Kneeling Lunge Stretch

Kneeling Lunge StretchMost cyclists that we treat have tightness in their hip flexors because riding long hours in the saddle tends to shorten the hip flexor muscles. Cyclists who have jobs that require them to sit for long hours are especially prone to tightness in the hip flexors. Tightness in these muscles can lead to lower back pain, iliotibial band syndrome, and hip pain.

What to do

Kneel on a yoga mat or soft carpet. Tighten your buttock muscles and tuck your pelvis (dropping your tailbone down a bit). Then slowly lunge forward until a stretch is felt at the front of your thigh (the one that you are kneeling on). Raise your arm for an enhanced stretch. Hold for 20-30 seconds, then go back to starting position. Repeat 3 times. Twice daily and after every ride.





Side-lying Quadricep Stretch

Side-lying Quadricep StretchThe quadriceps are the powerhouse of the pedal stroke. Even though we strive to 'pedal in circles', studies show that elite cyclists, as well as weekend warriors, use the 'quads' for power generation. Therefore, all cyclists should work on keeping the quads flexible to avoid knee pain, patellofemoral syndrome, and cramping.

What to do

Lay on your side. Reach back and grab your foot/ankle and gently pull your heel toward your butt until you feel a stretch at the front of your thigh. Hold for 20-30 seconds. Repeat 3 times. Twice daily and after every ride.
















Posture muscle training

Posture Muscle StretchUpper back posture is critical to staying comfortable for long hours on the bike. Cyclists need to train the posture muscles to keep a neutral back position in order to resist fatigue and prevent neck, upper and lower back pain.

What to do

Press your back against a wall with knees slightly bent, shoulders and arms at 90 degrees. Attempt to press your lower back against the wall while keeping your arms and shoulder blades against the wall. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times. Twice daily.
















Hip abductor stretch

Hip Abductor StretchTightness in the hip abductor group can lead to 'piriformis syndrome', 'sciatica', low back pain and host of other problems. Cyclists should stretch the hip abductors regularly to ensure good flexibility throughout the hip and low back.

What to do

Lay on your back, knees bent. Cross one leg over the other and grab your knee. Pull toward the opposite shoulder. You should feel a stretch deep in the buttock and outside of hip region. Hold 20-30 seconds. Repeat 2-3 times. Once or twice daily or after every ride.








Hamstring stretch

Hamstring StretchHamstring flexibility is critical to achieve good posture and a neutral spine position on the bike. Tightness in the hamstrings can contribute to lower back pain, rounded back posture, and decreased power output.

What to do

Lay with one leg up on a doorframe, the other through the door, keeping knees as straight as possible. The pelvis must stay level (don't twist at the waist, belly button straight to ceiling). Work on breathing and relaxation. As you gain flexibility, move closer to the door frame. Hold 60-90 sec. Once or twice daily or after every ride.








Pedaling Alignment Stretch

Pedaling Alignment StretchProper alignment of the hip, knee, and foot is critical for efficient and pain free pedaling. All cyclists should have good control of their hip, knee, and ankle muscles to ensure good alignment when pedaling. You can test this by standing on one leg and then bending your knee just a bit. Your knee should stay lined up with the your second toe.

What to do

Practice good pedaling alignment by balancing on one leg and squatting just a bit, keeping good alignment. If your knee wobbles, do your best to keep it straight. Hold onto a wall if needed. Try doing 25 reps or so. Once per day. If your knee makes 'grindy' noises or is painful check with your doctor or physical therapist before continuing.















Single Leg Stretch

Single Leg StretchThe gluteus medius muscle is responsible for stabilizing the hip, helping to maintain proper alignment as mentioned above. If you feel unstable with the single leg mini squat, you will need to do this exercise to improve your stability and alignment.

What to do

Kneel on a yoga mat or soft carpet. Tighten your buttock muscles and tuck your pelvis (dropping your tailbone down a bit). Then slowly lunge forward until a stretch is felt at the front of your thigh (the one that you are kneeling on). Raise your arm for an enhanced stretch. Hold for 20-30 seconds, then go back to starting position. Repeat 3 times. Twice daily and after every ride.














Time Trial Roll Out

Time Trial Roll Out StretchFor strengthening your 'core' muscles, this is one of the best cycling specific exercises to strengthen the lower abdominals, arms, and mid-back. This way your 'core' muscles are trained in the same position that you demand on the bike.

What to do

Kneel in front of ball with hands and wrists in the middle of the ball. Tilt your pelvis so your lower back is flat(tailbone down). Pull belly button in toward your spine. Roll our toward your elbow and maintain pelvic tilt, don't let you back arch down, keep it straight. Then roll back to the starting position. Do this 2x25 reps.






Single Leg Bridge on ball or chair

Single Leg Bridge StretchStrength in the 'glutes', hamstrings, along with the 'core' and hip stabilizers is critical to generating power and efficiency during pedaling. You can help prevent a host of injuries and pains throughout season with this simple exercise.

What to do

Place your heel on a ball or chair and bring the other knee toward your chest. Tilt the pelvis as above, and lift then hips toward the ceiling. Hold 5 seconds. Perform 20-30 reps. Once a day.


















Hip strengthening

Hip Strengthening StretchThis exercise targets the hip abductors and challenges them to work as stabilizers, similarly as when pedaling in or out of the saddle. These muscles need to be strong and efficient to endure the many thousands of revolutions you pedal throughout the year.

What to do

Stand with a Thera-loop or an inner tube around ankles. Hold onto a wall and lift one leg out to the side and slightly back. You should feel both hips working on the outside hip muscles. Do this 2x20 on each leg.