Most runners need to run to feel normal, happy and healthy. So, it makes sense to do what you can to increase the longevity of your ability to run, because one day you won’t be able to anymore. If you commit to stretching regularly, you will improve your flexibility over time and reduce the risk of injuring yourself.
Stretching will also help with endurance, as it improves circulation, ensuring oxygen reaches your working muscles. However, knowing how and when to stretch is vital to improving your runs, protecting your muscles and joints and improving overall health.
Before You Run:
Don’t Static Stretch Before You Run
Most of us grew up playing soccer, football or basketball and huddling in a group on the floor to stretch before each session. Youth may have saved us then, but it can be damaging to your muscles to static stretch before having warmed up properly.
Dynamic stretching resembles real movement more than static stretching does, which makes it much better for your body pre-workout. It’s a great way warm your muscles up and improve your range of motion before exercise. Try 10 to 15 minutes of dynamic stretches to warm your muscles before running, including movements such as straight-leg lateral swings, and alternating side lunges.
Walking Lunges opening up your major leg muscles and hip flexors, which are prone to tightening when running. They also simulate the forward motion of running which make them particularly useful as a running warm-up.…