Should You Stretch Before Running? An Expert Weighs In

Should You Stretch Before Running? An Expert Weighs In

You jump out of bed, throw on shorts and a shirt, lace up your running shoes and head for the front door. You’re ready to hit the trails and log some miles. But should you stretch first?

You’ve probably heard that it’s good to stretch before any physical activity to help prevent injury, and that can be true, but there has been debate on whether to stretch before running.

According to a 2014 study, static stretching—stretching where you’re holding a single non-moving position from 10 to 20 seconds—can actually have a negative effect on your strength and power. This matters most for sprinters, but other studies have found that stretching pre-run can also hinder running economy for distance runners, and there’s no concrete evidence that it can reduce delayed onset muscle soreness, or DOMS.

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