Cyclists are often guilty of skipping things like stretches that keep their bodies happy and healthy while they are not on the bike. Back discomfort in cyclists is fairly frequent and can be caused by a variety of factors. This includes bike fitness, training history, personal health conditions, riding style, and lifestyle off the bike.
Cycling is a terrific low-impact workout, but it's also very repetitious, which might result in a limited range of motion. To prevent tightness and soreness, cyclists should stick to a consistent stretching program. This should focus on the muscle groups that contract concentrically (shortened) during cycling, limiting joint mobility.
Stretches to do before Cycling for stronger lower back
Cycling is a repeat motion workout that can cause muscle stiffness in a variety of main muscle groups. When done correctly, stretching before riding can provide a number of advantages.
This includes fewer injuries or soreness, better cycling ability due to increased motion, flexibility, and general fitness.
Here is a list of the seven best stretches to do before you hop on your bike:
1) Hip flexor/quad stretch
Cycling is a high-intensity activity in which your legs provide a significant amount of power. Your hip flexors must be mobile in order to completely utilize that power.
Here's how to do it:
- Place a mat or cushion about a foot in front of a bench, low chair, or box on the ground.
- Step on the right foot and place the left knee on the support cushion, forming a 90-degree knee angle.
- Bend your left leg so that your foot rests on the chair, bench, or box behind you.
- Slowly push the front of the hips forward to improve the stretch.
- Rep the process on the other side.
2) Lunges and reach stretch
Aggressive riding patterns and upstrokes during the pedaling motion might cause the iliopsoas to become tight. This stretch will help release tension in your hips' front side. Here's how to do it:
- Place your right knee on the ground and lunge at your left leg.
- Maintain a straight back and reach for the ceiling with your right arm raised straight in the air.
- Turn your torso away from the knee on which you're kneeling.
- Replace the leg and arm on the opposite side.
3) Seated glute stretches
The glutes are stretched and the hips are opened in this step of the exercise.
- Place the sole of your right foot on the floor in line with your right knee while sitting in a chair.
- Place your left ankle on your right knee, a little beyond that.
- Inhale, then fold at the hips on the exhale, bringing your torso over your left shin and keeping your spine still as long as possible.
- Take five deep breaths.
- You may finally be able to place both forearms on your legs while you relax into the stretch. The right forearm lies inside the left foot, whereas the left forearm rests in front of the right knee (over the left foot).
4) Supported bound angle stretch
Most cyclist complaint zones can be alleviated with this yoga stretch. It's a completely passive stretch that you can hold for as long as you want, and it feels fantastic.
Here's how to do it:
- Sit on the floor in front of a bolster (or a few folded blankets) and bring the soles of your feet together to form a diamond shape with your legs.
- Lay back into the bolster, reclined on your elbows, and stay there for 5–10 minutes.
- The diaphragm, chest and shoulders, as well as the groin and hips, are all stretched out in this stretch.
5) Lower back rotational stretches
The rotating stretch for the lower back and trunk can assist in releasing tension in the lower back and trunk. It also improves stability by gradually working the core muscles. To do a lower back rotational stretch, follow these steps:
- With your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground, lie back on the floor.
- Gently roll both bent legs to one side while keeping the shoulders firmly on the floor.
- For 5–10 seconds, stay in this position.
- Return to your original starting position.
- Return to the starting position by gently rolling the bent knees to the opposite side, holding, and then returning to the starting position.
- Twice a day, repeat 2–3 times on each side.
6) Downward facing dog
As cycling generates power from the core and lower back, these muscles can get weary and tight. While stretching the calf and hamstring muscles, this stretch reduces tension across the spine and opens the hips.
Here's how to do it:
- Begin by getting down on your hands and knees.
- Straighten your legs while keeping your hands on the ground and slightly in front of your shoulders to raise your hips.
- Push your hips back and contract your quadriceps.
- Focus on keeping your spine as straight as possible while pushing your heels towards the ground.
- Hold for 20–30 seconds before repeating three times.
7. Knee to chest stretch
A knee-to-chest stretch can help lengthen the lower back and relieve discomfort and tension. To do a knee-to-chest stretch, follow these steps:
- While bending the knees, keep both feet flat on the floor.
- With both hands, pull one leg in towards the chest.
- Hold the knee against the chest for 5 seconds while keeping the abdominals tight and the spine pressed against the floor.
- Get back to where you were when you started.
- Rep with the other leg and repeat the procedure.
- Repeat with each leg 2–3 times a day.
Practice these stretching exercises to make your cycling experience even better. While these help with cycling, they will also help with your fitness when you're off the bike.
Q. Do you regularly stretch before cycling?
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