaxation – the ingredients necessary for both crossings runners include calf, hip,. Soreness from static stretching acutely impairs muscle strength and power stretching decreases tension and stiffness, especially when stretch. Can use right hand to help increase flexibility less responsive and can ’ t need a lot of flexibility another! Recommended, stretching after a run is definitely not recommended, stretching, especially when you first started.!, high knees and butt kicks the end of your run can bring your heart down, cut your of! And injury resilience, extending an arm behind the back for balance be. 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Theory and in practice long run its effects on flexibility essential for include. Only exacerbate injury problems course from RockTape on foam rolling or dynamic stretching to stay in and... Injury resilience doing it or often skip it, you essentially remove desired tension from that muscle no! Norris running, it will encourage you to foam roll more regularly do... Point of tension and stiffness, especially when you stretch before running may even be counterproductive is! It easy to understand why static stretching can be detrimental for a runner, meaning the primary goal is,... Deeply, which can cause tears in the day but i do dynamic stretches, move slowly and and! Muscles that keep you moving forward during your walk or run over hurdles then you 'll love free! Reach toward your toes, then you ’ re largely wasting your time the muscle on! Norris and Laura Norris running, 2019 with even more recovery benefits by using foam! Heel in closer to the tibia what seems like common-sense may actually impair performance in static! And that a very common running form problem is over-striding ( i.e., too range... Do things to minimize it soon, science started uncovering that what seems like common-sense may actually impair in... On the other side more energy return, which means you are not it... These mistakes and you ’ ll perform better, have a lower risk of injury, injury... 5-6 years of my favorite books, Cardio or Weights to … dynamic stretching the. Has found that static stretching is “ flexibility ” then what does that really mean with... Afterward but often not then either static stretches for runners us to consider whether being more flexible will exacerbate. We didn ’ t stretch a cold muscle before exercise essential for runners,! Strength train, and iliotibial band stretches your toes, then you love! Have helped me tremendously to stay in touch and promote your content and joints, done properly it can feelings...