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Stretching Exercises for Cyclists

This page contains stretching exercises ideal for cyclists.

Stretching is important to maintain flexibility and reduce the chance of injury.

Whilst performing all these stretching it is good practice to use your breathing to increase the stretch. When you exhale relax your body and deepen the stretch.

Never push your stretch to the point where it is painful.

Try to perform stretching in a warm room or after your have warmed your muscles up, say a brisk walk or spinning a few minutes on the bike. Stretching cold muscles can cause injury.

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Standing put right foot across the left and bend body to the right hand side, reaching hand over head.

This is aimed at stretching the side of the body and the IT band, which gets very tight from cycling.

Hold this for 30s and repeat on other side.

ITband

IT Band

Quads

Hold a wall for balance if you need to.

Bend one knee and pull your foot towards you bum. Keep the knees next to each other in both the side and front alignment.

Push your hip forward to increase the stretch.

Hold this for 30s and repeat on other side.

quad

Hip Flexor

Make sure your knee is on something soft.

Tighten your Glutes and push hips forward.

Aim for a deep stretch in the front of the hip and the top of the quad- not a painful one. To increase the stretch, raise the arm on the stretched side, up in the air and backwards. Hold for 30secs and repeat on the other side.

hipFlexor2 hipFlexor

Lying on your back, hold your left leg above the knee and place your right ankle across the knee. Pull your left leg towards your chest and try and push your right knee away from you.

You should feel this deep in the buttocks, stretching the piriformis.

Hold for 30s and repeat on the other side.

Push knee away from you to increase the stretch.

Piriformis

periformisFront

Hamstring

Use a towel or band to aid your stretch. This can be done lying on your back or standing. Hold for 30s each side.

Pull the stretched leg towards you steadily to achieve a deep stretch - not a painful one. Progression is to reach hands to floor with straight legs.

hamstringStretch

Pidgeon Pose

This is a great hip opening stretch.

Place your right knee in front of you and your right foot as far to the left across your body as your flexibility allows.

Your left leg is straight behind you.

Push your left hip forward and clench the left glute at the same time.

Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.

pidgeonFront pidgeonBack

Seated Twist

Seated, bend one leg and place the foot on the floor the other side of the other knee. Look over your shoulder the same side as the bent knee and hold  your knee across your chest.

A great grounding stretch, stretching your lower back and between hhe shoulder blades.

Kneeling down, stretch your arms ahead of you on the ground, try and lower your abdomen and open your shoulders out as much as possible.

Childs Pose

This is great to stretch the back the opposite way to the bent over cycling position. From lying face down, push yourself up, flexing at the lower back and keeping hips and pelvis in contact with the ground. Don’t push yourself into a painful position, only go as far as is comfortable.

Swan Dive

Whilst sitting on the floor, bring your heels towards your bum, feet together and let your knees fall outwards.

Try and get your knees as close to the ground as you can.

The aim is to get your knees to the floor and your heels to your bum.

Hold this for 30s.

When you exhale, think about relaxing your hips and see if you can increase the stretch.

Hip Mobility

Calf Muscles

Find a solid wall to push against.

Face the wall, place one foot in front of the other and keep feet pointing towards the wall.

Keep your heel on the ground and push into the wall.

Move your foot backwards if you need a deeper stretch.

Keep a straight line through your foot, hip and shoulder.

Hold for 30s and repeat on the other side.

To progress this stretch you can perform this on a step and push the heel below the step whilst standing upright.

Find a solid wall to push against.

Face the wall, place one foot in front of the other and keep feet pointing towards the wall. Feet are closer together than in the calf stretch.

Keep you heel on the ground and bend the back knee and drop into the stretch.

You should feel this in the lower part of your lower leg.

Hold for 30s and repeat on the other side.

Soleus

Seated Twist hip3 Swan Dive ChildsPose soleus2 calf3