Stretching for Cyclists
Stretching should be a part of your everyday routine. Cyclists spend a lot of time in the same position and after time this can limit your range of motion and cause chronic pain in the neck, middle back, hips and lower extremity. Not only can this be painful, it also limits your ability to produce power.
If you sit down to stretch and find yourself drawing a blank after you do the old hamstring stretch you did as a kid before gym, you have a few options to broaden your stretching library.
If you have time and the cash, attend a basic or beginner Yoga class or two. You will surprised at what you will learn and positions your will find yourself in that will start to give you the ‘that hurts so good feeling’.
If you don’t have the time or desire to go to a Yoga class, google: Yoga for Cyclists, Hip Opening Stretches, Stretches for cyclists, Hip Flexor Stretches ,Piriformis Stretching, these searches will leave you with hours of options. If you have Amazon Prime, this video series is free and a nice guide for some good functional health stretching. Once you have broadened your stretching repertoire you are more likely to see the benefits stretching on a regular basis.
Stretching should not ‘hurt’, but you may be uncomfortable. If you find yourself avoiding a particular stretch because you don’t like it, do that exact stretch first and commit to doing it every day for a week. You will probably find as the muscle releases, you will not only no longer avoid it, you will start look forward to it.
Stretching before a workout, is not needed and recent research suggests that it can actually impede lower limb force production.
My (personal) go to stretches (click the links below)
The Pigeon Pose
Happy Baby Pose
Additional Piriformis options
Remember, stretching is personal. You don’t have to look like a Yogi, as long as it is not hurting you, if you are feeling a stretch where you are supposed to feel it, just relax and go with it.