Ughhh — the side stitch. Every runner knows it well. It’s kind of like the tickle in your throat that conveniently pokes up in a quiet movie theater or coffee shop. You want to ignore it, push it aside, and move on, but it nags you until it becomes a full-blown cough — or, in this case, a side ache.

Try it: Standing Side Bend

Don’t fear, we’ve got your back (and your sides!). Take two minutes for this simple pre-run stretch that will open up your lungs and loosen the connective tissue that spans the length of your rib cage, helping you to run and race side-stitch free!

  • Bring your feet hip's width apart and keep your knees bent slightly.
  • Turn your palms forward and reach your arms overhead.
  • Cross your right arm in front of your left, bringing the backs of your palms together.
  • Cross your right leg over your left, keeping your feet flexed and knees slightly bent.
  • Bend your torso toward the left as you reach your crossed arms to the left — feel the bend coming from the middle of your rib cage aka the middle of your spine.
  • Hold for 5 deep breaths, feeling the entire right side of your body lengthening before switching sides.

Happy racing!

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