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Running warm up: dynamic or static?

Added:  8th July 2019

When I ask my injured runners what sort of warm up they do before their running the reaction is sort of ashamed in case they don’t do any, or in the best case they proudly admit doing the classic, old school “static stretch”.

In both cases what I add to their clinic file is “Does not do any warm up – running specific”.

One of the reasons why I am so passionate about providing Sport Physiotherapy and Running Rehabilitation services in Edinburgh is that I can make a huge difference in my patients’ experience.

After years of practising and keeping up to date with latest researches the conclusion is that long distance runners may be best reducing their warm-up routine to a low-intensity and removing stretching practices completely.

During my consultation at the clinic and when I teach other professional Running rehabilitation I explain that

Stretching before long run:

  • reduces mechanical efficiency of the lower body
  • has the ability to strain the muscle
  • provides no relevant assistance in the reduction of chronic overuse injuries

What should be advised instead is:

  • performing progressive dynamic warm up
  • choosing training programmes to enhance performance and prevent injuries
  • treating each injury individually and understanding risk factors (i.e. extensive mileage)

Does it sounds too complicated?

Nothing like that. A proper running warm up made of dynamic exercises can take up to 2 minutes, it is fun and increases your heart rate so you are ready to run!

In addition, cross and interval training may be techniques used to reduce weekly mileage and the likeliness of overuse injuries.


Luca V. Piazza (Msk & Sport Physiotherapy Consultant)


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