Static sustained stretches are designed to hold a position for a joint/muscle. Research suggests that holding the position for 30–60 seconds will increase flexibility in the tissue; conversely, done prior to activity, static stretching may actually inhibit the muscle’s ability to fire. For an activity such as running these static stretches are best performed at the end of the run and dynamic stretches are best for warm up.
Try these before you run:
Leg swings: Stand sideways next to a wall, and swing outside leg forward and back, increasing height each time.
Walking lunge: Perform deep walking lunges to stretch the hips, keep the knees behind the toes.
Heel kicks: Lightly jog, trying to touch your buttock with one heel at a time.
Side steps: Side step, alternating crossing one leg in front, then behind, twisting your torso as you go.