Why stretch if there is no point?
Right: the stretching debate. We debated if we even wanted to go there, with all those conflicting ideas out there – often passionately defended as well. A wasps’ nest.
But after collating everything we could find, we’ve come to accept the latest (2015) evidence that seriously points towards ditching stretching altogether. Check this out:
Take, for example, a large analysis of multiple studies recently performed by scientists at the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. It found that runners who stretched were just as likely to be plagued with injuries as those who never bothered. Another study that looked at more than 1,500 serious male marathoners found that those who stretched on a regular basis — whether before or after a run — actually had 33 percent more injuries than those who didn’t, even taking things like age and average weekly mileage into account.
Lots of information we came across hesitantly concludes that your tendons don’t need to be all that pliable – most injuries are caused by the pounding of running, which stretching doesn’t do anything about.
There appears to be no reason to static stretch, especially if you’re concerned about performance or trying to heal up or prevent an injury.
What IS still deemed important, though, is warming up before your run. Just basically give your muscles some time to loosen up. Call it dynamic stretching if you wish to incorporate some specific movements into this first portion of your run. We’ll post some guidance on those, as soon as we had a chance to trial enough different ones.
On the next page we posted a neat video by TheSockDoc, who explains rather nicely what we believe might become the governing thinking on (static) stretching.
So Stop Stretching, and Click next to watch!