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Infographic running myth: static stretching reduces injury risk in runners
  1. James L N Alexander1,
  2. Christian J Barton1,2,
  3. Richard W Willy3
  1. 1Sports and Excercise Medicine Research Centre, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  2. 2Department of Surgery, St Vincent's Hospital, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  3. 3Physical Therapy and Movement Science, University of Montana, Missoula, Montana, USA
  1. Correspondence to James L N Alexander, La Trobe Sports and Excercise Research Centre, La Trobe University, Melbourne, VIC 3086, Australia; j.alexander{at}latrobe.edu.au

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It is a commonly held belief that static stretching plays an important role in improving running performance and decreasing injury risk.1 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.2

Current research evidence definitively reports that this belief is, in fact, incorrect (figure 1).3 4

Figure 1

Figure 1Infographic

Running places significantly high loads through the joints and soft tissues of the body. As a result, runners are at …

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