Sports Physical Therapy in Hauppauge

Stretching For Runners in Smithtown, NY

5 dynamic and 5 static stretches

Total of 10 stretches for runners

As the weather continues to improve and gyms remain closed, gym goers are finding themselves running and walking outside more frequently. It is important to go outdoors and enjoy the increased sun and temperature. Being outside raises endorphins, increases vitamin D and provides all health benefits related to increased exercise. However, with this change and/or increase in activity, can come injuries if proper precautions are not taken. Your body is not used to running outside and quarantine has led to greater sitting and increased time being sedentary. Therefore, it is crucial to stretch properly before and after walking, running and exercise. Stretching for runners is pivotal for success. 

Below we have outlined a dynamic stretch warm-up, as well as cool down stretches everyone should do following running and/or exercise. Dynamic warm-up is used prior to exercise to safely initiate muscle activation and circulation. It is important to note, static stretching should not be performed before running. Static stretching can actually inhibit muscle contraction and power. However, it is essential to perform static stretching following activity to cool down muscles, prevent soreness and improve tissue recovery. Think about it – you just used those muscles for 30 minutes, which means they were continually shortened. If you do not stretch them, they are going to adapt in this shorter state and get tighter. Tight muscles can create a cascade of issues that can contribute to pain and injury. Our physical therapists in Smithtown, NY have done the work for you to create a great pre-run and post-run mobility routine to keep you safe. Check them out below!


Dynamic Warm-Up Stretching for Runners:

A dynamic warm-up consists of controlled active stretching of muscles. It uses movement to provide safe stretching for runners and their muscles. It is not like its counterpart static stretching (most people think of this when they think of stretching) which maintains a muscle in a prolonged stretch. Below are 5 dynamic stretches to activate lower extremity muscles.  Perform each for ~1-2 minutes and follow it with jogging -> running progression.


Static Cool Down Stretching for Runners:

As mentioned previously, a static stretching routine following activity is crucial. Stretching for runners after continuous activation of muscles allows for better recovery, decreased soreness and less injury. Below are five important stretches to perform following activity. Perform each stretch at least 30 seconds, 3 times. The longer the stretch the better, and do not go to point of pain.