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Post ride stretches 101

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We all know Cycling is awesome and the benefits it brings to our lives. When we ride regularly we are not angry, we become lovers, resolve the troubles of the world and can eat more cake guilt free. Brilliant.

What is not so brilliant is how few of us stretch post ride. Stretching post ride is important as the muscles are still warm (stretching cold increases the risk of injury) and the stretch will have a better aiding effect to help those critical muscle groups become flexible, supple and strong. Once stretching has become a integrated part of your ride, your comfort, strength, recovery and injury prevention will improve so you can keep riding longer and more often. It’s a win win really!

There are many reasons stretching isn’t a habit. It isn’t as fun as actually riding, it impeeds our coffee time, or shock horror, we may look a bit stupid trying in vein to touch our toes at the cafe in front of everyone else.

If you are not stretching, here are some great BASE stretches you can do after every ride to get you started. They don’t take long and they will start you on the pathway to a more involved stretching program, aid your recovery time, and will even make you stronger and faster on the bike

Start them slowly, don’t force or “bounce”. Start with 3 repeats of each. Hold for at least 30 seconds.

If you are feeling any sort of excessive pain, stop immediately and seek professional advice.

Lunge Stretch

DSC06733Stretch your hip flexors. Your hips play a significant role in climbing ability and pedal efficiency. If they fail they will lead to a number of significant injuries that will keep you off the bike, or horror, make you slow.

You will feel the stretch through the front and outside of your thigh.

Do the stretch slowly for each leg 3 times, holding 30 seconds each. It’s important to hold an upright posture during the stretch.

 

 

Calf Stretch

DSC06721There are a number of options here. But the most basic is simply stand on your tippy toes. Mix it up by pointing your toes in and then out. This is good for the calf muscles and the ankles, both of which are used extensively for a smooth efficient and powerful pedal action.

 

 

 

 

Downward Dog

DSC06766First lie on the floor. Then placing your hands under your shoulders and push your upper body up off the floor, keeping your toes tucked under your feet. Picture the opposite of when you are reaching for the bars when riding. Feel the stretch through your front and your lower back.

Next, lift and push your hips up into the air. Only your palms and feet are touching the floor, you will have a pyramid shape. Don’t worry if your heels won’t touch the floor, turn it into an opportunity to stretch your calf muscles by leaning into each foot. This pose stretches the hamstrings, calves, and back muscles.

So there you have it, so quick and easy stretches that will get you on your way, hopefully to a stronger more flexible and fitter you!

There are many more you can do and feel free to explore! You may even find yourself joining a yoga class to take you to the next level!

Happy riding!

 

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A word from our clients

Don’t take our word for it - discover why our cycling adventurists have fallen in love with the Occitanie Region of Southern France and the VeloRoo way.

Best Part of Our Trip. I am not a big reviewer of organizations, esp if they are not five stars. In this case, writing a favorable review may not just be a nice thing to do but mandatory. Any of you out there who enjoy riding, amiable company, and crazy beautiful French countryside need to cycle with Steve. While there were many things about our trip that were fantastic (it is France, after all), our half-day ride with VeloRoo made the top of the list of things to do -- and do again, I hope.Took Guided Day Rides in France in Aug 2017
First I have to apologize for talking so long to write my review, especially since my wife and I had an amazing time. Steve, Julia and Neal are awesome. If you ride with VeloRoo you will have a fantastic experience period! I quickly told my cycling buddies back at home. In fact, one of my buddies rode the Pyrenees in Autumn of 2019 (see Dale's review) and said it was trip of a lifetime.

My wife and I did the July Pyreness/South of France tour. From a cycling standpoint, we are at completely different levels. I ride close to 6000 miles a year and love climbing. My wife is new to cycling and was just starting to use clip in pedals about 5 months before our trip. That said, Veloroo is able to accommodate the ride for everyone. They make the rides flexible for the riders. For example, instead of riding the entire Col de Tourmalet, Veloroo drove my wife and several riders up halfway and they were able to ride the rest to the summit. On any given day, you can ride as much as you want or at any time take a nice break.

We were very fortunate to ride with a group of riders primarily from Australia. And close friendships were quickly made during the trip and remain afterward.

A couple of shoutouts....

Julie, thank you for making things run so smoothly. I know it requires a lot of preparation and attention to detail. You did a marvelous job and are awesome. Steve is a lucky guy to have you.

Steve, your positive attitude, sense of humor, and passion really made our trip. I appreciate all of the help you did with my wife. She really appreciated it as well and is even more motivated to get more climbing under her belt.

Neal, we really appreciated all of your help and tips. We love all of your great stories and insight. Most of all you are one of the nicest guys you could meet.

VeloRoo really does treat you like family and you become part of their extended family after you ride with them.

Cycling to me is a passion and is potentially something that my wife and I can share doing together. After this trip, my wife has gotten the cycling bug and has already started planning for local rides that we can do together. I consider that a success.

Thank you VeloRoo!Took Pyrénées Iconic Climbs Challenge in July 2019