Warm up Stretching

Whilst research evidence is unclear as to the benefits of pre-exercise stretching in terms of injury avoidance and performance, a strong case for inclusion can still be made for preparing the skeletal muscle for the main workout for the following reasons:

  1. Increases body awareness at the start of the session
  2. Provides a sense of the limits of range of movement at that moment in time & in that environment
  3. Allows your mind to focus on posture, balance and body control, skills which are important as you start your run
  4. Rehearse the skill of stretching (albeit for a shorter period of time; 6-10 seconds) which will be an important aspect at the end of your workout

Static Stretching

As the name suggests, this is performed by moving into a position of muscular stretch, and then holding it. In the warm-up, static stretches are held for approximately 6-10 seconds and range is to your muscles point of tension.

Dynamic Stretching

This involves gradually taking a muscle towards the limit of its range in a way that involves constant motion. The Dynamic Stretch should start with a small range of movement, and build towards the end of the muscle range in comfort as the muscle becomes warmer and more pliable.

Based on your level of skill, experience and preference, you should choose either dynamic or static warm up stretches.

Muscles that are pertinent to stretch (following your warm up) either through dynamic or static stretching prior to running are:

  • Calves (Gastrocnemius & Soleus)
  • Thighs (Quadriceps)
  • Hamstring
  • Hip Flexors (Iliopsoas)
  • Obliques
  • Lower Back (Erector Spinae)
  • Back (Latissimus Dorsi)
  • Upper Back & Neck (Trapezius)
  • Chest (Pectoralis Major)
  • Shoulders (Deltoid)