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  • Writer's pictureKevin Kapka, PT, DPT

Runners: Static or Dynamic Stretching?

Updated: Oct 10, 2023

What is static vs dynamic stretching?

Static stretching is the act of holding a muscle near its end range position for a period of time, generally lasting longer than 15-30 seconds. Dynamic stretching is active movement creating ranges of motion. Both are thought to help prepare the body for activity, enhance performance, and decrease risk of injury. However, the debate on which is better has been a topic for many years.

What is best for running?

A new study performed in 2021 by Faelli et. al demonstrated that both static and dynamic stretching may improve running economy, which is the “defined as the energy demand for a given velocity of submaximal running”. The more economical you are in your running, the less energy required, plain and simple. It was also shown that perceived exertion was improved by both static and dynamic stretching. However, it appears that dynamic stretching may be more effective due to its effects on “core temperature, increase in nerve conduction velocity, muscle compliance, and central drive”. Dynamic stretching also forces the runner to produce movement into positions that simulate running. In conclusion, if you’re an amateur runner, either way of stretching is appropriate according to this study, however it appears that dynamic movements create a slight advantage due to its added benefits. If you are in the Mission Viejo area and think you, or someone you know, might benefit from physical therapy, please don’t hesitate to reach out!

Faelli, E.; Panascì, M.; Ferrando, V.; Bisio, A.; Filipas, L.; Ruggeri, P.; Bove, M. The Effect of Static and Dynamic Stretching during Warm-Up on Running Economy and Perception of Effort in Recreational Endurance Runners. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 8386.

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