Dynamic Stretching Vs. Static Stretching

Dynamic Stretching Before You Run

There’s no one-size-fits all preparation for running. Every athlete is different and prepping the body for maximum performance varies for every training run or race. Figuring out the best way to warm up before a run or session in the gym can do wonders for your performance, recovery and injury prevention. If it’s not already, dynamic or “active” stretching is key to incorporate into your pre-run warmup routine.

From a young age we typically get into the habit of static stretching before activity. Now, most studies argue that static stretching before a run or workout can actually inhibit the muscle’s ability to fire. Both static and dynamic stretching are important for runners but knowing when to do them is important to maximize their benefits. Here’s a quick rundown of static versus dynamic stretching and when you should do each.  

Dynamic stretching -

Consists of movement stretches that are designed to “take a joint or muscle through a challenging and repetitive motion, moving a body part further each time.” Studies show that dynamic stretching can improve performance and reduce injury by prepping muscles and joints for optimal activation.

Static stretching -

Used to stretch muscles while the body is at rest in order to gradually lengthen a muscle. The focus is on relaxing the body part being stretched and letting it go further on its own. This is primarily done post-run after a cool down.

Benefits of dynamic stretching before your run

  • It increases your core temperature and heart rate so you are prepared for physical activity.
  • It prepares your muscles for whatever activity your about to perform with more relevant movements
  • It helps improve the range of motion around your joints, reducing the chances of injury. Over time this can increase flexibility of your joints.

Improve your performance and decrease your injury rate by doing these 8 pre-run dynamic stretching exercises courtesy of three-time Olympian Deena Kastor.

“Dynamic flexibility has a dual purpose of making you more limber while also activating major muscle groups. This is a great way to wake up and limber up your body.” – Deena Kastor

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