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The following series of exercises are designed to target common areas of tightness and muscle imbalances unique to cycling. Riding a bicycle for long distances requires good body maintenance. Just as you need to keep you bike in top working condition, your body needs equal attention to avoid injury and attain optimal performance. Just ten to fifteen minutes per day of stretching and posture exercises can pay big dividends as your season progresses. Professional and elite cyclists often devote up to sixty minutes or more of stretching and muscle balance exercises per day. Lance Armstrong attributed much of his success during the 2001 season to a new stretching program of sixty minutes per day after every ride. Most athletes with a full time job can see big gains by stretching 10-15 minutes per day, focusing in on their key problem areas. The most effective and efficient stretching routine is one that is customized to address your individual problem area. This can be achieved with a thorough physical therapy evaluation to identify critical areas of tightness and muscle imbalance. The following series of stretching, posture and alignment exercises are a very good start at targeting common problem areas for cyclists.
Every stretching routine should be performed when the muscles are are warmed up. For best results, you should have a light sweat before starting your routine. This ensures that your muscles are warm from the inside out. However, if you don't have time to stretch after a workout, march in place with high knees or walk briskly for five minutes. Enjoy your new found flexibility and take your riding to a whole new level!
Click here to read about each of the cycling stretches along with a description of the stretch and a photo of what it should look like.
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