Should you stretch before running?
I'm running again after many years not running. When I last ran advice was that you should stretch before running. I can't recall where I read it but I'm sure that I read somewhere that the advice now is that you shouldn't stretch before but brisk walk anurgently run to warm up. Is this the case or am I imagining it?
I'm currently using the C25K app to get me going again, It suggests a brisk walk to start as a warm-up so no need for pre-stretching, but after each run it suggests stretching.
But if i were not brisk walking first then i would be doing some stretches before running
You are right Clive... the advice has changed. Don't stretch before running... and I agree that this is good advice. Stretching a 'cold' muscle is the perfect way to strain it.
You do need to warm up a bit. Brisk walking is good. Other gentle dynamic movement is good. If you've a vulnerable area, like a stiff groin muscle... it's ok to make sure that your gentle movement warm it up... but save 'stretching' for afterwards.
And as an anecdote, I had a niggly stiff groin muscle for 9-12 months... and religiously used to stretch it to get it ready for my sports activities. A running coach told me this was stupid (not so bluntly)... and within 3 weeks, the problem was gone. Could be coincidence, but the advice does make perfect sense.
Warm-up is more important than stretching.
What kind of running are you doing? If you are running short and fast then I would suggest warming up. If you are running slow and long then you are warming up as you go
Thanks all for your replies. I'm early stages at the moment, running 3-4 miles at 10.5 minute mile pace. I tend to start off slowly then increase my pace, I stretch afterwards. It's been over 20 years since I ran seriously so I know thinking has changed. Cheers.
There's even comments now on not stretching at all. You'll get all sorts of views on that from those who swear by it to those who never bother.
i stretch but it doesn't appear to make that much difference. I do some flexibility exercises outside of running, don't know if they help or hinder the running but i like being able to touch my toes without creaking or seizing up.
Not doing enough stretching and warming up before a football match has resulted in injuries, nasty ones. I'm sticking with my pre-run stretches.
After a gentle warm up any activity that includes sprints should include dynamic stretching before the event. That would include football, sprinting and any other explosive exercise.
What has been discredited is static stretching on cold muscles. There is some evidence that stretching even after activity is not a benefit, though these studies are usually done on university students, not "mature" athletes.
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