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