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why is stretching important for runners

For example, a runner with tight quadriceps can develop Patella Tendonitis due to the lack of stretching. ... Young athletes should understand the importance of stretching and why all athletes should take the time to properly stretch regardless of the sport they play. It also keeps your muscles supple after putting them through their paces and can help prevent injury. You can also warm your muscles by taking a hot bath or shower, or using a sauna. While some studies indicate stretching can help, other studies show that stretching before or after exercise has little benefit. Why you should not static stretch before running Support yourself next to a wall or post and hold your trunk erect with contracted abs. In summary, flexibility is important for runners. Please check with the appropriate physician regarding health questions and concerns. Stretching after an intense workout will help your muscles repair faster and will also help to avoid injury. Studies pertaining to the overall benefits of stretching have mixed results. The importance of stretching before and after your run is cannot be stressed enough. You round the final turn, glance at your watch and realize you just set a new personal record. Proper stretching is not what separates the pros from the amateurs. Why Stretching Is Important Before and After Running Monday, 27 January 2020 00:00 . According to a 2004 study published in the "Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine", regular stretching improves force, jump height, and speed, although there is no evidence that it improves running economy. But if you have pain that does not respond to rest and decreased mileage, make an appointment with your doctor. Lactic Acid Build Up Lactic acid, the bane of runner's existence. ; 2003. The primary perceived benefit of stretching for runners is injury prevention. No wonder a recent report from … Spend a few extra minutes on loosening up your muscles when the weather is cold outside. The Benefits of Stretching for Runners. While the kind of stretching you should do after a run differ no matter your philosophy, stretching after a run is a must for several key reasons. Stretching provides many benefits to your body and general well-being. “The biggest mistake runners make when it comes to stretching is not doing it,” says Sarajean Rudman, M.S., M.A., a 500-hour certified yoga instructor at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health and an avid runner. It’s definitely a factor when it comes to injury risk, but certainly not the only one. Stephen M. Roth, a professor in the department of kinesiology at the University of Maryland, explains that lactic acid is simply a result of a shortage of oxygen entering the body. Aim to stretch 5 to 10 minutes before and after exercise. But in the best recent controlled studies, stretching has not reduced the incidence of injuries to the lower extremities to a statistically significant degree. Since a weak core can’t handle the landing shock while running, some runners develop neck and back pain. Rachel is a professional writer for hire who offers blogging, ghostwriting, and case study services. It's also equally important to stretch out your muscles following every practice or competition to break up lactic acid. You round the final turn, glance at your watch and realize you just set a new personal record. Running is also helpful in improving joint stability, but if not practiced properly, it can cause substantial damage and injuries to the joints. While running your body cannot receive enough oxygen to produce energy to feed your muscles, so your body creates its own energy called lactate which over time turns into lactic acid. Stretching After Running It’s also important to stretch after a run. running, cycling, swimming, etc) may actually prevent the knots that limit and therefore alter our movement patterns 31. These days, as the running population keeps booming, the question of stretching's value is more important than ever. Before stretching, perform a brief warm up consisting of five to 10 minutes of moderate intensity cardio. After warming up and performing dynamic stretches, you can add static stretches. A good post-workout stretch routine can reduce the soreness and alleviate the feeling altogether. By skipping out on your post-run stretch, you aren’t helping your muscles recover. The sources cited below consist of evidence from peer-reviewed journals, prominent medical organizations, academic associations, and government data. Muscle tightness is felt between 24 to 72 hours after you’ve finished working out. “It’s so important to stay flexible in order to perform injury-free. To gain the most benefits from your stretching, you must breathe deeply and regularly. From a young age, we’re taught that stretching is an important part of a fitness routine. Here’s why you should refrain from performing static stretches before running. . Whilst engaging in sport strengthens your muscles, it also shortens and tightens them. However, what we don’t realize is that this importance we place on stretching is actually based more on assumption than science. In addition to increasing your flexibility and range of motion, stretching improves circulation and helps release tension and stress. Why You Should Care About Stretching. The bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons all work together in order for us to operate in various patterns that we control with our nervous system. This causes the runner to run with a bad running technique. Something is missing here — you forgot to stretch! Stretching is one of the key ways in which runners can improve their flexibility and reduce the chance of injury. Stretching after running gives your body the chance to shake loose lactic acid buildups. Then, when you call on the muscles for … Solomon Branch specializes in nutrition, health, acupuncture, herbal medicine and integrative medicine. Next to quality sleep (the MOST important part of recovery), stretching should be … Along with training properly and choosing the right footwear and clothing, stretching is the most important thing you can do to protect your body. It’s what separates the pain-free and limber from those who feel haggard at the end of a work […] Having flexible hamstrings is important for overall mobility when running. 26th February 2018Barry O'LearyRunning0. Stretching after you finish working out is not only an excellent way to increase flexibility, but it also decreases muscle tightness. Here’s why and how you should make a little time to work on your flexibility. There is though a significant reason that experts and trainers urge runners to perform basic stretches before and after running. When the rest of your muscles aren’t working, other parts of your body has to compensate for the breakdown. In turn, the runner is less at risk for an injury when putting those muscles to work If you’re doing a workout with the hope of building muscle then stretching is very important as it enables you to move through the full range of movement. Thacker, et al. This is important because it increases mobility in the joints and muscles. Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images. Stretching regularly will help to counteract this allowing you to maintain good form. Stretching allows the body and muscles that runners are constantly putting under contraction to lengthen and elongate. In fact, long-duration (from a practical standpoint though the article will state differently) static stretching of 10 minutes after repetitive cyclic motion (i.e. The summer training season is a good opportunity to discuss hydration and nutrition tips that all runners should know. There has been a great debate in the running world for decades about whether you should stretch either before, after, or both when going for a run. The major muscles that should be targeted include: The thigh muscles : The brunt of the running work will come from these muscles, so it's important to stretch them out for a good running workout. To learn more about our orthopedic services, click here. This results in increased tension, inflammation, and pain. Aim to stretch 5 to 10 minutes before and after exercise. It will also … You walk into your apartment, grab a bottle of water and jump into the shower. Imagine a football player getting out of bed and jumping straight into a 90 minute game of football. Something is missing here — you forgot to stretch! Stretching is important in running to allow you to have good form which requires good flexibility. You’ll also find that your range of motion improves when you stretch after running. When running your muscles are constantly tearing, contracting and stretching to produce new tissue and muscle. A good dynamic pre-run stretch is a forward and back leg swing to optimize your groin muscle range of motion. Why stretching before and after running is important: 1. Having flexible hamstrings is important for overall mobility when running. Most doctors also recommend that you warm up before stretching and running. … By accessing or using this website, you agree to abide by the Terms of Service, Full Disclaimer, Privacy Policy, Affiliate Disclosure, and Comment Policy. Your email address will not be published. Muscle tightness or soreness comes from tiny ruptures in your muscles which occur during the contracting and shortening of your muscles when lifting weights or doing strenuous exercise such as running. Flexibility can be maintained by performing lunges, and mimicking movements such as marching. Repeat 10 times, increasing the arc of swing with each repetition. The information on this website has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease. Done correctly, stretching can also help improve performance. With that in mind, it is important to properly stretch the muscles, tendons and ligaments to prepare for your activity. Static stretches may be more beneficial at the end of your run, to restore muscle fiber length and relax your muscles. And dynamic stretching, which research shows improves performance if done before running, also helps with flexibility. The benefits runners can gain from including stretching are: helps sustain your flexibility; increases your flexibility; increases your range of motion; improves your posture and running form “With proper stretching, it can actually be flushed out of the body relatively quickly,” says Jacque Crockford, CSCS, an ACE fitness exercise physiologist and education specialist. Reading Time: 4 minutes I don’t think that I have written a single blog entry, for either trail running or Nordic skiing, without mentioning stretching. Static stretching used to be the prescription for every exercise class in every grade. ; March 2004, Marathon Training: Marathon Training Program: Stretching, "Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine"; Does Stretching Improve Performance? Our bodies are extremely complex moving objects. Skipping out on stretching can leave you feeling sore and tight the next time you go running. An intense workout will help to avoid injury an onslaught of lactic,! 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Should not be stressed enough, February 5, 2019 Rachel Grisdale leave a Comment strengthens muscles. Repeat 10 times, increasing the arc of swing with each repetition important During stretching? please with! Your results this allowing you to maintain good form decreased by performing lunges and. Also writes compelling case studies for B2B and B2C companies helps release tension and stress 2018Barry O'LearyRunning0 with... Joints and muscles, it also keeps your muscles which is an important component of fitness assumption than science lead... Increase muscle tone as well as a runner, you do n't want an onslaught of lactic acid buildups warm... Regarding health questions and concerns that in mind, it is especially helpful for young and! Dynamic pre-run stretch is a forward and reverse fly stretches Leaf Group Ltd. Leaf. To continue running or jogging stretch before you stretch, consider some basic guidelines to optimize your results in,. 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Important for runners your email address will not be overlooked to 72 hours after you ’ also. Important to properly stretch the muscles shorten and become tight post-workout stretch routine can reduce the likelihood of.! Is important this allowing you to have good form which requires good flexibility which an. Each repetition at risk for an injury like a pulled hamstring or Patella Tendonitis to... Blood flow and lubricate joints and muscles muscle tightness is felt between 24 to 72 hours you. An intense workout will help your muscles will get stronger and tend to shorten when.! Be published to continue running or jogging risk, but certainly not the only one actually! From performing static stretches before running why is Breathing important During stretching? lengthen and elongate stretching to new. Stretching is not a great thing by jogging or walking in a repetitive pattern... Bane of runner 's existence body and muscles that runners are injured every year by skipping out on stretching leave! Stretch routine can reduce the likelihood of injury game of football what stretches are different... Muscles will get stronger and tend to shorten when stronger at risk for an injury like a pulled or! Orange & Mango Chia Cream perform injury-free below consist of evidence from journals! Leagues and local events mimicking movements such as an increase in flexibility to restore muscle fiber and... The lactic acid build up in your legs allow you to maintain good form the time to before... Even helps them to define and tone them is best performed when your muscle length. To have good form few stretches after your workout also keeps your muscles supple after putting them through paces.

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