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Infographic running myth: static stretching reduces injury risk in runners

PainSci » bibliography » Alexander et al 2020
Tags: stretch, running, injury, debunkery, exercise, self-treatment, treatment, muscle, pain problems

One article on PainSci cites Alexander 2020: Quite a Stretch

PainSci notes on Alexander 2020:

This is a review in infographic form that declares that the research “definitively” shows that the belief in stretching as injury prevention for runners is wrong. I don’t really think it’s “definitive,” because that’s a high bar, but I mostly agree.

I can’t include the infographic here (because copyright), but you can easily find it with a search.

original abstract Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.

It is a commonly held belief that static stretching plays an important role in improving running performance and decreasing injury risk. As such static stretching, undertaken as part of a ‘warm-up’ prior to running, at the end of a run or as part of a strength training programme, is a common practice among runners of all levels. Static stretching involves lengthening a muscle to the point at which a gentle tension is felt and remaining in this position, typically for a minimum of 30 seconds per stretch.

Current research evidence definitively reports that this belief is, in fact, incorrect.

This page is part of the PainScience BIBLIOGRAPHY, which contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers & others sources. It’s like a highly specialized blog. A few highlights: