Is Stretching Necessary Prior To Running?... - The Physio Revolution

Is Stretching Necessary Prior To Running?…

If you consider yourself a novice or “weekend warrior” runner and you DO NOT warm up prior to running or have questions about what to do, then this article is perfect for you!

Many runners ask me if stretching is “essential” to warm up for running shorter distances (since they feel the distance is shorter, running is like warming up, and it’s a “waste of time”). 

Here’s what I know:

If you look at ALL professional athletes of ANY type of sport, they do not show up to the field, track, gym, or event 5 – 10 minutes before and just take the field ready to have the game of their life.  They come 2-3 HOURS before their main event to prepare. There is NO DOUBT that what they do (since they are top of the top athletes) is effective and helps them in the longevity of maintaining their body within their sport. 

We should think no differently for ourselves (no we don’t need 2-3 hours!), even if we are just a novice runner, experienced or “in shape”. We need 10-15 minutes of a a gentle warm-up as well before running. 

This creates the start of sufficient blood flow to our muscles and joints with targeting stretches and dynamic movements that help runners. Just like our minds “need” coffee in the morning to warm-up, our muscles could use a little introduction to what you are expecting of them.

Stretching, therefore, is a common question we get.  As you may have already guessed, I’m 100% on board. Below, you’ll learn some of my favorite stretches to help open up your hips, get your calves limber, and prevent knee pain while running.

4 great stretches to do in the park to avoid knee pain while running:

Hip Flexor Stretch:

Hip Adductor Stretch:

Thread the Needle:

Gastroc/Soleus Complex:

One of our most precise way to help you find out more about your running limitations with pain is via our Full Head to Toe Running Analysis. We gain insight of your patterns via a physical assessment of strength, flexibility, loads, recovery… along with tools to gather a baseline of your cadence, vertical oscillation, heart rate, running videos, angles assessed, and so much more!

With this data, we compile the most relevant issues appearing in your running patterns that are resulting in pain or difficulty with hitting your mile pace you desire. We’ll coach you, guide you, and help you achieve your running goals from our Specialized PT who is an avid runner herself.

Interested in a running analysis?  CLICK HERE to find out more or Schedule a Call to Get an Appointment with one of our team members here.


Brooke Olsen

Brooke Olsen

Co-Founder, Director of Physical Therapy
Brooke is a physical therapist, director of physical therapy, and co-founder at The Physio Revolution. She has worked with professional athletes from Olympic level and recreational weekend warriors to others who are in need of regaining their independence and mobility back in their everyday life. Brooke works extensively with all of the PT’s and spends a vast amount of her time ensuring our treatment plans keep pace with the rapid advancements that make physical therapy so effective and such a ‘go-to’ profession for people aged 45+.
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