As a cyclist, taking care of your body after long rides is important. Doing some gentle stretches to relax your muscles will help to prevent you from being sore and to strengthen you for your next ride.
So, what are the best stretches to do after a long ride?
Here’s six of our favourite stretches for cyclists. They work your body from the neck down, all the way through calves and ankles, so it’s easy to follow. Hold each stretch for 45 seconds to stretch your muscles and ease tension after riding.
Hunching over the handlebars while riding can cause tightness in your mid-back. This stretch will help to improve flexibility in your back and improve range of motion in your shoulders.
How to do it: Kneel in front of a stable surface, such as a chair or bench. Place hands in a prayer position and raise both arms until elbows are parallel to ears. Bend at the waist to place elbows on the surface while keeping them bent at a 90-degree angle. Keeping the neck in a neutral position, drop the chest toward the floor to create an extension in the mid-back.
This stretch helps to relieve tightness in your neck, arms and shoulders that can occur from leaning over on your bike. It also helps to improve your posture.
How to do it: Sit on a chair with your back straight. Tilt your head slowly to the left, and then to the right. Add some gentle pressure with your hand to make the stretch harder.
This stretch helps to counteract the hunched back position you spend time in when riding your bike. It helps to relieve pain and strengthen your back.
How to do it: Lie facedown on the floor. Bend your elbows to place your palms flat on the floor beside your ribs. Press firmly into palms and straighten arms, lifting torso, hips, and the tops of thighs up off the ground. Hold for a few breaths before lowering back down.
Cycling requires power from your legs. To have enough power, you need to have mobility in your hip flexors. This stretch helps you to build more strength and mobility in your legs.
How to do it: Place a mat or cushion on the ground about a foot in front of a bench, low chair, or box. Place the left knee onto the support cushion and step the right foot forward so the leg forms a 90-degree knee angle. The left leg should bend so the foot balances on the chair, bench, or box behind you. Repeat on the opposite side.
This stretch is important for releasing tension from your hip muscles, making them stronger, and taking pressure off your sciatic nerve.
How to do it: Find a stable surface like a step or box. Place the left leg turned out onto the box so the shin is parallel to it, and slide the right leg straight back behind you. Keeping your right leg straight and your back aligned, gently lean your body over the left leg. Then, repeat on the other side.
Many cyclists get tight calves and sore feet from the angle that they use to push the pedals. This stretch helps to loosen these muscles and relieve pain.
How to do it: Stand with one foot slightly in front of the other. The front leg should be bent while the back leg is straight. You should feel a stretch at the middle to top of the calf. Then, slide the back foot forward and slowly push your hips back. You should feel a stretch lower on the calf. Then, repeat on the opposite side.
Wanting to Ride More?
Why not try riding to work? Riding to work will help you build more exercise into your week and make you more productive and less stressed.
At cycle2city, we have everything you need for you to freshen up after your ride to the city.
With a membership, you’ll have access to our facilities 24/7, meaning it doesn’t matter whether you come in the morning, day or evening. Securely store your bike, have a shower and even put your bike in for a service at the onsite workshop.