Stretching is a noteworthy element of successful cycling and also benefits in preventing future muscle aches. A balanced stretching routine can benefit in minimizing muscle imbalances, improve your riding performance and also avoid injury.
How does stretching benefit you?
Stretching before going out for a rigorous ride is a significant activity to practice in your regular routine. It is vital for cyclists because biking without stretching can lead to tightness of the lower body due to the repetitive nature of the pedaling motions. Stretching exercises help to keep the muscles flexible and robust, empowering you to maintain an active lifestyle. It also leads to improvement in your balance, coordination, and posture, which is vital for balanced cycle rides.
Which is the best time for stretching?
The perfect time for stretching is when your muscles are relaxed and warm. If you are ambitious about your cycling, it would be best to stretch after a 5-10-minute warm-up and after your ride. There are two types of stretches that you can follow including static and dynamic stretching.
Dynamic stretches form a part of the pre-ride warm-up while static stretches can be performed at the end after cooling down, ultimately to improve your overall fitness.
How long should you stretch for?
Allow your muscles to adjust to the idea of stretching. It is best to aim for at least 20 seconds, but 60 or more to progress your flexibility.
Warming up should be done before you begin with your exercises. Warming up increases the blood blow to your heart which prepares it for an advanced workload. A balanced warm-up lubricates the joints and also boosts the oxygen amount and nutrients to your muscles. Warm-up exercises include a slow jog, swim, brisk walk and also a walk up and down a flight of stairs.
Below mentioned are some of the essential warm-up and cool-down stretching exercises for cyclists:
Stand straight with your feet together and rest your arms at the side. With your legs and arms straight, jump up while widening your position and raising your arms away from the sides to higher than the shoulders. Repeat the motion, second time where both the feet and arms are at the original position. Continue doing this till the time you feel your heart pumping.
This exercise improves your overall strength not only in the legs but also in the core. In this exercise, you must stand straight with your feet hip-distance away. Next, take a large step forward with the right foot and lower the body towards the floor. Make sure that both the legs are bent at a 90-degree angle at the bottom of the lunge. Next, you must push off the back foot so that the left knee lifts up and you land with the left foot in front.
In the end, push off the right foot, lift the right knew and land with the right foot in front, in the same body position. Walking lunges improves the overall core strength and stability.
In this stretch, lower your hip from a standing position and then stand back up. The pain of the exercise must be felt in the thighs. During a squat, the knee and hip joints flex while the ankle joint dorsiflexes. It would be best to squat down as far as feasible without bending the knees any further.
In this exercise, you need to speedily jump up and down, springing off the floor with your feet and ankles. Make sure you do this with proper alertness and avoid a situation of an ankle sprain.
While doing this stretch, you must stand straight with your feet shoulder-distance away. Next, you must bend at the waist, allowing the arms to hang down as you lower your upper body headfirst to touch the toes. In the end, rest and allow your arms and torso to naturally hang in front of your legs for nearly 2 secs before coming back to the original position.
Lower back stretch
In this stretch, you must sit on the floor and bend your knees with your feet on the ground. Use your hands to pull your chest in the direction of your knees.
For more information on such relaxing exercises, connect with Bamboo Bee, where is more than happy to entertain your health concerns. For the benefit of the cyclists, we have designed a Bamboo bicycle that supports a greener lifestyle and offers a fun and learning experience.