As physiotherapists, it's often our job to advise and educate clients on injury prevention and on the right way to maintain mobility. There is a growing body of evidence that static stretching is ineffective at both of these things, and it continues to be a controversial topic.
So how should we be advising runners and other athletes who include stretching as part of their regular workout routine?
Two physiotherapists in the US, Doug Perkins and Anthony Carroll give the following easy-to-follow advice to clients:
- Don’t: Do Static Stretches Before a Run
- Don’t: Only Stretch Before or After Your Run
- Don’t: Hold a Stretch for More Than a Minute
- Don’t: Try Ballistic Stretching
- Don’t: Stretch Through Pain
- Don’t: Expect Stretching to Completely Protect You From Injury
- Don’t: Stretch an Area Just Because It “Feels Tight”
They also break down "Why it’s bad" and "What to do instead" for each point in an article for Runner's World. Read it here.