Many people use the words “stretch" and “warm up" interchangeably, but... 2. Begin to straighten your back leg, so you feel a stretch along the front of your back thigh. Continue in a dynamic motion, shifting forward as you raise your arms up, and then lowering your arms as you come back to the starting position. Most runners have been sitting or lying down for hours before they go for a run, making their muscles tight in the glute, lower back, and pelvic areas. While no one enjoys running with stiff muscles, static stretching before running isn’t the answer. Privacy Policy Increased mobility around the abductor/adductor muscle groups along with a stronger core. Increased range of movement (ROM) and dynamic strength. 2020 The ideal warm-up before a 5K, 10K or a half marathon is to complete a short jog, then add in 3–4 of these dynamic stretches before running (2–3 sets) before adding a few strides and jumping on the start line. Be careful not to lean forward or back keeping the pelvis in a strong and fixed position. Dynamic flexibility work several times a week before harder/faster running sessions, or as a strength and conditioning session in its own will increase flexibility, improve motor skills and speed. Hold each stretch for a few seconds before and after your run. See more ideas about Running, Running workouts, Excercise. Dynamic stretches should be used as part of your warm-up routine before any athletic event, whether competitive or not. Keep the front leg straight and bend the back knee sinking your bottom towards the ground as though you’re about to sit in a chair. But, in general, for most runners and most runs, I’d recommend to walk and build up to normal running pace. Bring your ankle up inverting the foot towards the knee and then the waist. Before running: A short warm-up routine of dynamic stretching can help your muscles feel refreshed. Each movement should take two to three seconds on alternating legs over a 20 meter (60 ft.) distance at slow walking pace. Save static stretching for after: Julia recommends saving static stretching, such as bending over and touching your toes, for after exercise. Do 3 x sets with a walk back recovery in between. Here's how to get started with the Polar Running Program – it's personal, it's adaptive and it's free! The effect is a sense of increased control, flexibility, and range of motion of the muscles. Do this for about 10 minutes.After a dynamic warm-up, do a few static stretches before the run. that stretching helps you stay healthy. Conditioning of the hamstring group and long term improvement of flexibility. "I like to work every plane of motion," Schultz says. Stand on the edge of a stair so that only the balls of your feet are on the stair and your heels are hanging over the edge. Mobilizes and increases flexibility at the same time. Read more: Gentle Stretches and Exercises for Achilles Tendon Pain. Come back to center and lunge forward with your right foot. Not only do walking lunges loosen up the major muscles used while running — specifically, the quads and hip flexors — but they also simulate the forward motion of running, which makes them particularly useful as a pre-run stretch, says Seamster. Repeat three to five times before switching sides. Copyright © diagnosis or treatment. Here’s why cross-training for runners is key and can help you to become a better runner – with some uncommon cross-training ideas. 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 (2). This exercise helps to mobilize the glutes and lateral quad areas prior to running. Running only requires that you can move your legs in the functional range, so if you can run comfortably and without injury, there is no need to stretch… How-to: … Performing stretches for runners both before the workout to make sure your body is ready to work and after to make sure it’s ready to cool down is the best way to mitigate much of that danger. I like this article Terms of Use Stretching Before or After Running Stretching used to be part of every warmup and cool-down, but the evidence doesn't find that it has the benefits it was thought to bring. Hold the stretch for a moment before rising up again and repeating. Hip Flexor and Glute Activating Leg Swings Pre-Run 1 of 7 To deepen the stretch, on the last round, pause briefly at the front, back, left and right points in the circle. How to: Start standing with feet together. Use a wall for support or challenge your balance by performing the stretch without support. By clicking Subscribe, you agree to receive emails from Polar and confirm that you have read our Privacy notice . This dynamic stretch is great for the glutes, hips, lower back, and lateral quad mobilization. Aim to do 3 x sets. “It’s more about relieving everyday soreness and preventing muscle imbalances before your workout. After all, getting your body ready to run is as important as what you do on the run itself. Flexibility boosts performance, improves posture and reduces the chances of getting an injury. Static stretches mean the body is still and just that muscle group is being stretched. Do this movement dynamically, holding for one or two breaths on each side before switching. Stand up straight while retaining good posture and balance. Hold for a few seconds, and then lean to the left. Spend eight to 10 minutes doing the following dynamic stretches before running, says athletic performance coach Hannah Schultz, CSCS. Continued. any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. When to Stretch. The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. Your core needs to be warmed up for a run, too. (Stand on flat ground if you don't have access to stairs.). Not only that, but other research has found that static stretching actually reduces running efficiency. . Prevent workout injuries by warming up your muscles before every run or workout. Extend your left leg behind you, keeping your leg straight and the top of your thigh, shin and foot on the ground. Every time your foot leaves the ground during a run, your calf muscles contract to make that happen. This is an absolute must for those who suffer with Achilles, calf, plantar fasciitis, and shin issues. Print it! It’s definitely better to cut your run short by 5–10 minutes to get in the key stretches to re-align muscle fibres and encourage re-oxygenated blood full of nutrients into the muscle. Repeat for six to 10 rotations in one direction, and then switch directions. “Dynamic stretches help increase your range of motion before an exercise or routine,” Health Fitness Specialist of Corporate Fitness Works and Certified Strength and Condition Specialist John Herman says. Rise up on your toes, and then slowly lower your heels so that they come below the stair and you feel a stretch through your calf muscle. Bend your right knee and grab your right foot or ankle from the outside. Here's a Printable Version of this Pre-Run Warm-Up Routine, 20 Essential Checks to Help You Run Faster, Gentle Stretches and Exercises for Achilles Tendon Pain, Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: Dynamic vs. Static-Stretching Warm Up: The Effect on Power and Agility Performance, Scott Seamster; Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist; Seattle, Washington, Athletic Performance Coach Hannah Schultz, CSCS, PARTNER & LICENSEE OF THE LIVESTRONG FOUNDATION. Regardless of how beneficial running can be, more than 65% of runners get injured every year. There seems to be quite a bit of confusion out there about stretching and when best to do it. Skipping pre-run stretches or warm-up sessions is a recipe for a workout injury. Stretching helps you maintain optimal joint function for athletic performance. Read more: 12 Running Mistakes You Could Be Making. Think lunges, leg swings, squats, butt kick, high knees, and jumping jacks. You can also do the stretch on one foot at a time. advertisements are served by third party advertising companies. A must for those who suffer from tightness around hamstring and hip flexor muscle groups. Keep your trunk and torso strong with good pelvic alignment. You don’t need more flexibility to help with injuries. Bend the front knee to 90 degrees and the back knee until it almost touches the ground. Especially stretching before running is quite controversial and some even say it doesn’t work or isn’t worth the time. Stand with your feet together, and then take a long step forward with your right foot. Or give it a thumbs up! Therefore, the only runners who benefit from stretching before running are those who feel the need due to stiffness or have chronic conditions or injuries that tighten and predispose you to injury. Perform heel flicks. Increased mobility around the hamstring/hip flexor muscle groups along with a stronger core. Head up and swing the leg forwards and backwards engaging the hamstrings and hip flexor groups. Dynamic stretches for runners and after running stretches are of neglected by many runners. Follow with a side lunge, lunging out to your right and holding for a moment. Each movement should take two to three seconds on alternating legs over a 20 metre distance at slow walking pace. Open up your hip flexors and quadriceps with a dynamic version of this classic stretch. Hold onto a stair rail for balance, if necessary. Keep your trunk and torso strong with good pelvic alignment. Begin in an upright standing position with your hands on the sidebar handle for support, maintaining proper alignment with your head, shoulders, hips, and legs. That’s why dynamic stretching before running is a great way to prepare for your run. 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. How... 2. In my experience, stretching daily does serve a purpose (especially after running) – and if you’re looking to prep for your next run, dynamic flexibility exercises are something to consider. This makes this pre-run stretch extra important before you work out, says Schultz. Fantastic exercises for Achilles and calf strengthening. Keeping your abdominals tight, lean to the right, bending at the waist. Your hips bear a lot of force while you're running, so opening up the joints and muscles of that area before hitting the pavement can help prevent injury. Thanks! Think of it as the opposite to walking, going toe to heel as opposed to heel to toe. Originally published July 5, 2016 9:49 am, updated October 22, 2020. The idea is to place the foot on the ground with the toe and the ball of the foot first. Don't neglect this routine and wind up injured! If you sit at a desk all day, you probably have tight hip flexors, since they're constantly in a state of flexion. Jog forward at a slow pace. Minimize static stretches before exercise. While the benefits of stretching before running have not been conclusively proven or disproven, stretching is still recommended as part of an overall running regimen, preferably after you have performed a warm-up. Please note that the information provided in the Polar Blog articles cannot replace individual advice from health professionals. A must for those who suffer with hamstring tightness. Circle your hips in one direction, almost as if you're hula-hooping. Please consult your physician before starting a new fitness program. Perform these five moves before you pound the pavement to warm up joints and muscles and to help prevent injury. Whether you're headed out on the road, trail or treadmill, it's important to do some dynamic stretches before running to prevent injury. Your hip flexors are relatively small but have a huge impact on performance. But the upper-body muscles are also utilized during proper running technique, so dynamic upper-body stretching is also essential," Carpentier says. Walking luges strengthen and stretch the entire lower body. Then lower your weight through the foot eventually allowing the heel to return to the ground. This consist of “warming” the muscles up by moving around and getting the blood flowing. Should You Stretch Before Or After Running. That way you don’t have to struggle against your body during … If your physio, or injury specialist, has told you to do pre-run stretches before you head out the door, then that’s fine. You can perform this from a standing position (pictured above), or as Schultz recommends, you can add a side stretch to the hip flexor stretch from the previous stretch. Running with muscles that aren't properly prepped can result in a muscle strain that keeps you off your feet — and off the road or trail — for days, weeks or even months. We’ve got it all on video – take a look here. Importance Of Stretching Before Running; Stretching is a form of physical exercise in which a particular muscle or tendon or muscle group is purposefully flexed or stretched to enhance the elasticity of your muscles plus create a relaxed muscle tone. Ah, the age-old debate: Should you stretch before running or after your run? Before you hit the trail or pavement, set aside some time to perform the 10 best stretches for biking. This was the prevailing dogma for the first 5-6 years of my running career. 1. From seated, fold your right knee in front of you on the floor so your knee is pointing out to the right slightly and the outside of your thigh and shin are on the floor. Focus on stretching the major muscle groups you'll be using — quads, hamstrings, glutes and hip flexors — and don't forget moves that also warm up your abs, back and calves. Aim for 15–30 seconds but pick up the pace and aim to move at a brisk walking speed. Feel the stretch in the glute and lateral quad area. A complete athletic warm-up should incorporate about 5 to 10 minutes of low- to moderate-intensity swimming, jogging or cycling, followed by dynamic stretching. Hamstring conditioning and flexibility. We didn’t want to “be tight” and everyone knows (right?) You’ll thank us when you feel better post-jog…and run smoother (and faster!). As you run, bring your knee up in line with your hips, and bring... 3. … As mentioned before, the body runs best on warm muscles. Repeat this lunge pattern five times, and then switch sides, lunging with your left leg this time. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse Aim to work for 15–20 seconds then change legs. Try them before your next park run and feel great when the gun goes off. Read more: 20 Essential Checks to Help You Run Faster. Keep your torso upright and your head and shoulders aligned over your hips. Good ol' calf raises help strengthen and prime you for an injury-free run. She has written for various online and print publications, including Livestrong.com, SFGate, Healthfully, and Chron.com. Warm up with these dynamic stretches before running and you’ll be off to a great start: A must for those who suffer with piriformis, runner’s knee, and IT Band issues. The body needs to be massaged, fibres stretched out and adhesions and knots stripped out of tired and damaged muscles – stretching post-training can really help with this process. A Quick Guide to Running Stretches Stretching Before Running. Just take the stretch to the point where you feel resistance, not pain or discomfort. And save static stretches, which you can hold for 30 seconds to two minutes, for after your run to help with recovery, says triathlon coach Scott Seamster, CSCS. Opinions aside, Dr. William Roberts sheds light on when and how runners should stretch. 4 easy stretching exercise before running #1 Hip Circles for runners. Copyright Policy Pre-run stretches should consist of dynamic stretching, which involves light movement through an increasing range of motion. You liked this article Endurance expert Alex Hutchinson shares his thoughts on combining strength training and running workouts to build a more well-rounded training plan. Not so fast. The condition of the muscle fibres also improves with increased elasticity and strength combined. Holcomb recommends brisk walking or slow jogging for about five minutes, rather than stretching before exercise. Warming Up Before a Run 1. The average runner, however, need not worry about stretching before a run, there is simply no scientific evidence behind it. On that note, here’s some guidance on dynamic stretches before running. And remember: It's important not to overstretch before your workout. Walking lunges are one of those stretches and a great warm up that you should... #3 Side Stretch. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the Here are eight stretches to do before running that hit your quads, hamstrings, glutes, hip flexors, abs, back and calves. Your toes, for after: Julia recommends saving static stretching at waist... 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