Stretch your limits

As you know, a few days after your run you can still have muscle stiffness. So when you recharge for today’s run, you might think, i need to stretch! The question is, is this useful just before you go for a run?

Stretching is an important part of training. It keeps your body flexible and mobile. Yet you often hear that stretching can have a negative effect on performance. In recent years, there has been much debate about the usefulness of stretching exercises. In the article below, we will tell you what the use of stretching is and when it is best to do it.

Two ways of stretching

First, it is important to know that there are roughly two different types of shelving:

  • Static stretching; This is when you holds a stretch for more than a few seconds.
  • Dynamic stretching; This is when you holds a stretch just a few seconds and repeat this a few times.

When we talk about stretching, it is often seen as a synonym for static stretching. This can cause confusion. The two different shapes each have a different effect on your muscles.

Static stretching

Static stretching immediately provides (temporary) pain relief and greater flexibility. Regular static stretching exercises for several weeks will help maintain greater flexibility, improve explosive strength and improve sports performance. In the longer term, this is what you want!

There are only negative voices about static stretching. Immediately after holding a stretch (and even up to 24 hours after that!), A muscle has less explosive strength and endurance. This will negatively affect your performance and you have an extra chance of getting an injury. Of course you do not want this if you are just before an important match.

It is therefore not recommended to stretch statically before a race or running training. Afterwards or on rest days it is good to stretch your muscles statically. This relaxes the muscles, provides temporary relief from pain and increases the flexibility of your muscles. It also helps to detect any injury early. You can feel this because the stretch feeling is sharper than normal.

Dynamic stretching

Dynamic stretching also increases flexibility, but also activates the muscle fibers. You prepare your muscles for action, as it were. You can use dynamic stretching during your warm-up. Because dynamic stretching exercises often also have to do with balance and coordination, these are extra useful to do before the warm-up. This way you ensure that not only your body, but also your head is ready for the performance.

So what should you do?

Just before your run or race, prepare your body with the dynamic stretching exercises as shown below:

After the running race / training or on rest days, you can stretch statically. This increases the flexibility of your muscles without affecting your performance. Flexibility is important throughout the runners whole body. The following static stretches are good to do regularly.

Such as, for example: