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Thursday
Feb172011

Study: Stretching Before Running Doesn't Prevent Injury

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(SAN DIEGO) -- Despite the common perception that stretching before exercising prevents injury, this theory doesn't seem to hold true for runners, according to a new study released Thursday.

Authors of the study looked at 2,729 runners who run 10 or more miles per week, assigning about half of them to stretch for three-to-five minutes just prior to exercising, while the rest were told not to stretch before working out.  After observing the runners for three months, researchers found there was no difference in injury rates among runners who stretched before a run compared to those who didn’t.

The researchers did, however, find there was a 40 percent increase in injury rates among runners who normally stretched but were assigned to the no-stretch group, suggesting that switching from a pre-run stretching routine to a non-stretching routine could potentially increase injuries.

The study, conducted by USA Track and Field and Simon Fraser University, was presented at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons meeting in San Diego.

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