Dynamic vs static stretching- what's better before a run?

Dynamic vs. static stretching- what's better before a run?

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Just what type of stretching is best before a run? Brad McIntosh and the expert team at Sydney Physiotherapy Solutions give us the low-down on what stretches are best pre-run.

We've known for a while that dynamic stretching is beneficial as it increases muscle and joint temperatures and can 'switch on' muscles ready for action.

The muscle firing rates increase in order to prepare your body for exercise. Exactly what you want pre run!

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On the flip side, there is increasing evidence that static stretching can result in a decrease in performance due in part to a reduction in the amount of force produced by a muscle.

In fact, some evidence suggests that over stretching a muscle means that this force reduction lasts for up to an hour after stretching. Therefore, it’s probably best to save the static stretching for after a run, this is when you want your muscles to relax - when the job's done!

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Dynamic stretches to do before running

  • Calves - heel drops off step, heel walking
  • Tibialis anterior (front of shin) - toe walking
  • Hip flexors, glutes, hamstrings - lunge-walking whilst maintaining good pelvic alignment
  • Quads - heel to butt kicks
  • Hamstrings - high knee marches
  • Arms/shoulders/trunk - arm swings in standing, maintaining trunk control

This article first appeared on Sydney Physiotherapy Solutions


Sydney Physiotherapy Solutions is a group of leading Physiotherapy clinics, based in the Sydney CBD and Chatswood.

Dr Brad McIntosh and the team at Sydney Physiotherapy Solutions are our 'go-to' physios for the Blackmores Sydney Running Festival.

For more information, see the Sydney Physiotherapy Solutions website.