Exercises for Cyclists

Stretching for Cyclists

Cycling is an excellent form of exercise, but it could result in loss of flexibility and this is where stretching could be very useful. Cycling can lead to the shortness and tightness of muscles, in particular, the hamstring muscles. This will then result in lower back problems. A cyclist's leg muscles lose flexibility as they do not go through a full range of motion. Cycling is often referred to as a mid range activity as it involves a limited and repeated motion.

Stretching helps one to adapt to the rigors of cycling. Over a period of time, cycling causes a loss of joint flexibility and muscle elasticity. Stretching for cyclists helps because it improves flexibility, results in muscles that are well exercised and also helps to increase the range of motion. The best time to stretch is both before and after cycling. The stretching exercises should be done for about 5-10 minutes both times. Remember to breathe properly while stretching. Breathe slowly and deeply throughout the stretches. It is also important to remain relaxed throughout the stretch. Static stretches are the best stretches for a cyclist to do. A static stretch is one where you stretch each muscle group slowly and gently until you feel a slight amount of tightness.

Here are some stretching exercises for cyclists:-

Simple Shoulder stretch: Stand upright, keep your shoulders relaxed and back. Put your right arm over your head, then bend your elbow and reach your hand behind your back. The elbow should now be pointing up to the sky. Slide the right palm down your back. Using your left hand, hold your right elbow and pull it towards your ear. Keep sliding your right palm down your back. Hold this position for about 10-20 seconds. Release and repeat with the opposite arm. Do not bend your neck forward while doing this exercise. Keep your head up too.

Standing Quad Stretch: Stand on one leg supporting yourself by holding onto something solid. Bend your knee and bring your heel towards your buttocks. Use your hand to reach for your ankle. Then stand up straight. You will feel a slight pull along the front of your thigh and hip. Hold the stretch for about 20-30 seconds, release and repeat. While doing this exercise, remember not to over strain the knee. The purpose of this exercise is to stretch the thigh. Stretching for cycling will help keep injuries and tightness to a minimum.

answered by G M

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