Stretches - Which are the right ones?

14 messages
29/02/2012 at 13:47
Hello All

I try to be a sensible runner and stretch before and after my runs.

Ignoring the 'do you need to stretch at all' debate for now, I find my pre-run stretching routine is fine but my post run routine (which is the same)does not help me avoid the aches/pains & stiffness you get later in the day.

Am I missing a trick or two here and where can I get/download instruction on the best stretches to use?

Currently my routine is hamstring stretch, calf stretch and various upper torso stretches - all held for 30 seconds.

Any advice happily received!
29/02/2012 at 20:36

do you stretch your ankle? arch? 'shin'? glute?

I NEVER EVER used to stretch.  I learnt, sadly, that that leads to injury. I now stretch every morning and every evening for at least 30 seconds for each muscle. If I feel  little stiff throughout the day - i just stretch it out again. 

I think there are also 'high risk' stretchs for calf (standing and bending down to touch your toes is one) - so what ones are you doing?

(btw - i say all this as noooooooo expert at all!)

29/02/2012 at 21:00
A few points to consider

Post exercise stretching will not decrease post exercise soreness .

Static stretching before a run will no warm you up, increase your flexibility in running or decrease your risk of injury. There have been numerous studies on both of these topics and the verdict is fairly unanimous . ( although some individuals will still swear by it- which is fine - we are all individuals and need to work out what is best for each of us)

Dynamic stretching is a far better form of stretching that will have an effect on injury prevention and warm you up effectively .

Have a read of these articles for some explanations and example dynamic stretches
29/02/2012 at 21:10

What he just said

I use these two books;

Great for all your static post run needs

and this;

for your pre run warm ups

 I got em and use them refer to them all the time when I think im getting off form. Its as important to have the correct form when stretching as that can cause problems as well.

Good fortune

02/03/2012 at 14:00

Hi Karl. Why stretch before a run when your muscles are cold? It only increases your injury risk. Post run muscle soreness is not a bad thing per se - if you've done an intensive session, you should expect to be slightly sore. The best way to deal with this is ensure your body receives a good dose of carbohydrate and some quality protein, within 30 mins of stopping exercise. This should reduce the effect of DOMS in a way which stretching never will be able to do.

If I was to say there are two stretches which are typically neglected by runners but of high importance to injury avoidance, that is to do a stretch of the Soleus muscle (the hidden muscle deep in the calf), and the Piriformis muscle (goes laterally in the butt and stabilises the hip). A third muscle/ tendon to stretch (but not everyone is affected by this) is the Illotibial Band (ITB for short).

You can easily find stretches for these on the YouTwitterSphere. Good luck.

02/03/2012 at 14:05

Pre race stretching..NO! Just warm up by a normal pre race jog and then perhaps some gentle dynamic ones with your strides etc...

Good post by TD above. See him!

02/03/2012 at 14:22

Yeah, what TD said.  Especially the soleus stretch, which I didn't even know about but have performed religiously since my first and only achilles niggle.

Here's an easy-to-watch video...

02/03/2012 at 14:32

Bloody Nora!  Here's a good one...

03/03/2012 at 03:33
Those stretches in the 2 videos above might be ok post run but don't do them pre run. Static stretching is not something that should be done before a run. One of the links I posted above shows how to do a dynamic soleus stretch and another link shows how to do a glute stretch. Here they are again to make it easy to find.
03/03/2012 at 07:25
Andrew DuBois wrote (see)
Those stretches in the 2 videos above might be ok post run but don't do them pre run.

Yes, hence my ''What TD said'' which included advising not stretching pre-run.
03/03/2012 at 07:58
Sorry missed that
03/03/2012 at 08:50
No worries.  I might just watch the second video again while I'm here.  Make sure I'm getting my foot in the right position.  <ahem>
03/03/2012 at 11:58
Look out...someones coming
03/03/2012 at 22:46

And I always thought this smiley was meant to be someone enjoying a good run:


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