Stretching for Running

One thing that I hear from 90% of athletes is that they need to stretch more or if their training partner is sore they recommend them to stretch more.  I believe this is ill advised.

There is no evidence that stretching improves performance especially in for running.  From what I understand of the research is that when you stretch to the point of discomfort it can desensitize pain (well that sounds good!), but I believe it also desensitizes other receptors as well.  I have worked with a lot of clients (and noticed on my own body) who have stretched their hamstrings a lot because that is what they have been told to do and they end up with hamstrings that are not reactive- when a muscle is stretched at a certain speed it should then provide a strong contraction to produce movement.  People who overstretch lose this contractility which make their movement worse, and open up the doors for injury.  What I think helps keep tissues healthier is sustained deep pressure on muscles with a lacrosse ball.  You have likely used a foam roller or seen one being used, this is close to the right idea, but is never being used deep enough.  If you have sore joints with exercise and you rely on stretching, there is a better way to manage pain and improve performance.  If you would like to talk to the physical therapist and find out how to train smarter request a free call now.

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