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Stretching Before Running Doesn't Prevent Injury and May Make You Slower

Before a Run, to Stretch or Not?

I have never been a fan of stretching before a run and prefer a dynamic warmup instead. I like to get my blood moving first and save the stretching for a post-run treat. I also feel like stretching a cold muscle can lead to pulls and tears in the tissue. There's another camp that feels quite the opposite: that not stretching before running can cause muscle injury. Well a new study proves us all wrong.

Orthopaedic surgeon Danial Perelas designed the stretching study involving 2,729 runners all with weekly mileage over 10 miles. The runners were assigned to either a stretching or non-stretching group, which required some participants to change their warmup routine and either add stretching or skip it. Unfortunately, the change in routine, rather than stretching or skipping the stretching, proved to be the biggest liability. Runners who altered their routine were more likely to suffer injury. Stretching before a run doesn't prevent injury, but it doesn't really cause it either; what matters most is what your body is used to.

How do you warm up before a run?

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