The Importance of Dynamic and Static Stretches

Before you go outside for your run, remember that it is essential to prepare your body for the challenge it is about to take on. Give yourself an extra 5 to 10 minutes to perform a dynamic warm-up prior to your run or work out. A balanced dynamic warm-up is the best way to increase blood flow to the muscles and warm up your fast twitch muscle fibers through quick stretches. A few examples of exercises include walking high knees, kicks, hamstring and quadriceps stretches, mountain climbers, forward and sideways bodyweight squats and lunges. The walking stretches should be held for approximately 3 to 10 seconds.

Static stretching should be emphasized after your run or workout. The idea of static stretching is to lengthen the muscles to its end range and hold the position for 15 to 60 seconds. The purpose of this is to increase the end range length of your muscles. You do not want to do this before running because your muscles will fire slower due to the long sustained stretches. Once you have increased the length of your muscles, it is most important to strengthen your muscles in its new range of flexibility. Performing strengthening exercises targeting the gluteus muscles, hamstrings, quadriceps, and gastrocnemius (calf) muscles will increase your endurance and speed while running! Next time you go out for a morning run, remember to take care of the body you were given. Prevent muscle strains and overuse injuries by properly warming up and cooling down your muscles!

You Might Also Enjoy...

Scapular Winging

Scapular winging is a condition wherein the shoulder blade moves excessively away from its normal position on the thoracic region of the back. This can cause pain and weakness as well as loss of function and can be a problem cosmetically.