Stretching plays a huge role into your ability to perform athletically, so the more you stretch, the more optimal athletic performance you'll have. Before running, you need to stretch your muscles, so they're prepared for the physical endeavors you're about to put your body through.
You need to make sure your body is warmed up before you start the stretching process of your running regime. Keep reading for a stretch breakdown, so you understand the importance of stretching before running for miles at a time.
If you want to make the most of what stretching provides, you should consider stretching when your muscle fibers are warmed up. Warm muscle fibers allow you to stretch gradually without causing any severe damage.
In fact, stretching a muscle that’s cold will result in your muscle fibers tearing. This cold muscle tear will cause you to have an increased stiffness that will negatively impact your running capabilities.
Before you stretch, you should perform a concise warm up that consists of about 10 minutes of cardio that varies in intensity. If you don't want to perform any physical activity, you can decide to warm your muscles by taking the route that requires less labor.
Another way to warm up your muscles before a stretch would be to take a hot bath or use a sauna to loosen up your muscle fibers efficiently.
There are two primary forms of stretching that runners most commonly use as a pre-run workout. Please be reminded that your muscles need to be slightly warm before you start stretching since cold muscles are guaranteed to cause injuries that will limit your ability to run.
When you perform dynamic stretches before your run, you have the potential to increase your muscle length as well as properly preparing your muscles for vigorous physical activity. Another form, called static stretches, which you perform after dynamic stretches, work to help relax your muscles and restore your muscles to its natural resting size.
Stretches before running directly help to improve blood flow and also works to provide lubrication for both joints and muscles. The ability for stretching to lubricate your muscles and joints makes it the number one reason as to why it helps avoid you from sustaining any injuries.
Dynamic stretching requires you to move your joints in a large yet varied range of movements in a repetitive and rhythmic pattern. Typical dynamic stretching exercises involve a lot of body movements, but they need to be performed correctly.
A dynamic stretching exercise that's a runner's go-to stretch would be a forward and backward leg swing. Even during track and field events, you are guaranteed to see athletes performing this back and forth leg swing. This is because leg swings lubricate your groin muscle area so you can perform a vast range of movements without pulling a muscle.
You can correctly perform a leg swing by following these simple steps.
Once you're finished completing your dynamic stretches, you can begin to add static stretches to your stretching routine. Most amateur runners tend to forget to combine dynamic and static stretching since little of them know what the proper stretches for runners to follow are.
The best leg stretch you can achieve before a run would be a static stretch. A static stretch consists of extending your muscle to its maximum length and holding it there for a certain time frame. People generally hold their muscles for around 15 to 60 seconds to gain the most out of a static stretch.
Hopefully, your questions regarding whether or not should you stretch before running have been answered. Ultimately, stretching before a run saves you time and money since you prevent many injuries you could sustain after a run.
As a final note, the best leg stretch you can perform before and after a run would be static stretches, but dynamic stretches play a pivotal part in preparing your muscles before you go out for a run.
There's no set way as to how to stretch before running, so you should find the stretching exercises that best suit your body's needs. As long as you follow the general guidelines for both static and dynamic stretches, you can run feeling worry-free.