To stretch or not to stretch? That is the question….as physical therapists, we are often asked if stretching is good for runners. I always answer yes, but the timing of static stretching is crucial and the importance of a good dynamic warm up is equally important. When preparing to run, you should be doing some type of dynamic activity to prepare the cardiovascular system, the muscles, and the joints for the demands of running. If you are looking to perform at your best, it is important to prepare your body adequately. This preparation can also pay dividends by reducing your likelihood of injury. Once your run is complete, static stretching should be performed. This can reduce post run soreness and works to return muscles to more appropriate resting lengths.
Check out this youtube video for ways to integrate a dynamic warmup into your training as well as static stretching to help cool down.
Steve Wiley, PT, ATC Director of Therapy
Lynchburg Physical Therapy