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The Best Stretches for Cyclists

The mild impact of cycling comes at the cost of repetitiveness, which may lead to injury or at least a reduced range of motion.

When pedaling, your muscles contract concentrically (shorten) and may restrict your joint mobility, therefore it’s critical for cyclists to have a regular stretching practice to fight stiffness and discomfort.

Take a look at these six stretches to see whether they may help you become more flexible when riding and avoid frequent injuries.

  1. DOWNWARD-FACING DOG

What it does: Since the core and lower back are the primary sources of power while cycling, they may easily get tight and tired. Stretching the calf and hamstring muscles relieves tension across the spine and expands the hips.

How to: Get down on your knees and get to work. Straighten your knees and raise your hips while keeping your hands on the ground and slightly in front of your shoulders.. As you press your hips back, tighten your quadriceps muscles and do the same. Your soles should be pointed toward the ground, with your back straight as feasible.

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Repeat three times, holding for 20–30 seconds each time.

STRAIGHTEN OUT THE DOOR

What it does: The hamstrings are constantly tightened since you never achieve full leg extension when cycling. Lower back discomfort and hamstring flexibility are common side effects. Work on hamstring flexibility to offset these frequent problems, especially 10–15 minutes before your ride.

Simply lie on your back in a doorway, one leg flat on the floor. Put the second leg on the door frame so it is parallel to the floor. Get as near to the door frame as you can stand with your buttocks. Maintain a flat back and hips by keeping your back and hips parallel to the ground.

Three to four repetitions of holding for 20 to 30 seconds each.

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  1. SEATED GLUTE/PIRIFORMIS STRETCH

What it does: When riding, your glutes are your workhorses. During strenuous exercises such as hill repeats, your glutes provide the bulk of your power. Lower back discomfort may result if these muscles weaken or tighten. The glutes and piriformis muscles in the rear of your pelvis will benefit from this stretch.

How: Sit in a chair with one leg crossed and your ankle resting on the knee of the person across from you. Bend your hips forward so your shoulders fall toward the shin of the crossed leg while trying to keep your back as straight as possible.

Repeat three to four times with each leg, holding for 20 to 30 seconds each time.

STRETCH IN THE UPPER TRAP

What it does: The upper trapezius may get tired by holding up the head in a bent-over posture, which is typical in road riding. As you do this stretch, you’ll feel the tension melt away from your neck and upper shoulders as a result.

Put your left hand behind your left hip while sitting in a neutral posture in a chair. By gently pressing with your right hand on your left side of the head, you’ll move the right ear toward you right shoulder. Rotate your chin toward your right shoulder to isolate the stretch in your neck’s upper region.

Each side should get three to four reps of holding for 10 to 15 seconds.

BELT POSE REVOLVED

How it helps: Cycling-related lower back discomfort and stiffness are all too frequent, especially after long or strenuous exertion. By releasing stress in your lumbar spine, this stretch will help you alleviate your problems.

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The stretch is as follows: Lie on your back with your knees bent and begin the stretch. Put your hands by your sides and extend your arms straight out in front of you. Bring your knees to your chest and gently squat to the right. Put a cushion on the floor and rest your knees there if you can’t drop them all of the way to the floor. Then do the reverse on the other side. In order to further loosen up your lower back, extend your lower legs so that they are as close as possible to your extended hand after lowering your knees.

Each side should get three to four reps of holding for 20 to 30 seconds.

LIFT UP AND REACH FOR THE SKY

Aggressive riding techniques and the upstroke during the pedaling action may tighten the iliopsoas, another core muscle. This stretch is good for loosening up the muscles in your hips on the front.

How to: Take a step forward with your left leg while bringing your right knee to the ground. Lift your right arm straight up toward the ceiling, keeping your back straight. To get out of a crouching position, turn your body away from the knee you’re on. Do the same thing with the other side of your body.

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Repeat three to four times with each leg, holding for 20 to 30 seconds each time.

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