How many people hope on a bike and just pedal off into the sunset/sunrise without stretching? You would think it doesn’t really matter if you’re going for a Sunday ride or simply just cycling to work. You aren’t exerting yourself so why waste those 10 mins in pointless stretching?
Injury occurs when you least expect it, it could be argued that you should stretch no matter what you do, from running a marathon or simply going for a walk. A pulled muscle or a snapped ligament is not even worth the risk. Get yourself warmed up!It even helps relieve tension if you’re stressed.
So what stretches are most beneficial to cyclists? Obviously our lower body is the most important as ourlegs are the moving parts to the machine. So if you’re not a fan of static stretching or rather in a rush and can’t dedicate sometime to standing still and performing the motions, begin to practice ‘dynamic’ stretching, while you get dressed, take a shower or while making yourself breakfast. Perform the motions that you will be doing when exercising.
Calves, Quads, Hamstrings and Gluts can all be worked to a degree simply by “walking with effort”. Raise your knee to your chest as you walk down to the kitchen or bring your foot to behind your leg while making breakfast. Need to wash your feet? Lean down and wash them without bending your knees.
Simple tricks are often easy but hard to implement, actively make yourself stretch, no matter how slight it might be and the benefits will come. Stretching along with supplements such as FIT Duratrain or MetabElite can substantially reduce your recovery time so you can get back on the bike faster.
If you have time before you jump on the bike and have begun to stretch dynamically, take a moment to really get the blood flowing by practicing a few ‘static’ stretches. These are the ones that make you reach for the sky or touch your toes. The stretches everyone knows but no-one does.
The starting point and support system for your legs. Stretch your core by simply doing a few crunches or back twists.
Sit cross legged and place one foot above the opposite knee, grab your left/right knee and lean forward while keeping your back straight. Perform with both legs.
It’s important to stretch your Hamstrings slowly, as cycling has an opposite effect on your hamstring when compared to running.
Simply stand up straight and lean forward to touch your toes without bending your knees.
Standing up straight with both feet pointed forward, take a step forward and bend your knee while keeping the other foot firmly on the ground, drop until you feel the stretch.
Although not advanced, these few stretches allow anyone, regardless of where they are, to keep their muscles performing at their best. A few minutes a day to just ‘warm up’ could ultimately prevent possible injury, keeping you out of the action for months at a time and could help you recover that much faster between training sessions along with maximizing the benefit of your supplements. Why roll the dice on injury?