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.