Fitness

9 Stretches For Cyclists That’ll Loosen You All The Way Up

Your calves, hamstrings, and quads will love you.

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During a bike ride you spend a lot of time in a fixed position doing a repetitive action, says Jenna Arndt, head trainer at Swerve Fitness. That’s why it’s so important to do stretches for cyclists to loosen up the calves, hamstrings, quads, hips, and lower back. Here’s how.

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Bridge Pose

Trainer Michelle Razavi says this stretches the glutes before and after cycling.

- Lie on your back, knees bent, feet hip-width apart.

- Press palms into the mat by your sides.

- Push into your heels; lift up your hips.

- Squeeze glutes; hold.

- Roll down; repeat 3 to 5x.

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Figure 4 Stretch

Razavi suggests this move to open the hip flexors after a long ride.

- Lie on your back, knees bent.

- Cross the right foot over your left quad.

- Reach through to your left shin.

- Press the right knee away to deepen the stretch.

- Hold 15 to 30 seconds on both sides.

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Hip Flexor

Barry’s RIDE lead Charlie Meredith says hip stretches alleviate back discomfort.

- Half kneel, legs bent 90 degrees.

- Place hands on your hips; tuck the pelvis under.

- With your back straight, push the hips forward.

- Hold 30 to 60 seconds after a ride.

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Standing Quad Stretch

Cycling instructor Katie Pearson says the quads do a lot of work when pedaling.

- Place feet shoulder-width apart.

- Lift one foot behind you.

- Hold your ankle using the arm on the same side.

- Keep your knees together.

- Hold 10 to 15 seconds; do 2 to 3x each leg.

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Hamstring Stretch

The hamstrings contrast the quads, says Pierson.

- In a split stance, drop your hips into sitting position.

- Bend the back knee, keeping the front leg straight.

- Lift your toe while the heel remains on ground.

- Hold 10 to 15 seconds on each side.

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Chest Stretch

Cycling can cause your chest to get tight, Pierson says.

- Place your feet shoulder-width apart.

- Place one hand on the saddle, the other on the handlebars.

- With the neck neutral and knees slightly bent, hinge forward at the hips.

- Hold 10 to 15 seconds; repeat 3x.

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Couch Stretch

Arndt says this stretch improves hip mobility.

- With both knees on the floor, move one knee back close to the couch.

- Rest the top of the foot on the couch.

- Step the opposite foot forward, ankle under knee.

- Hinge forward, squeeze glutes.

- Hold 2 minutes each side.

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Lumbar Rotation

Stretch pro Austin Martinez, MS, CSCS suggests this move for the lower back.

- Lie on your back, knees bent 90 degrees.

- Let the lower body fall to the left.

- Keep your upper body and shoulders flat on the floor.

- Hold 20 to 30 seconds; repeat 2x on both sides.

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Calf Stretch

Ideal for the calves and achilles, says Martinez.

- Stand, leaning forward on a stable surface.

- Bring the left leg forward and bend it.

- Keep the right leg straight behind you.

- Shift weight into the heel of the extended leg.

- Hold 20 to 30 seconds; repeat both sides 2x.