Stretching For Cyclists

Stretching before and after cycling is one of the best ways to prevent injury and increase mobility. While it may be tempting to lay on the couch after a long and grueling ride, stretching will pay dividends in the long run for your overall health and cycling performance. If you are interested in knowing some of the best stretches that will target the muscle groups used in cycling, you’re in the right place. According to an article from bikeradar.com, these are some of the best stretches you can incorporate into your routine. If you are going to perform these stretches before a ride, be sure to warm up for about 4 to 5 minutes before.

Calf Stretch

Photo by Lauren Dangles.

To perform a calf stretch, start by standing in front of a wall with your toes pointing forward. Extend your arms in front of you and place your hands against the wall at shoulder height. Bring one leg behind you and place your foot flat on the floor.

Slowly lean forward over your front leg, keep your back knee straight, and your heel flat on the floor. You should feel this stretch in your calf. Hold for a few seconds on each side then switch.

Downward Dog

Photo by Lauren Dangles.

Downward dogs are a fantastic stretch to loosen up the hamstrings, but the benefits don’t stop there. This stretch will lengthen and release tension in your back, engage your core, and help activate your shoulder muscles too. Most people will aim to have their heels planted in the ground but if your hamstrings are tight like mine, touching the heels to the ground can be achieved by a slight bend in the knees.

Quad Stretch

Photo by Lauren Dangles.

This quad stretch is a great way to undo hours of being hunched over on your bicycle. This stretch will help open up your quad muscles, hips, chest, and shoulders. Start by taking a knee on your right leg and leaning into your right hip. To increase the intensity of the stretch in your quad, you can lift your back foot or prop it against a wall. Make sure to breathe and ease into this stretch as your quad muscles loosen up.

Figure Four

Photo by Lauren Dangles.

Figure four is a great stretch for addressing tight hips and glutes. To do this stretch lie on your back with your knees bent and both feet planted flat on the floor. Place your left ankle over your right knee and then bring your right leg close to your chest. Thread your arms between your legs and interlace your fingers behind your right leg. Pull your right knee toward your chest, pausing when you feel a stretch in your right glute and hip. Hold there for a few seconds then release and repeat on the opposite side.

Side Lying T Stretch

Photo by Lauren Dangles.

Lie on your right side with your arm out in front of you and knees bent at a 90-degree angle.
While keeping your right arm on the ground and legs squeezed together, bring your left arm up and over your body while keeping your gaze fixed on this arm. As you open up your chest and rotate your torso to the left, try to touch your arm down on the floor behind you. In this position, your upper body will form a “T” shape. If you can’t reach the floor, go as far as your body will allow and hold for a few seconds, then return to the starting position. Repeat for a few repetitions, then switch sides and repeat.

We hope this article was helpful and that you learned some new stretches to incorporate into your cycling routine. Happy cycling!

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