Stretch it out before you cycle out. Just as you would for any other workout or physical activity, you should always stretch beforehand to avoid muscle injury. Your muscles need to warm up before you put them through any strenuous activity like cycling. It’s also important to stretch afterwards. This helps reduce the chances of next day sore muscles that can last for days—nobody wants that!
Feel free to perform any number of stretches you’re familiar with, however, we recommend these targeted stretches for cyclists:
1.) Lying Leg Over Stretch—helps to relieve tightness in thighs
Lie on your back with both arms stretched out to the sides—palms up.
Bend your right leg. Bring your left hand across to grip your right knee and bring it across your body.
Push your right knee as far to the ground as you can with your left hand.
Repeat with left leg and right hand.
2.) Kneeling Quad Stretch—helps to stretch hips, quads, and lower back
Begin half-kneeling on the ground; right leg bent out in front of you and left leg extended behind you.
Push your hips forward and arch your back slightly.
You can do any of the following with your hand:
Interlace your fingers together and push out in front of you.
Interlace your fingers and stretch up over your head.
Rest both hands on your knee.
3.) Pigeon Pose—helps to open hips
Sit with your right leg bent in front of you and your left leg extended behind you.
Square your hips to the front.
Bend forward, and either extend both arms out in front of you—stretching as far as you can go—or rest both forearms on the floor in front of you.
You can also walk your arms back to position them slightly behind you—elbows bent and hands facing the front—and arch your back.
Repeat with left leg bent in front of you and your right leg extended behind you.
4.) Calf Raises—helps to relieve tension and tightness in calves
Position your feet shoulder width apart.
Place your hands either against a wall or sturdy object.
Raise up on to your tiptoes. Hold for a few seconds, then lower back down.
Repeat 15-25 times per set.
Obviously, cycling asks a lot from the muscles situated in the lower-half of the body. Any stretches that target your calves, thighs and gluts will benefit you greatly. Now don’t forget those upper-body areas that are put to work as well. Be sure to stretch out your shoulders, triceps, and biceps. So the next time you go to clip-in for a ride, pause to make sure you’ve taken the time to stretch it out before you cycle out!