Dynamic stretches should be used as part of your warm-up routine before any athletic event, whether competitive or not. Raise up to your tip toes, engaging your calves. This is an absolute must for those who suffer with Achilles, calf, plantar fasciitis, and shin issues. All of my athletes are advised to complete these simple and key moves as part of their weekly mix – you can even add them at the end of a relaxed run to improve flexibility and as part of your cool-down. Despite the fact that in recent years it has been in vogue to discredit the value of stretching, the combination of dynamic and static stretching—when used at the right time—can have a big impact on increasing flexibility and improving performance, especially for new runners. This is an alternative calf raise and lowering drill. One thing is for sure: putting together a dynamic stretching routine takes a heck of a lot less time than simply static stretching. "Dynamic flexibility has a dual purpose of making you more limber while also activating major muscle groups," she says. At the same time as keeping the front leg straight, sweep down with your hands towards the ground creating a dynamic stretch on the hamstring group. Hamstring conditioning and flexibility. Either way, most have varying opinions on what exactly a warm up should consist of. Or give it a thumbs up! Check ours out here: https://themovementfix.com/running-programs/--This video demonstrates our 5 minute dynamic warm up for running. Most runners have been sitting or lying down for hours before they go for a run, making their muscles tight in the glute, lower back, and pelvic areas. The warm up: for some of us it feels like a waste of time. Read his inspiring story, “From Soccer to Bed to No Hair on My Head” that started it all. This movement is controlled and close to one swing per second with no forced effort. Please consult your physician before starting a new fitness program. Tip: Be sure to avoid rounding forward with your shoulders as you lunge and bend forward toward the ground. If you’re going to do a hard training sessions or run fast, it’s good to do some dynamic stretches before running – that is, stretching on the move, which will dynamically mobilize the muscles and … It’s definitely better to cut your run short by 5–10 minutes to get in the key stretches to re-align muscle fibres and encourage re-oxygenated blood full of nutrients into the muscle. Here, we stretch the hamstrings, engage the glutes and core, activate the quads, and get our hearts pumping. Dynamic stretching can improve overall power, endurance, and coordination. We may earn commission if you buy from a link. Dynamic stretches are specific movements that warm up your body while stretching at the same time! Keep core solidly engaged. Two running power experts explain how to do a post-training analysis on running power: What should you look for in running power data to help you improve? These simple moves will help you avoid running injuries by improving flexibility. Return to standing, repeating on the opposite side. Aim for 15–30 seconds but pick up the pace and aim to move at a brisk walking speed. History has shown a huge flip-flop on the statics vs. dynamic stretching topic in recent years: I'll call it, The Stretching Saga. The idea is to place the foot on the ground with the toe and the ball of the foot first. Dynamic flexibility work several times a week before harder/faster running sessions, or as a strength and conditioning session in its own will increase flexibility, improve motor skills and speed. Learn the ins and outs. The lunge with hamstring stretch combines two of the best dynamic stretching exercises for runners into one. Gear-obsessed editors choose every product we review. Eat when you’re hungry. Bring your ankle up inverting the foot towards the knee and then the waist. Why are dynamic movements better than static stretches? Harness the benefits. How to Get Rid of Back Fat (The Best Way), Gluteus Medius: 21 Exercises to Train This Forgotten Butt Muscle, The Ultimate Cheatsheet to the Best Bodyweight Hamstring Exercises. Fantastic exercises for Achilles and calf strengthening. When it comes to stretching before a run, it’s important that you do the right sort. Begin standing tall with your shoulders back. Train movements, not muscles. Here, we stretch the hamstrings, engage the glutes and core, activate the quads, and get our hearts pumping. So if you or your young athlete are still doing static stretching before your workout, practice or game--change it up. In the same way that you warm up your car during winter to dissolve any frost lingering on engine parts, you should also warm up your body and increase blood flow to areas that are going to be “carrying” you throughout your run. Hold for a few seconds, then repeat on the other leg. We should ask ourselves the hard questions: A must for those who suffer from tightness around hamstring and hip flexor muscle groups. “It’s more about relieving everyday soreness and preventing muscle imbalances before your workout. Release your left knee and lower into a lunge. Never give up. Ah, the age-old debate: Should you stretch before running or after your run? A complete athletic warm-up should incorporate about 5 to 10 minutes of low- to moderate-intensity swimming, jogging or cycling, followed by dynamic stretching. In my experience, stretching daily does serve a purpose (especially after running) – and if you’re looking to prep for your next run, dynamic flexibility exercises are something to consider. It is important to differentiate this from dynamic stretching, which involves controlled, repetitive sports-specific movements that mimic the way your muscles and connective tissues will need to stretch during your chosen activity, e.g. Health Benefits of Stretching. Dynamic warm ups are a powerful tool for runners. Also, it is one of the best ways to prevent foot injuries from running. Grasp your knee and gently pull it further toward your chest. Head up and swing one leg across the body to end of range on the medial side and then back across to the lateral side. – by clicking the banner below. Be careful not to lean forward or back keeping the pelvis in a strong and fixed position. Dynamic stretching should be prioritized before running because it’s a more functional way of preparing for the task at hand. Dynamic stretching is most effective when it's sport-specific. Increased range of movement (ROM) and dynamic strength. Take a short stride forward keeping the heel firmly on the ground. There seems to be quite a bit of confusion out there about stretching and when best to do it. A must for those who suffer with hamstring tightness. Use These Dynamic Stretches Before Running These dynamic stretches make for excellent pre-run routines. Begin standing tall with your feet together. Feel the stretch in the glute and lateral quad area. The ideal warm-up before a 5K, 10K or a half marathon is to complete a short jog, then add in 3–4 of these dynamic stretches before running (2–3 sets) before adding a few strides and jumping on the start line. Stretching before running can also be downright overwhelming to new runners training for their first race! This story is part of an ongoing series aimed at new runners. Begin to march forward, bringing one knee in toward your chest at a time. Oddly, it still divides many runners now. The Stretching Saga comes down to this: whether to do static stretching or dynamic stretching before exercising. Increased range of movement (ROM) and dynamic strength. Keeping your leg extended, flex and point your toes. Use this five-step guide to understand the basics of cycling for runners. Unlike static stretching, dynamic movements aren’t tedious, 30-second stretches working one muscle at a time. I like this article Love yourself – no matter what. A former pro soccer player turned NYT bestselling author of The All-Day Energy Diet and The All-Day Fat Burning Diet, his clear, science-backed advice has transformed the lives of more than 500,000 men and women and he’s on a mission to help 100 million people by 2040. Be careful not to rotate the trunk or pelvis. Should we focus solely on stretching our muscles? You’ll do these dynamic stretches before every run because, at FIRST, we believe that improving range of motion is an essential component of fitness training. But it wasn't always like that. Please note that the information provided in the Polar Blog articles cannot replace individual advice from health professionals. The risk factors associated with poor flexibility include faulty posture, altered running mechanics, and risk of injury and pain. Gerald Smith investigates how to use dynamic stretches for runners and after running stretches. If you liked this post, don’t forget to share so that others can find it, too. Leg swings are perfect for prepping the lower body for any kind of movement, as they both engage and dynamically stretch nearly every leg muscle. Aim to work for 15–20 seconds then change legs. After your run, try some slow, deep, static stretches to help your muscles relax. The plantar flexor stretch engages the calves and shin muscles, while providing a light stretch for the hip flexors. Coach Nick Anderson shows us what else we need to do besides running: warm-up drills, core exercises and post-run stretches. Lunge forward, keeping your feet behind your toes. What is dynamic stretching? Essentially, static stretching before a run increases the energy cost of running at the same pace. It can also increase your performance. Keep your trunk and torso strong with good pelvic alignment. 5 DYNAMIC STRETCHES BEFORE RUNNING. Keep the front leg straight and bend the back knee sinking your bottom towards the ground as though you’re about to sit in a chair. Try them before your next park run and feel great when the gun goes off. Release your knee and lunge forward on the same leg. For one, Australian researchers found that static stretching doesn’t reduce risk of injury (1). Whether you're headed out on the road, trail or treadmill, it's important to do some dynamic stretches before running to prevent injury. At the same time, raise your opposite leg straight behind you. Begin standing tall, feet together. Specifically, many dynamic stretches work to increase range of movement through the hip flexors, an area that is typically stiff in most people. Then lower your weight through the foot eventually allowing the heel to return to the ground. Each movement should take two to three seconds on alternating legs over a 20 metre distance at slow walking pace. These are movement-based stretches that help activate your muscles and improve your range of motion so that your body is ready to run! Extend one leg straight out in front of you, toe pointed. The condition of the muscle fibres also improves with increased elasticity and strength combined. Thanks! What muscle(s) if any should I stretch? Front lunges are great for warming up and stretching the hip flexors, hamstrings, glutes, calves, and quads. This exercise helps to mobilize the glutes and lateral quad areas prior to running. Increased mobility around the hamstring/hip flexor muscle groups along with a stronger core. Dynamic stretching should be done before running, while static stretching should be done after running or performing an aerobic activity. After all, performing dynamic stretches before runs has helped Kastor become a three-time Olympian (2000, 2004, 2008) and set several American distance-running records. Begin standing tall. Understanding the difference between static stretching and dynamic stretching as well as when to utilize each is an important first step in developing an individualized stretching routine to meet your running goals. Swing for 10 to 12 reps, then switch to the other side. Drink more greens. Do 3 x sets with a walk back recovery in between. 19 Healthier Dessert Recipes So Good You’ll Think They’re Bad, 19 Highly Alkaline Foods That Will Benefit Your Body, The Alkaline Diet: 5 Controversial Truths You Need to Know About. Repeat on the other side and continue alternating legs for 10-12 reps on each leg. Static stretching before a run decreases your running economy by decreasing your your power output. Your workout recovery plan goes a long way toward boosting your results and keeping you feeling limber and strong. They can be used to help warm up your body before exercising. Dynamic stretches for runners and after running stretches are of neglected by many runners. Repeat, alternating knees for 10-12 reps on each leg. Before you run, it’s helpful to do a few dynamic stretches. This technique of stretching was first used by athletes decades ago as an effective stretching routine before running, hurdles, and many more sports. Try them before your next park run and feel great when the gun goes off. Repeat, alternating legs, for 10-12 reps on each leg. Below we’ll look at several dynamic stretches for runners that warm up the body and perhaps even increase running efficiency. Each movement should take two to three seconds on alternating legs over a 20 meter (60 ft.) distance at slow walking pace. And if you are not sure what stretches to do before your runs, here are 4 easy but very useful ideas. The forward march loosens the hamstrings while engaging the glutes and quads for a full lower-body dynamic warm up. The leg flexor stretch warms the quads and hip flexors while also engaging the muscles around the shin and calves. Begin standing with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, feet turned out at a 45-degree angle. Get more done in less time. But that’s not all. Flexibility boosts performance, improves posture and reduces the chances of getting an injury. Lunge forward, keeping your feet behind your toes. After all, getting your body ready to run is as important as what you do on the run itself. Step one foot in front of you and lower into a lunge, begin sure to keep your knee behind you toes at all times. You can also try some high knees, skips, and lunges. It turns out the best answer lies somewhere in between. As we can see, a pattern of increased performance emerges after dynamic stretching, while static stretching shows negative effects. Just running and never stretching is taking a risk and slowing down recovery. Dynamic stretches are great for a ton of reasons for runners: They charge up the muscles you are going to use during your workout. Now, extend one leg behind you, lowering your heel toward the floor until you feel a stretch in your calf. Workout less, move more. If you’re going to do a hard training sessions or run fast, it’s good to do some dynamic stretches before running – that is, stretching on the move, which will dynamically mobilize the muscles and get … Aim to work for 15–20 seconds, then change legs. These stretches improve your range of motion. Performing the Lunge with Hamstring Stretch. Yuri Elkaim is one of the world’s most trusted health and fitness experts. For others, it’s an integral part of the workout experience. Keep your trunk and torso strong with good pelvic alignment. Be persistent. Keep alternating legs for 10-12 reps on each leg. Stretching keeps the muscles in the body flexible, so that the muscles and joints are at their fullest range of motion. A max of 10 minutes will do—about five if you’re on a tight schedule. 5 Dynamic Stretches to Do Before Every Run. Head up and swing the leg forwards and backwards engaging the hamstrings and hip flexor groups. The ideal warm-up before a 5K, 10K or a half marathon is to complete a short jog, then add in 3–4 of these dynamic stretches before running (2–3 sets) before adding a few strides and jumping on the start line. Not only that, but other research has found that static stretching actually reduces running efficiency. A dynamic stretching routine aims for immediate, workable results, as opposed to static stretching, which is a long-term play meant to encourage elasticity in tendons and connective tissue. You liked this article This is where dynamic stretching shines because it not only increases blood flow, but also range of motion throughout the lower body. Originally published July 5, 2016 9:49 am, updated October 22, 2020. Having this hip and hamstring flexibility is a huge factor in preventing running injuries. Push back through your heel and glutes to a standing position. Sign up for our biweekly newsletter to get fresh ideas, insight and inspiration that will help you train smarter and recover better. Not only is what you do before your workout important, but what you do afterward also counts. Stretching daily, especially after easy and general training runs, definitely seems to lead to less injuries in my experience. So what is it? Dynamic stretches are active movements where joints and muscles go through a full range of motion. The lunge with hamstring stretch combines two of the best dynamic stretching exercises for runners into one. Performing the Lunge with Hamstring Stretch. Need a running program? Just running and never stretching is taking a risk and slowing down recovery. Back in the day, athletes primarily did static stretches before exercising. Butt kicks in the pushup position warm up the entire body, engaging the core, glutes, upper body, and lower back while dynamically stretching the hip flexors and hamstrings. Hold hips parallel to the ground for a two-second count, then lower. Learn 11 of the best ways to go from sore to supple with my Workout Recovery guide. Opinions aside, Dr. William Roberts sheds light on when and how runners should stretch. We can’t forget to give our calves some much-needed warm up attention! 3-Way Shin Stretch – Shin Splints are a common running injury. Should You Stretch Before Or After Running. Bend one knee at a 90-degree angle in front of you, raising it toward your chest. Finding time to train can often be difficult. Stretching before and after running can help you exercise without pain. The bridge will get your glutes and hamstrings firing, while also engaging your core and warming up your lower back. Dynamic stretching is going to become your new favorite thing as you find yourself running better and staying injury free. Before you run, do dynamic stretches, like jogging with your knees in line with your hips or bringing your foot back to touch your bottom. Do it right. Cross training with cycling is a great way to get faster and stay injury-free. One of the best ways to warm up before a run is to complete a few dynamic stretching exercises. Bring your left leg forward and hug your knee in the same manner. What's the difference between static and dynamic stretching? 7 of the Most Important Steps to Prevent Osteoporosis, How to Raise Your HDL Cholesterol (The Natural Way), 7 Best Natural Remedies for Dandruff and Itchy Scalp, 13 Best Yoga Shoulder Stretches for Upper Body Knots, 12 Big Fitness Trends and Health Predictions for 2016, How to Use Eccentric Training to Get A Better Body. Lateral lunges get blood pumping throughout the hamstrings, glutes, and quads, while also providing a stretch for the inner thighs. How to stretch before running You don’t need a ton of time to put these pay-offs in motion. It should take one to two seconds for each movement alternating on each foot and leg. Not only that, but it also has the ability to cut down on our run times and even improve our endurance. Now, instead of pushing up as you would during a regular lunge, shift your weight forward onto your lunging leg. Especially stretching before running is quite controversial and some even say it doesn’t work or isn’t worth the time. The body needs to be massaged, fibres stretched out and adhesions and knots stripped out of tired and damaged muscles – stretching post-training can really help with this process. Completing a variety of dynamic warm up exercises prior to your run takes as little as one or two minutes, but is crucial for your success as a lifelong runner. Repeat on the opposite leg for a total of 10-12 reps on each leg. Unlike static stretching (stretching without moving), dynamic stretching puts key muscles through a full range of motion. Warming up before a running usually involves completing a few dynamic stretching … Mobilizes and increases flexibility at the same time. Type keyword(s) to search. If your physio, or injury specialist, has told you to do pre-run stretches before you head out the door, then that’s fine. Loosen up your shins before your run with this three-way shin stretch. Static stretching involves holding a position for 30 seconds or more to elongate the muscle while a dynamic warm up involves stretching through a range of motion. This prerun routine targets the muscles used for running. But, in general, for most runners and most runs, I’d recommend to walk and build up to normal running pace. Not so fast. For instance, a Wichita University study showed that participants who completed a series of dynamic stretches before vertical jumping showed significant increases in performance compared to static stretching, or no stretching at all (3). Raise you right knee in toward your chest. Tip: You can also perform an alternative leg swing facing the wall. Repeat on the other side for 10-12 reps on each leg. Lift your right leg toward the sky and kick your heel toward your glutes. To this I say it’s time to bring the warm up back, the right way. Stand up straight while retaining good posture and balance. "This is a great way to wake up and limber up your body." A must for those who suffer from tightness around the abductor/adductor muscle groups. Dynamic stretching involves performing sport-specific movements that prep the muscles we’re going to be using during the workout, in a way that mimics what we’re going to be doing. Stop when you’re full. Dynamic stretches can … Intermittent Fasting for Women: Is It Safe? Dynamic stretching is a form of stretching while in motion. To do the 3-Way Shin Stretch, stand facing a pole, tree or even park table or bench. You can get it – for FREE! Begin lying face-up on the floor, knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Running for me was a transition from a LOT of walking, so I never had an issue spending time before my run warming up and it turns out that might be one of the habits which has kept me injury free for nearly 10 years. swinging your leg forwards 15 times. By clicking Subscribe, you agree to receive emails from Polar and confirm that you have read our Privacy notice . Place your hands on the support in front of you with one foot back. Dynamic stretching is a term not many people have heard of. A Japanese study from Hokkaido University also found that participants who did dynamic stretches before leg extension exercises showed significant increases in performance when compared to static stretching, or no stretching at all (4). Think of it as the opposite to walking, going toe to heel as opposed to heel to toe. Dynamic Stretches for Runners Will stretching help or hurt my running performance? Knee hugs stretch and activate the hamstrings, while pairing them with walking lunges stretches the hip flexors and gets our blood pumping. Conditioning of the hamstring group and long term improvement of flexibility. Focus on engaging your core and keeping your spine straight. Stretching before running not only gets you in the mood for running but it also prepares your body for the run ahead. What is Dynamic Stretching? Begin in a plank position, hands directly under your shoulders and body in a straight line from head to toe. Do 3 x sets with a walk back recovery in between. If you’re going to do a hard training sessions or run fast, it’s good to do some dynamic stretches before running – that is, stretching on the move, which will dynamically mobilize the muscles and get more blood to the important areas. On that note, here’s some guidance on dynamic stretches before running. They can also reduce the risk of cramps, fractures, and strains. You’ll fatigue earlier and have a higher perceived exertion than you would without stretching before the run. *Bonus: Try calf raises with your toes turned outward if they’re still feeling a little stiff. But what is dynamic stretching? Just running and never stretching is taking a risk and slowing down recovery. We definitely don’t want to reduce our running efficiency, but we also don’t want to launch into our run cold. Simply swing your leg at an angle across your body, then laterally out behind you. But it’s time to confront the conventional wisdom that runners need static stretching, especially before a run. We’ve got it all on video – take a look here. Aim to do 3 x sets. Multiply the effects of exercise & lose weight. This dynamic stretch is great for the glutes, hips, lower back, and lateral quad mobilization. A must for those who suffer from Achilles, calf, plantar fasciitis, and shin issues. Return to starting position, pressing up through your heel and engaging your glutes. If you’re going to run a fast, it’s good to do some dynamic stretches before running – that’s stretching on the move, which will dynamically mobilize the muscles and get more blood to the important areas. A dynamic warm-up is one that challenges every part of your body that you use to run. For some time, there have been plenty of conflicting perspectives on whether stretching has any benefits before working out. Static stretching was probably introduced to you when you first started running. Lift your opposite leg and swing it in front of you, then behind you, like a pendulum. 1. Engage your quads and extend your leg straight out, flexing your foot. Here are five of my favorite dynamic stretches for runners! Your body is a machine—your machine—and there are lots of moving parts. Increased mobility around the abductor/adductor muscle groups along with a stronger core. Eat real food. Here's how to get started with the Polar Running Program – it's personal, it's adaptive and it's free! You should feel a deep stretch in your hamstrings. For instance, researchers at Florida State University found that trained distance runners were roughly 5 percent less efficient and covered 3 percent shorter distances when they performed static stretches before their runs (2). Keeping your heels on the floor, raise your hips until they are in a straight line with your shoulders and knees. Warm up with these dynamic stretches before running and you’ll be off to a great start: A must for those who suffer with piriformis, runner’s knee, and IT Band issues. Before running: A short warm-up routine of dynamic stretching can help your muscles feel refreshed. Hell, you probably stretched before you ever went running! Ditch counting calories. That way you don’t have to struggle against your body during your run.” Check out all benefits of warming up before your run. Set compelling goals. Or should we simply jog for a few minutes at a slow pace and call it a day? 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