How many times have you asked yourself "How should I stretch before a run"? What is the best way to stay away from injuries? While everyone has a little different variation that might work best for them, let's take a general look at different types of stretching and how they might apply...
Balistic Stretching- When stretching was first a thing, many times balistic stretching was probably involved in some way. The idea was to bounce the stretch to extend the muscle and give a greater range of motion. Most experts now recommend staying far away from this method as it can lead to over extension to muscles. Especially to those muscles that are cold first thing in the morning and after sitting for awhile.
Static Stretch- This is a stretch that is held for 30 seconds - two minutes. This gradually elongates muscles, giving greater flexibility over time. While I think there are certainly benefits to static stretches, recent research has shown a decrease in running efficiency with a more flexible muscle.
Dynamic Stretching- So what if I told you there was a way to turn on specific running muscles right when you needed them? Kind of like walking into a room that you needed to be in and turning on the lights of that room. Well that's what we are doing with dynamic stretching. While there are multiple great dynamic stretches, I'll use the space below to use a couple of great videos. I use this exact routine daily and it works wonders. This first video utilizes the Type A Addaday tool which increases blood flow to the running muscles. It's an incredible tool. The second video from Runner's World shows some great moves to make sure you are ready to go! These work specific muscle groups that are used for running without overextending. Just what you need when you need it. If you can incorporate these, especially before you get to running, I feel confident you'll be looser, more efficient and a faster runner!