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Stretching Before Running Decreases Endurance

Discussion in 'Biomechanics, Sports and Foot orthoses' started by NewsBot, Sep 8, 2010.

  1. NewsBot

    NewsBot The Admin that posts the news.


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    Press Release:
    Stretching Before Running May Lower Endurance
  2. NewsBot

    NewsBot The Admin that posts the news.

    Effects of Static Stretching on Energy Cost and Running Endurance Performance
    Wilson, Jacob M; Hornbuckle, Lyndsey M; Kim, Jeong-Su; Ugrinowitsch, Carlos; Lee, Sang-Rok; Zourdos, Michael C; Sommer, Brian; Panton, Lynn B
    Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research. 24(9):2274-2279, September 2010.
  3. markjohconley

    markjohconley Well-Known Member

    Try to tell this to your local boys soccer team coaches and they give you the "what does he know" face, and try to mention the benefits of dynamic stretches and it's "we never did them"
  4. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    I always remember what the late Percy Cerutty (coached Herb Elliot to Olympic gold and world records in the 1960's) said about warming up before competition. He never believed in it. His evidence for that was rabbits do not warm up and they can run very fast! .... maybe he was right.
  5. BEN-HUR

    BEN-HUR Well-Known Member

    Interesting findings. I have suspected this could be the case - at least for myself anyway. I inadvertently noticed similar results during training sessions where I have been in a rush & didn't have time to stretch - practically just ran out the front door or from the car & started running. I just sensed more strength & efficiency during these time constrained training sessions.

    Whilst I thought that the act of not stretching could have something to do with it, I thought that the adrenalin from being in a rush was the prime factor. However, knowing now about the leg stiffness phenomenon it does make sense that performing static stretches before exercise will affect this state. As mentioned dynamic (or ballistic as termed by the East Germans) stretches are probably better for you for the shorter distances where more speed is involved, thus more range of motion needed, thus a higher chance of injury if muscles/tendons are not sufficiently conditioned for the speed & joint ROM required.

    Percy had some profound logic back then. An eccentric character who had good insight on training & physiology.
  6. JB1973

    JB1973 Active Member

    morning all,
    like Ben Hur i also noticed this by accident. i am a keen amatuer runner (under 1:40 for half and under 4:00 for full marathon - the kenyans are safe:D) and pre-kids i used to stretch etc before running but as they came along and time was limited i was going out whenever i got spare time and the stretching got binned. started to find that i wasnt getting injured at all and wee niggles that i had didnt really bother me anymore. i use my first couple of minutes out to do some bounding, lunges etc and then i'm off.
    obviously this is a research project with a cohort of 1 (me) but its interesting none the less.

  7. Dana Roueche

    Dana Roueche Well-Known Member

    Great, a study that supports something I've known for years but now it's official. Of course if I had shared this wisdom beforehand, it would have been dismissed as anecdotal and lacking supporting evidence.

    Dana, who is relieved the world now knows about something that experienced runners have known for 30 yrs.
  8. This study used a 16 minute stretching period before the run, which is quite a bit more than I ever did (or nearly any of the other runners I competed with did) before any of my running workouts or my races during my years of competing. I would doubt that 1 minute of light gastrocnemius-soleus and hamstring stretches following a brief warmup will decrease performance which is the usual amount done by many competetive runners before a race. Taking 16 minutes to stretch, to me, seems like an excessive amount, especially before competitiion. Also, this study does not look at injury rates which is another reason why one may want to suggest stretching before running or racing. I will still recommend 1-2 minutes of stretching to my athletic patients, but would never recommend 16 minutes of stretching before a workout or race since I think that duration of stretching is excessive.
  9. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    I do recall reading a study that showed that stretching before exercise does not prevent injury. That does not mean you should not stretch as it has other benefits, its just stretching immediately prior to exercise did not lower the injury rate (if I recall the study correctly).
  10. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15076777

    commentary here:

    Another meta-analysis here

    Lots of refs within this paper:
  11. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    Agreed. Its always good when research confirms what we beleive and what we do.... the cognitive dissonance problems develop when the well designed research shows the opposite.

    Off topic, but I wrestling with this issue big time at the moment. There is something that is commonly used in clinical pactice; we have a thread on it here at Podiatry Arena; I use it clinically; I teach it at the Boot Camps; a number of uncontrolled studies shows it probably works; the data from some poorly done RCT's have reported mixed results. I am privy to the results of a very well done long term RCT that shows it does not work (I privy to it as I was involved - we can't release the results yet) .... BUT, what is one to do when confronted with this .... I have no hair left as its all fallen out ..... it will be posted on Podiatry Arena the instant the results are ready for release.

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