Cobra Pose. But you can also get the effect of static stretching with even more recovery benefits by using a foam roller. That’s because static stretching does not accomplish the most basic goal of a warm-up routine: to warm up. Oddly, it still divides many runners now. The lunge with hamstring stretch combines two of the best dynamic stretching exercises for runners into one. [Crush all your goals in your 40s, 50s, and 60s with our new, comprehensive Run Strong Training Guides.]. For the past 25 years, so-called static or gradual stretching has been considered the right way to stretch. If you can touch your toes, then you’re flexible. Indeed, studies show that static stretching—holding a muscle in an elongated, fixed position for … Training this way will improve your mobility, competence, and injury resilience. Strength Running is Reader Supported!Copyright © 2020 StrengthRunning.comTerms of Service • Privacy Policy • Site Design by Charfish Design, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Lower your chest to the floor and stretch your arms out in front of you. History has shown a huge flip-flop on the statics vs. dynamic stretching topic in recent years: I'll call it, The Stretching Saga. Indeed, studies show that static stretching—holding a muscle in an elongated, fixed position for 30 seconds or more—could hurt performance … And since they require active, functional movement, the flexibility you gain is more useful. Stretching and the different ways to stretch are topics of controversy among runners. Dr. Mark Cucuzzella, author of Run For Your Life, does not mince words when it comes to But it wasn't always like that. And hopefully, it will encourage you to foam roll more regularly and boost your mobility! This belief is played out every day as runners strike stretching poses to “loosen up” before a run—ostensibly to feel good, run faster and prevent muscle strain. Static stretching and injury risk in runners. http://www.piedmont.org/livingbetter Keep your knee pointing downward as you do this stretch to protect your knee joint. The plan includes activities to enhance cardiorespiratory endurance, muscular strength and endurance, and flexibility. In other words, it’s a failure as a warm-up. Using a 3-km time trial, the researchers found that pre-run static stretching did not affect the caloric unit cost of running, but resulted in a slow-start strategy and a higher rating in perceived exertion during the first 800m. 4 Glute Stretches You Should Do Every Day, 5 Dynamic Stretches to Do Before Every Run, 5 Postrun Stretches You Can Do Standing Up, This Upper Back Stretch Relieves Pain Fast. The Stretching Saga comes down to this: whether to do static stretching or dynamic stretching before exercising. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io, Recover Faster With Our Favorite Foam Rollers, 6 Morning Stretches Every Runner Should Do, Correct Your Work From Home Posture and Run Better. In fact, the opposite is the case. Back in the day, athletes primarily did static stretches before exercising. Static stretching isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. Soon, our coaches barely recommended stretching. If you really feel you must stretch, jog or walk for 5 or 10 minutes before stretching to warm those muscles up and to get blood flowing. Oddly, it still divides many runners now. General Stretching Rules for Runners Stretching Before the Run. ... “Reviews show that holding a static stretch for longer than 45 seconds either negatively influences maximal strength and power or … 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. “Stretching was not significantly associated with a reduction in total injuries… [and] use of stretching as a prevention tool against sports injury has been based on intuition and unsystematic observation rather than scientific evidence.”. One of the greatest misconceptions about exercise and running is that one must stretch before hitting the roads. A static stretching routine after your training run or distance race should be a fixed part of the whole physical activity after a cool down period. Neck stretch. Each stretch was performed before running and each static stretch exercise was to be held for 30 seconds. The best stretches for runners both complement and counteract running, helping maintain flexibility in the hamstrings, quads, glutes, and calves, while opening the hips and helping relieve regular aches and pains. Kneel on your left knee, with your right foot in front of your body so knee and ankle form 90-degree angles. This back stretch is great for gaining greater mobility in your spine, and can even help … Hold for 30 seconds. It’s like yanking hard on the ends of a rope to untangle a knot: it only makes the knot harder and tighter. Maybe stretching is the problem. Stretching our muscles before running may even be counterproductive. Dynamic stretching before a race warms up your muscles, preparing them for short and powerful bursts of energy. Dynamic stretching before a race warms up your muscles, preparing them for short and powerful bursts of energy. Bend forward and hold your toes with your right hand to stretch your hamstring. Don’t stretch a cold muscle before exercise. You can do a simple hamstring stretch where you stand with your feet together and fold forward at... 3. See below for stretches that will help with post-running … 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. If the goal of stretching is “flexibility” then what does that really mean? Try these 16 static stretches that will … The static hamstring stretch is great as a post-workout cool down, but a warm-up should consist of more dynamic movements. Stretching is an important part of any fitness routine, but runners have special stretching needs. A foam roller – like this one – loosens musles, fascia, and connective tissues. It promotes healing blood flow and increases range of motion. A must for those who suffer with hamstring tightness. Is It Better to Stretch Before or After Running? Hip swings and leg kicks are a couple of dynamic stretches. All that requires mobility rather than flexibility (more on how to improve mobility later). Calf Stretch. Lean forward from the hips. Perform static stretches after running for muscles that are sore: Common areas of soreness in running are the quadriceps at the front of the thigh, hamstrings at the back of the thigh, hip rotators at the sides of the hips, and calves. But that doesn’t mean we can’t engage in some static stretching. Many runners dedicate at least 10 minutes to static stretching before running, but continue to stretch before each run because the soreness or cramping comes back. Dynamic stretching should be prioritized before running because it’s a more functional way of preparing for the task at hand. You’ll perform better, have a lower risk of injury, and feel better too! Take a short stride forward keeping the heel firmly on the ground. Hamstring Stretch. But it’s time to confront the conventional wisdom that runners need static stretching, especially before a run. Post-race stretching, or static stretching, focuses on muscular elongation and relaxation and helps prevent soreness or strain. Refer to it whenever you need that extra nudge to prioritize your recovery. Dr. Mark Cucuzzella, author of Run For Your Life, does not mince words when it comes to static stretching before a run: The current consensus is that it’s not necessary, and may even be counterproductive. The below static stretches are most helpful to runners and hikers. The goal of static stretching is to increase flexibility. This was the prevailing dogma for the first 5-6 years of my running career. Did You Know That Santa Claus Is a Marathoner? Each time you do this stretch, try to reach a little further. Back Stretch. Maybe you've heard that stretching before a run is a big mistake. It’s passive. Lie faceup with knees bent and feet flat on the mat. [The Total-Body Resistance Bands Workout You Can Do Anywhere]. Is static stretching an effective injury prevention tool? 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. He Overcame Addiction and Ran Off 216 Pounds, This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. by Alex Hutchinson. Lying faceup, loop a strap around your right foot. But if you can sprint, move well over some basic obstacles, or run over hurdles then you have good mobility. The Best Affordable GPS Watches for Runners. Drop your hips back until your glutes rest on your heels. Repeat on the opposite side. Hero Images / Getty Images June 4, 2019, 6:02 PM UTC 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. Static stretching was no cure-all. Static stretching involves holding a stretch for 30 seconds or more, and is focused on lengthening a specific muscle or group of muscles. Enter your email and you'll get: Jason is a 2:39 marathoner, USATF- It does not raise your heart rate, lubricate joints, metabolically prime muscles for work, increase elasticity in connective tissues, open capillaries, and raise your core body temperature. The conclusion? Post-race stretching, or static stretching, focuses on muscular elongation and relaxation and helps prevent soreness or strain. This workout was adapted from Runner’s World Train Smart, Run Forever: How to Become a Fit and Healthy Lifelong Runner by Following the Innovative 7-Hour Workout Week, by the experts at FIRST, Bill Pierce, and Scott Murr. They’ve stopped because injuries have made it too frustrating or too painful to continue. Our training in college was then reaffirmed by one of my favorite books, Cardio or Weights? This is a slow, gradual stretch that you hold for … Static Stretching. Hip Circle. We may earn commission if you buy from a link. Mobility is the ability to move through a normal range of motion with strength. Start on all fours. Eventually you will be able to reach your foot. 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. To stretch them: Stand upright and pull your leg behind you with the corresponding hand. Keep chest lifted and hips forward. Examples of Static Stretching Some common examples of static stretching include a standing or sitting toe reach and other types of stretches that are held for 20-30 seconds before releasing. Hell, you probably stretched before you ever went running! In fact, when done properly it can boost feelings of well-being and relaxation – the ingredients necessary for optimal recovery. Hold each stretch for 30 seconds on each side. We didn’t want to “be tight” and everyone knows (right?) Below you will see a picture from a 2007 handout I would give for talks about running injuries and stretching. There’s a big difference between flexibility and mobility. Hold for at least 30 seconds, then switch sides. Stretching can be mildly uncomfortable at first, but it should not be painful. History has shown a huge flip-flop on the statics vs. dynamic stretching topic in recent years: I'll call it, The Stretching Saga. So after your next workout, take a few minutes to rid the lactic acid and stretch. A proper stretching routine helps improve your running performance and speed. But is stretching an effective warm-up routine? Here, we… But it wasn't always like that. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides. If you’re stretching to stay healthy, you’re largely wasting your time. Everything in the body is connected, and as runners we demand a lot from our muscles, joints and ligaments. Static stretching is best for helping muscles recover after running. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides. An exercise mat is optional, but will make each move more comfortable. How to use this list: Perform the stretches below immediately following a run or workout. 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. A stretch is a stretch, right? Chest Stretch. You can use right hand to press right knee down for a deeper stretch. To prevent injury and hasten recovery, perform dynamic stretches before you pound the pavement, and do static stretches after your run, when your muscles are pliable. "Dynamic—that's in motion—and static stretching is an essential part of any runner's training program," Kennihan said. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention actually published a review of 361 studies in 2004 that tried to answer this question. Static stretching at the end of your run can bring your heart down, cut your risk of injury and lessen muscle soreness." While static stretching can help you relax and feel better after a run, there’s no substitution for more effective mobility training. training programs brings you static stretches for runners. Wait until you’re finished running! Stand tall, feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent. A daily stretch routine may incorporate both static and dynamic stretches. I had been anti-stretching for at least a … This is where my stance on stretching may surprise you: I consider it virtually worthless for injury prevention. "Dynamic stretches activate and loosen up all your leg muscles, preparing you for your run. [These Standing Prerun Stretches Make Warming Up Easier Than Ever]. Ideally, runners will focus most of their time on a series of dynamic warm up exercises like the Mattock Routine above. Below you will see a picture from a 2007 handout I would give for talks about running injuries and stretching. Every week, you should be running fast, strength training, performing dynamic mobility drills, running off-road, and sitting less. It’s important to do these stretches immediately following your workout because your muscles are warm and supple. Gently pull your right leg up toward the ceiling then toward your chest until you feel a light stretch along the back. Aim to hold each stretch for a minimum of 20-30 seconds, breathe comfortably, with deep breaths in through your nose, and out through your mouth. One of the greatest misconceptions about exercise and running is that one must stretch before hitting the roads. Consider that most injuries happen within the normal range of motion. The Stretching Saga comes down to this: whether to do static stretching or dynamic stretching before exercising. We want to be able to keep doing what we love to do—and that’s probably a goal of yours, too. Dynamic stretching, on the other hand, is stretching that involves movement. The goal of static stretching is to increase flexibility. These static stretches should be performed after your daily runs. When you stretch before running, it’s to warm up. How to stretch before running. Hip Flexor and Glute Activating Leg Swings Pre-Run 1 of 7 The two of us—both longtime runners—spend a lot of time discussing what we can do now to increase the likelihood that we’ll log miles well into old age. Static stretching and injury risk in runners. Bring bent knees into your chest and grasp around your knees. At the Furman Institute of Running and Scientific Training (FIRST) in Greenville, South Carolina, we hear from runners who want to get faster, from those who simply want to enjoy the sport for life, and from those who’ve given up on running entirely. The goal is to loosen, not stretch, and the best way to do this is to simply run at an easy, relaxed pace. But soon, science started uncovering that what seems like common-sense may actually be harmful. Furman Institute of Running and Scientific Training, These Standing Prerun Stretches Make Warming Up Easier Than Ever, The Total-Body Resistance Bands Workout You Can Do Anywhere, Runner’s World Train Smart, Run Forever: How to Become a Fit and Healthy Lifelong Runner by Following the Innovative 7-Hour Workout Week. It’s active. Hold for 30 seconds. I had been anti-stretching for at least a … Back in the day, athletes primarily did static stretches before exercising. Static Stretches before a Run: Friend or Foe? That’s because stretched muscles are less responsive and can’t hold as much tension. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides. Hold your … The conventional wisdom on static stretching is that flexible runners are less injury-prone. Exercise physiologist Paige Jones demonstrates five important post-workout stretches for runners. Do it immediately before running to get all of the benefits. Static stretching at the end of your run can bring your heart down, cut your risk of injury and lessen muscle soreness." A proper stretching routine helps improve your running performance and speed. https://www.stretchzone.com/blogs/stretch-gym-stretching-runners General Stretching Rules for Runners Stretching Before the Run. Dynamic stretching, on the other hand, is stretching that involves movement. If you really feel you must stretch, jog or walk for 5 or 10 minutes before stretching to warm those muscles up and to get blood flowing. Cross your right ankle over your left knee. The solution, as Dr. Cucuzzella mentions, is a dynamic warm-up routine that’s followed by at least 1-2 miles of easy running. Quad Stretch. 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. Place your right arm, parallel with the… Static stretching was probably introduced to you when you first started running. Just avoid these mistakes and you’re ready to stretch! “Stretching as a cool-down relaxes your body and mind.” “Stretching as a cool-down relaxes your body and mind.” This supports and speeds up your recovery post workout. After running: A static stretching routine initiates the recovery process. While sitting tall or standing, place your right arm gently on the right side of your head … Add a few skips, lunges, and even a few short pickups… This is dynamic stretching. https://www.runnersworld.com/training/g20862016/cool-down-routine Flexibility is the ability to achieve large ranges of motion in the joints. Hip swings and leg kicks are a couple of dynamic stretches. 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…. The goal of dynamic stretching is to “wake up” the muscles. that stretching helps you stay healthy. These facts force us to consider whether being more flexible will only exacerbate injury problems. Run On! Static stretching Stretching is an important part of your running training as it can improve your range of movement and help to prevent injury so it is hard to understand why many runners neglect it. Static stretching before a run can increase your risk of injury and dampen your running performance. Too often, we do exactly this in the name of physical therapy and traditional stretching exercises. But runners don’t need exceptional levels of flexibility. Many runners have confessed that they skip the resistance training, stretching, and cross-training we recommend, but these postrun stretches are critical for staying healthy as you become fitter and faster. The most common times for stretching are either before running or stretching after you finish running. Static stretches are a good way to improve flexibility after a run. Your hips bear a lot of force while you're running, so opening up the joints and muscles of … Ultimately, we don’t need a lot of flexibility to improve our running. And that a very common running form problem is over-striding (i.e., too much range of motion!). Does stretching before running accomplish the goals of a proper warm-up? Static Stretches for Trail Running 1. These elements of training improve mobility without ever requiring you to stretch. This stretch helps to relieve tightness in your abdominals, chest, and shoulders. Well, not really. Add them to your regular routine to run strong for life. Plus, stretching is even great for stress relief. Let’s take a look and see how we can use stretching strategically to improve our running. 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. But that doesn’t mean that static stretching has no place in your training program. Repeat as many rounds as needed. 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. In fact, the opposite is the case. But first, lets clear up the difference between static stretches and dynamic stretches, because each has their place. Tuck your pelvis and pull your shin toward your thigh. Based on our experiences as athletes, coaches, and exercise scientists, we developed the 7-Hour Workout Week, which is detailed in our new book Train Smart, Run Forever. Runner's World participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites. A combination of strengthening and stretching promotes muscle balance and keeps connections strong, treating and preventing injury, improving functionality and longevity – keeping you running for years to come. Run On! How we test gear. 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. Then you'll love the free email lessons I've never released here on the blog. Each move is demonstrated by Runner’s World+ coach and certified trainer, Jess Movold, so you can learn the proper technique. Thread hands behind your left thigh and gently pull your left thigh toward your torso. Put one knee on the ground and the foot of the other extremity on the floor in front of you. Coupled with other activities that boost mobility and there’s little reason for static stretching. If you’re trying to run fast, you may be setting yourself up for a poor performance or even an injury. No stretching needed. https://www.stretchzone.com/blogs/stretch-gym-stretching-runners Running steeply uphill forces you to run more on the balls of your feet, which puts a serious strain on... 2. Lie faceup. Static stretching -- the bend-and-hold, toe-touching stretches you learned in gym class -- might be a thing of the past. certified coach, and author of the #1 selling running book on Amazon Running for Health & Happiness. The goal of dynamic stretching is to “wake up” the muscles. It’s my preferred way of stretching because it’s more effective. Runners Stretches: Hip Flexors This muscle group is easily stretched with the lunge. 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. Gear-obsessed editors choose every product we review. Static Stretching After Running. Stand tall, feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent. Put your hand on the hip you are stretching and push your pelvis forward. If you can't touch your toes, then hold your shin. This easy set of moves is essential for staying healthy as you become fitter and faster. Right way to improve our running, or static stretching most common times stretching! You become fitter and faster words, it will encourage you to run more on the other hand is. This was the prevailing dogma for the first 5-6 years of my running career is... 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Will focus most of their time on a series of dynamic stretches, because has! Wasting your time behind your left thigh and gently pull your left thigh toward your torso improve., studies show that static stretching—holding a muscle in an elongated, fixed position …. All of the other extremity on the balls of your run can bring your heart down, cut risk.