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With event day just around the corner, there is no better time to introduce you to Bridge to Brisbane Day ambassador, Dana from Active with D, to take you through a 101 stretching guide for race day.

By following her guide, you will help to keep injuries at bay and also aid your recovery!

Pre-race warm up!

Arrive at the start line 30-40 minutes prior to race start. Commence with some gentle dynamic stretches like leg swings, walking lunges, gentle shoulder rotations (forward and back) and then do a fun little dance to move your whole body about! For runners, I recommend alternating between five minutes of walking and five minutes of jogging.

Repeat this a few times, getting a little faster each time, so that the start line isn’t a shock for your body. With this in mind, don’t wear yourself out…we want you feeling full of beans when the gun goes off!

What about after your run?

While dynamic stretches are great before running, we often forget to cool down after, and this is just as important!  The following five stretches are my favourite post-run stretches – perfect for when you’re standing around with friends and family afterwards!

Standing Forward Fold – Hip, Hamstring and Calf Stretch

Dana standing forward fold stretch

  • Begin with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Fold forward from the waist, keeping your back straight.
  • Clasp your hands on your elbows.
  • Bend your knees if you feel tightness in your back or hamstrings.
  • Hold for 30 seconds/five breaths – lengthen your body with each inhale, and gently bend further with each exhale.
  • Avoid locking your knees.

Standing Lunge – Hip Flexor Stretch 

Dana lunge hip flexor

  • Begin with your feet together.
  • Take one large step forward into a lunge position.
  • Rest your hands on the upper thigh of the front leg.
  • Keep your body tall and straight.
  • Tilt your pelvis slightly forward.
  • Gently push your hips forward.
  • Hold for 30 seconds/five breaths.
  • Repeat on other side.

Standing Hamstring/Calf Stretch 

Dana hamstring calf

  • Begin with your feet together.
  • Take one small step forward.
  • Bend the back leg, and rest your hands on the knee of your bent leg.
  • Keep the heel of the forward leg on the ground, and raise that foot up.
  • Gently move your body towards your raised foot, keeping your back straight.
  • Hold for 30 seconds/five breaths.
  • Repeat on other side.

Standing Quadricep Stretch 

Dana quad stretch

  • Begin with your feet together and stand tall.
  • Stand on one leg and lift the other foot back towards your bottom.
  • Use a wall, person or other stable surface for balance if needed.
  • Keep your knees together and back straight and upright.
  • Push your hips forward to increase the stretch.
  • Hold for 30 seconds/five breaths.
  • Repeat on other side.

Standing Shoulder/Chest Stretch 

dana shoulder

  • Begin with your feet slightly apart and stand tall.
  • Clasp your hands behind your back.
  • Engage your abdominal muscles and press your chest forward.
  • Keep your shoulders back and move your arms away from your body.
  • Avoid extending the arms too far.
  • Hold for 30 seconds/five breaths.

What are your favourite pre and post-run stretches? Tell us in the comments below.

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