Why stretching is so important for cyclists

With a 24 minute yoga video “Stretching for cyclists”

In the last six months I have not only trained diligently on the bike, but also acquired intensive theoretical knowledge regarding the training teaching etc. I learned that in addition to the actual training on the
bike and some strength training, especially regular stretching and the recovery phases for regeneration are important.

Daily stretching is an important addition to the training for every cyclist and should be like brushing your teeth. However, with a tight schedule, it is usually more likely to be strength training priority and stretching often neglected. That is regrettable. After all, stretching has so many positive properties.

This way, the muscles are more blooded during stretching and can thus, well supplied, regenerate faster and break down lactate. In addition, the risk of injury is reduced, because the long-term stretched muscles are flexible and resilient. However, stretching should be done  rather after, than before the load, otherwise the muscle is too elastic and can do less good work .

Stretching relaxes body and mind and relieves stress. Ideal for any cyclist who sits on the saddle for a long time. In addition, the range of motion and flexibility are increased so that the body is painless for a long time in a position, such as for example in the wind-cut aero position and also riding in technical terrain is better possible. Due to its increased Spectrum of motion, a stretched muscle does more work than a shortened one and you can thus pedal much more vigorously.

In cycling, the body remains in static postures for a long time, which can lead to tension, overload and thus pain. Especially pain in the lower back, neck and shoulder area are not unknown to many cyclists. Proper and regular stretching can combat this pain. A daily unit of 10 minutes is sufficient. It is important that the exercises are carried out consciously and correctly. The length of the individual stretching exercises is also crucial. This way, at least 20 seconds should be stayes in the posture. Deep breathing through the nose and the focus on the stretched muscle help to deeply relax the muscle. Caution: A slight pulling should be felt, but no unpleasant pain. In this case, slowly loosen the position and prefer to seek professional advice again and not to be too ambitious to stretch. Incorrect stretching can also lead to injuries!

Forward bend

Yoga, by the way, is a wonderful way to combine stretching and relaxation. While you stay in the targeted asanas (body postures) with deep inhales and exhales, you relaxe not only the muscle, but also the mind.

Hanumanasana Variations for stretching the front and back of the legs

My 24-minute yoga video on stretching for cyclists gives you a good insight into what exercises you can do and how.  If you have less time available, it is best to find targeted asanas. For more extensive stretching, the positions can also be held for up to 2 minutes. You will quickly notice that you are much more inflexible in the morning after getting up than in the evening, when the body is already much more stretchy. However, this makes no difference for the practise, you can install it both in the morning and in the evening, depending on the time window.

Cat cow as warming and mobilizing the spine and back muscle

At the beginning of the stretching unit you should warm up your body a little, especially the spine! Some sun salutations are very suitable for this.

The forward bend stretches the back of the leg, the Downward Facing Dog the loaded calves and the twisted triangle the groins. The variations in
Hanumanasana are used for stretching the entire leg muscles – front as well as back. For cyclists, in addition to an intensive leg stretch, I also find backbends, as a counter-pose, to our long sitting on the bike with rounded back, very useful.

In addition, the abdominal wall is stretched. I have added some hip openers that also stretch the heavily stressed gluteal muscle. Similarly, some Shoulder stretches with chest opener are included. So you get a complete Full Body stretching sequence. Have fun with the yoga sequence!

Other meaningful postures for cyclists: These exercises stretch the leg muscles, strengthen and stretch the torso and back muscles, stretch the shoulders and mobilize the spine.

All exercises on this page can be hold 20 sec to 2 minutes. Some of the exercises are advanced yoga poses. Please be careful here and only go so far as long as there is no unpleasant pain. Perform the exercises slowly and never jerky. Click here for the full video.

Note: As a Athlete, you never want to make your musles to elastic as well. Through stretching you want to smoothen them, but at the same time keep stability through strenght work out. Never hold the poses to long.

Copyright © 2021 Chalo! Travels