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Pedaling Fool
04-16-2010, 14:24
When I first heard about this on the local news (last night) I thought it was a bunch of crap, but they made it sound as if stretching (any stretching) was a bad thing. However after reading the attached article, it makes sense. http://runningtimes.com/Article.aspx?ArticleID=19229

Basically, they are saying refrain from doing static stretching prior to an activity, such as running, because it can rob you of performance. However, there is a place for static stretching, just not a good prep for a run, especially one in which performance is important -- for this dynamic stretching seems best.

An Excerpt:


"Jimmy Fallon once said, "Don't keep reaching for the stars because you'll just look like an idiot stretching that way for no reason."

"Turns out he may be right. New research indicates that the flexibility that is a by-product of pre-run static stretching may be a biomechanical factor that hurts running economy, which is a measure of your overall efficiency. Do something to worsen your running economy before a race or workout, and you're going to go slower. That's why growing numbers of elites have eliminated static stretching before their most important runs and replaced it with a series of dynamic stretching exercises."



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Deadeye
04-16-2010, 15:39
simply put, don't static stretch cold muscles

Kerosene
04-16-2010, 16:29
Not a problem for me, as I always hated to stretch before activity. Of course, it does really help if you do your stretching after the workout instead of just collapsing in a heap or chugging a beer!

Spokes
04-16-2010, 17:07
Thanks John. I've never stretched before long runs or hikes, rather afterward. just felt better. Of course, using "the stick" always helped too!

Here's another article (http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2010-04-15-stretching-muscles_N.htm) along the same lines.

Pedaling Fool
04-16-2010, 17:30
simply put, don't static stretch cold muscles
That’s not what I got from the article. To me that’s a separate issue, which I agree with, however, what they’re saying is that performing STATIC stretching prior to an activity, such as running, (regardless if you’re "warmed-up") can reduce/impede your performance. Static (as opposed to dynamic) stretching should be done only after the activity or other times not prior to running, hiking, biking…

garlic08
04-16-2010, 17:42
I stopped stretching about 10 years ago and haven't had a pulled muscle since, while I suffered from them occasionally before. Either I was stretching wrong, which is very possible, or stretching was bad for me and my activities. In the past few years I've heard about this idea several times. I wish I'd heard it about 30 years ago.

Egads
04-16-2010, 17:44
That’s not what I got from the article. To me that’s a separate issue, which I agree with, however, what they’re saying is that performing STATIC stretching prior to an activity, such as running, (regardless if you’re "warmed-up") can reduce/impede your performance. Static (as opposed to dynamic) stretching should be done only after the activity or other times not prior to running, hiking, biking…

This is a better summary of the article. It doesn't really matter unless you are about to run a race.

Kerosene
04-16-2010, 18:04
I stopped stretching about 10 years ago and haven't had a pulled muscle since, while I suffered from them occasionally before. Either I was stretching wrong, which is very possible, or stretching was bad for me and my activities. In the past few years I've heard about this idea several times. I wish I'd heard it about 30 years ago.I used to pull hamstrings all the time before I heard about the Detroit Red Wings emphasis on hydration. Basically, they forced players to drink a lot more water than they typically did and found that there were many fewer muscle pulls, especially in training. It's been 5 years since I started to drink 16-32 ounces a few hours before a game, and the only two times I've pulled muscles were when I failed to follow the regimen.

Rambler
04-16-2010, 22:32
I use active isolated stretching taught to me by a physical therapist when I had lower back pain:

http://www.stretchingusa.com/aboutAIS.cfm

ragincajun
04-18-2010, 07:20
im very pro pre stretching 15 min before heading out 5 min at lunchtime and another 10 at end of day stay limber dont forget to use often neglected muscles in upper body on long distance hike ,crunches,pushups excersises for arms shoulders etc using your backpack as the weights it will lower chance of upper body strains in case of emergency need of your power and prevent unwanted muscle loss in upper body

JJJ
04-19-2010, 09:45
I run a mile or two easy, then stretch, finish the run and stretch again immediately after running.

Camping Dave
05-12-2010, 22:08
I haven't stretched since last October. Feel just fine before, during, and after running!

CherrypieScout
05-12-2010, 23:09
Lots of research in this area. Dynamic stretching is best before exercise. Static after exercise.

Tinker
05-13-2010, 00:13
simply put, don't static stretch cold muscles

Never did - never made sense to me. I figured that a cold muscle, when stretched, would tend to react by contracting, becoming tighter than before the stretch was begun. I have always warmed up slowly, and, once warm, did some stretches (during hiking). This seems to help quite a bit.
A few times I've met hikers at road crossings on their long hikes and attempted to keep up with them (they were already warmed up). Muscle cramps were usually the result of starting cold and pushing hard.

double d
05-13-2010, 09:03
I run a mile or two easy, then stretch, finish the run and stretch again immediately after running.

How long do you hold the stretch? 5 sec.-10 sec., does it depend on the muscle group your stretching? I always seem to vary my stretching times.

JAK
05-13-2010, 10:44
Thanks for the articles John. I joined our local track team last year with my daughter and learned alot I didn't know about running. Being older teaches you alot about running also. lol

Warmup:
I warm up a bit differently from the younger athletes. Basically I need alot more time to warm up. Even for my slow runs, I will start by walking the first mile. For the track workouts, for which I need to be alot more careful, I walk a mile to the track, then I slow jog a mile, then I am ready to join the others for their warmup which consists of 2 or 3 laps of progressively faster but still easy running, then so dynamic stretching.

Dynamic Stretching:
For dynamic stretching we do leg swings. Holding onto a fence or something, we swing our legs back and forth, sometimes with the knee bent to emphasize the back kick, sometimes more straight. Also to the side in a circle or figure eight. Usually 10 swings per type of swing and 3 types per leg. I often do more than 10, but I have to be careful not to go too far. We then to drills, which are still part of warmup and part of stretching, and then some strides before we do our interval workouts.

Drills:
For drills we do the ABC drills, usually either marching or skipping, some do them running.
A: High Knee
B: Butt Kicks
C: High Knee with a foot kick and sweep.

Strides:
Strides are basically fast running of 50-100m, but with a running start, so you don't overdue the accelleration and decelleration. Also they are done very relaxed, like you would try to relax the middle of a 400m to 3000m race, so they are usually not done faster than a 400M pace. That seems to be a good rule of thumb for me also, not to try and run harder than a 400m pace, which for me is rather slow anyway but its all relative.

Speed Workouts:
I am still base training mostly, and just going to track to be there with my daughter mostly, so I often skip the speed workouts themselves, or do more easy swings, drills, or strides. If I do some intervals I will start them off at a 3000m pace, and maybe progress towards a 400m pace. I am still working on flexibility and range of motion and I learned from last summer when I started this to ease into the speed work very carefully.

Static Stretching:
We do these at the end of our track workouts. I also do them on my own the rest of the week. I am seeing a physiotherapist for some calf and hip issues and she gave me a whole list of stretches. I try not to do them cold, but I will do them after a hot bath, or in the middle of a long walk. I do them somewhat more aggressively if I am well warmed up.

The real key is to try and be well warmed up for everything, and do everything very gradually, but consistently. It is possible to run everyday, as long as some days are just a little. If I don't feel up for a run I will at least go for a walk. I still walk alot even though I am running alot. I got up to 10 hours of running per week, all easy but with hills, and still walked 6 hours a week. Since outdoor track started I have gotten myself somewhat beat up again and I am not entirely sure whether it was the speed work, or that the easy running was too much volume. Probably a little of both.

It is really hard to figure out what is injury and what is just soreness and how much is too much even when it feels ok, and how much is too little even when you are somewhat stiff. Its a long learning process, and it changes every year, but its lots of fun. Everyone is different also, so you learn from others but you still have to figure things out for yourself.

PennyPincher
08-05-2010, 22:11
That’s not what I got from the article. To me that’s a separate issue, which I agree with, however, what they’re saying is that performing STATIC stretching prior to an activity, such as running, (regardless if you’re "warmed-up") can reduce/impede your performance. Static (as opposed to dynamic) stretching should be done only after the activity or other times not prior to running, hiking, biking…


Static stretching is a way to "down regulate" your system or "power down." Dynamic warmup on the other hand is a way to "up regulate" or "power up" the system and get the nervous system firing which in turn controls the muscles and increases performance for activities. Just watch sprinters, baseball players or gymnasts (etc.) prepare for competition. 90% of the time you will see them performing a series of light activities to get the systems firing. Often these activities will imitate parts of teh activities they will be performing later. Usually if you see them stretching something it is a muscle that needs to be loose in order to get a better contraction from an opposing muscle OR they have an "injury" of some type.