Thursday, May 29, 2014

stretches after cycling

As most of you know I am a huge advocate of incorporating stretching into your everyday routine. I am a avid yogi and truly believe that the practice helps center you psyche, calm your nerves, strengthen your body and rejuvenate your soul. Every morning when I get up, I have a little stretch routine I do before my feet hit the ground. It sets my pace for the day and wakes up my back. 

These are some great stretches for after cycling that will help soothe your muscles and prepare you for your next ride. The first three are also good for you runners. And as a side note: when posing in Pigeon- don't worry as much about getting your hip on the ground, make sure you keep your hips in a straight line and your back leg in a straight line. Gravity will help you with the rest of the stretch. 

Hip Flexors Stretch
The hip flexors pull the leg up and over the top of the pedal stroke; stretching prevents lower back pain when you amp up your intensity.

Kneel, as shown. Straighten your pelvis to align your pubic bone directly below your hip bones. Ease your hips down and forward, keeping your front knee directly over your ankle, and hold for 20 seconds. Repeat on the other side.

Quadriceps Stretch
Your quads produce power, and a limited range of motion prevents some muscle fibers from firing.

Lie on your stomach with your knees hip-width apart. Reach one arm back and grasp the opposite ankle. Slowly pull the heel in toward your buttocks. Keep your pelvis flat on the floor. Hold for 20 seconds, then repeat on the other side.

Calves Stretch
Tight calves and Achilles tendons force cyclists into an exaggerated, toe-down pedal stroke that transfers less power than a flatter foot. More flexible calves allow for a more powerful and efficient stroke—and also leave you less prone to cramping.

Stand with the balls of your feet on a step. Lower one heel to stretch through the calf, ankle, and Achilles tendon. Hold for 10 seconds, then repeat a second time. Switch and stretch the other side.
Glutes Stretch (Pigeon pose)
Tight glutes prevent you from achieving an aerodynamic position in the drops.

To work your glutes, kneel on the floor with one leg extended behind and the other bent at a 45-degree angle in front of you, ankle and knee touching the floor. Keeping your hips square, ease your pelvis toward the floor. Next, tilt forward and lower your chest toward the floor. Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat on the other side.

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