Imagine you are riding your bike through the streets, or revving it up in a cycling class and absolutely killing it – your legs feel great, and you are able to make it over that hill that has been kicking your butt for what seems like ages. Finally, you have completed your ride and are feeling amazing! What you might do after this, as people often do, is get off your bike and go about your day.
Instead of doing that, and waiting for sore, stiff, or fatigued legs to remind you of your ride the next day, why not try stretching? I probably don’t have to tell you but, your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, calves, and upper back are all being used a lot during a ride, and stretching is a great way to cool down and prevent soreness.
Here are 5 of the best stretches to do after you get off your bike.
To stretch your quads: pull your leg behind you by the ankle, making sure your posture is straight up and down, and your bent knee is pointing down toward the ground and thighs are parallel.
To stretch your hamstring: using your bike, put your leg up onto either the saddle or handlebar and reach for your hands towards your ankle, trying to keep your knee as straight as you can.
To stretch your glutes: cross one ankle on top of your opposite knee, and sit your hips down and back as if you are going to squat down into a chair. You may need to hold onto your bike or something in front of you for support.
To stretch your calves: place your hands on a wall or a spin bike for support, take a big step back with one of your legs and try to extend it, having both feet flat on the ground move your body forward to get a deeper stretch.
To stretch your upper back: use your bike or a wall, walk your legs back so you are flat backed, think hinging from the hips about 90 degrees, let your shoulders down below your hands as you keep your arms straight.
After your next ride, tries these 5 stretches. They are easy and will help you get through the next few days with less soreness. Also, check out our Cycling classes here at DHAC!
-Jeremie H., Exercise Physiologist at Dedham Health