Static Stretching in Warm Up – Should You?

Common Running Injuries - Calf Strain

Stretching is a crucial element for runners, before and after your workout. However, there are ways to stretch well, and make sure you will help and not hinder your progress. We want to share hints and tips about stretching, and this is the first.

For many years, static stretching was an essential component to the warm up. However recent research has found that performing static stretching can reduce strength and power, which could increase the risk of injury. Despite this there still appears to be much confusion regarding the appropriate stretching to perform prior to activity.

In general a warm up is designed to prepare the body for the activity to follow, so for sports like running, weight training, cycling etc which require increased muscle temperature, joint range of motion and improved reactions it may not be appropriate to perform bouts of static stretching. So you would benefit from a more active protocol, increasing the heart rate while improving muscle extensibility. Static stretching is best left for the end of the workout for more long-term benefits.

 

Pamela Andrews

Pamela Andrews MSc ST MSST NASM CPT, is the owner and founder of Sports Injury Scotland. She has extensive research and hands-on experience in sport, and is currently working on her PhD. Her whole ethos focuses on the importance of implementing the most up-to-date scientific research into each individual assessment, treatment and rehabilitation. This ensures that the treatment they receive is tailored to suit the individual and the best possible for them.
She also feels that it is vital as a therapist to continually develop not only practical skills but the knowledge to become a successful therapist. She enjoys taking part in regular exercise, so understands the implications pain has on the ability to perform your sport to your full potential, and also the psychological impact of not being able to undertake your particular sport. She recently completed her first marathon in Berlin, so is able to fully appreciate the impact marathon training can have on the body.

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