Simple Stretches You Can Do Before Biking
Biking or cycling is a great way to get some exercise slipped into the daily routine of anyone’s life. Biking is already widely regarded as an effective and efficient mode of transportation, especially since it’s easier to get around areas with narrow roads. All one needs for biking is to have good balance to keep the bike upright and good practice to know how to ride and keep momentum. But when one is biking regularly, the muscles tighten and cramps are likely to happen! This is why stretching is important as it helps warm up the muscles pre-ride and cools down the muscles post-ride.
The Importance of Stretching
Stretching is an important aspect in any kind of physical activity especially in cycling. It helps keep the flexibility of the body and a healthy range of motion to get around. Stretching helps in aligning the muscles back into their original state after movement as well as remove the lactic acid buildup that causes soreness. Stretching is also known to help a cyclist be more efficient when riding and protects the body from injury.
KT tape enhances the power of the stretch by helping ease the soreness in the muscles even more. Apply this tape before going out on a bike especially when the muscles are already tight. There are pre-bike stretches and post-bike stretches that can be done to target the important muscle groups used when cycling. It is recommended to do dynamic stretches before a ride and static stretches after.
Here are a few pre-bike and post-bike stretches one can do to keep the body ready for biking!
Pre Bike Stretches
Hunching over your handlebars for miles can cause chest muscles to tighten. Do this chest stretch, which also targets the legs and back.
- Stand facing the side of your bike with the feet hip-width apart.
- Grab the seat and lean forward at the waist with the back parallel to the ground.
- Press the chest toward the ground and hold the position for three seconds, stand up tall, and then reposition again for 5 to 10 repetitions.
Open up quads and hip flexors pre-ride with butt kicks.
- Standing in place, bend one knee at a time and kick the foot of that leg toward the butt and glutes on the same side.
- Keep your torso upright during the exercise.
- Kick for at least 30 to 60 seconds.
Stretch the shoulders or specifically the latissimus dorsi muscle that runs underneath the shoulder and down the sides of the back.
- Stand and reach your arms over your head, keeping your biceps next to your ears.
- Shrug your shoulders up and down.
- Do the stretch for at least 30 seconds.
This stretch not only targets the calves and shins but helps with ankle flexibility as well.
- Take a step forward, landing on the heel while lowering the torso.
- Raise the torso back up, transferring the weight to foot and rolling from the heel to the ball of the foot.
- Stand on the ball of the foot as if you’re tiptoeing, and then lower down and take a step forward with the other leg, repeating the same action.
- Walk in this manner for 30 to 60 seconds.
Work on the hips with leg swings, which helps with hip-flexor mobility.
- Swing the leg forward and backward, keeping it straight and extending the length of the swing with each repetition.
- Repeat 10 times, and then proceed to do the same with the other leg.
Post Bike Stretches
The quadriceps is the muscle that is used the most when it comes to cycling since it produces most of the power and forward momentum.
- Find a wall to stabilize.
- Reach back and grab the ankle and pull up and back to stretch the front of the thigh.
- Engage the core and keep the hips in line with each other.
- Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds and switch legs.
Tight hamstrings can keep an individual from using the full range of motion on the bike, so be sure to stretch them.
- While standing, kick the leg slightly in front of you.
- Rest on the heel and bend into the stretch with the other leg.
- Sit lower for a deeper stretch. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds and switch legs.
Calf muscles are engaged during that downward push when cycling. Ensure that it is stretched even after cycling to keep everything in check.
- Place the hands against a wall and lift the toes with the heel still on the ground.
- Keep the leg straight or with a slight bend in the knee.
- Lean forward into the wall to feel this stretch in your calf.
- Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds and repeat on the opposite side.