Should you stretch before running?

Hey everyone! Today’s lunchtime yoga session at the office was awesome! It’s not the type yoga that gets you all sweaty. It’s gentle yoga, the kind that stretches your muscles, but at the same time relaxes you so that you are refreshed for the rest of the afternoon. Great news too – the yoga instructor is lowering her rates – only $10 a session now instead of $15 – woo hoo!

(Photo courtesy of Flickr)

Stretching Before Exercise

While we’re on the topic of stretching, there’s been quite a debate over the last few years about stretching before working out. But recent studies have shown that static stretching before playing a sport makes you weaker. In addition, the CDC reviewed over 100 studies related to static stretching and found that people who did not stretch prior to exercise were no more likely to suffer injuries than those who did stretch.

Running Superstitions

Although significant evidence is suggesting that pre-exercise stretching is not recommended, experts say it will be hard to change decades of ingrained stretching behavior, particularly for runners. Like most athletes, I think runners have their rituals and superstitions. Some have their favorite shirts, lucky socks, and some have a certain stretching routine. So, if you’ve always stretched before running, and it’s worked for you so far, than why break the routine and mess with superstition?

For the most part, I do not stretch before running and haven’t in years. The most I do are a few ankle and trunk rotations, just to wake up my ankles and back before I set off. This has worked for me for many years, without problems, and I’m not about to change now. Just superstitious, I guess. After all, I’m a runner.

Comments

  1. Thanks for the tips! I’ve heard that stretching before exercise is not beneficial but I’ve also heard that you should stretch after you’ve been running for ~1 mile… do you know any research/info on that? Is that better than stretching before?

  2. I never stretch before I run but always try to after ­čÖé Thanks for the tips!

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