Stretching before running can not only enhance your performance, it can also help you pull up better and avoid injuries. But are you stretching the old school way? Find out the perferred option with advice and videos from osteopath Marissa Mitchell.
It’s well known stretching before and after running, or any exercise for that matter, can help to minimise those aches and pains and prevent injuries. However, the traditional way of statically stretching as a warm-up has recently been replaced by a dynamic form of stretching that could prove more beneficial to your performance and the condition of your body.
Here our osteopath Marissa Mitchell explains the key differences between static stretching and dynamic stretching and showcases a few exercises for you can be incorporated into your pre-run routine.
What is Static Stretching?
Remember that stretching regime you did in the school gym of holding a side bend or standing with your arms behind your head for a tricep stretch holding for 1 minute? Stretches are held for a short period of time while elongating a targeted muscle or group of muscles slowly. The main aim of static stretches is to release any tension and lengthen the muscles and tendons, rather than engaging the muscles. This is thought to help reduce the susceptibility of incurring a strain or tear when exercising.
What is Dynamic Stretching?
Dynamic stretches are active whole-body movements that focus on lengthening the muscles and tendons. Instead of holding a stationary stretch for a period of time, dynamic stretching encourages you to hold it briefly while consciously moving the joints and muscles. Bodyweight lunges, high knees and trunk rotations are common dynamics stretches that can be integrated into a warm-up. These are usually repeated several times or combined with other drills such as sprints and skipping.
What are the benefits of dynamic stretching?
There are several benefits of dynamic stretching before you hit the running track including:
- Enhanced blood flow
- Improved strength and power
- Increased range of motion
- Reduced injury occurrence
Before run exercises
There is growing research that suggests static stretching before your run is not only inferior to dynamic stretching but can be detrimental to your performance. So if you feel like you’ve plateaued or you’re pulling up tighter than usual, you may want to rethink your pre-run regime.
Be sure to try these quick and easy dynamics movements as demonstrated here to optimise your running potential whilst decreasing your risk of injury.
Experiencing recurrent injuries or pulling up sore after your run? Why not Book an appointment today with Marissa at our Geelong or Ocean Grove clinic to assess your injuries and have an individually tailored program to suit your workouts and enhance your performance.