by Oliver Devon
Cycling is a demanding workout that engages both the lower and upper limbs. For this reason, it is important to prepare your body for the experience ahead with a few targeted bicycling exercises or stretches. In this article, we will discuss seven of the most useful movements to include in your routine so that your legs, back, torso, and shoulders get equal attention.
Stretches for pre-ride bicycling exercises
1. High Knees
The benefit of high knees is that they emulate the pedaling motion so that you prepare your lower limbs for the activity to come. To perform them, stand upright and lift your bent knee as far up as you can. Repeat on the left side, and keep this motion going for a solid minute. If you want to challenge yourself a bit more, accelerate your pace by hopping back and forth.
2. Butt Kicks
Your quads and hip flexors should be open and limber before a ride. Butt kicks are the ideal exercise for this, as they are the focus on the front of the legs. Jump up and down, alternating which foot you kick back until it reaches the buttocks. Repeat this 10 to 15 times. Don’t tire yourself out by hopping too hard, as the kick’s vigor is the significant aspect here.
3. Active Squat
Cycling is a demanding workout that engages both the lower and upper limbs. For this reason, it is important to prepare your body for the experience ahead with a few targeted stretches. In this article, we will discuss nine of the most useful movements to include in your routine so that your legs, back, torso, and shoulders get equal attention.
4. Runner’s lung
Who said that cyclists can’t benefit from the stretching provided by a runner’s lunge?
This simple, yet encompassing move warms up a few of the most important muscle groups, namely the quads, the hip flexors, and the hamstrings. All you have to do is step forward with one leg and bent the corresponding knee at a 90-degree angle while keeping the other one extended back.
5. Foam rolling
The foam roller is a useful piece of equipment to have on hand for your pre-ride bicycling exercises or stretching session. It can be used to target the glutes, hamstrings, quads, and hip flexors alike. For total relaxation, roll back and forth over the desired muscle, especially where you experience soreness. This will unwind your body and prepare you for the road.
6. Chest Stretch
The lower part of your body isn’t the only one put under strain by a cycling session. Pay attention to your chest as well and stretch it accordingly. Using your bike as support once again, grab onto the top tube while keeping your feet apart at hip-width. Bend at the waist until your back is parallel to the ground and press down. Repeat five to ten times for noticeable results.
7. Shoulder Reach
Your shoulders are engaged in the pedaling experience as much as the rest of your body is. To exercise them properly before taking the bike out for a spin, stand upright and extend your arms straight above your head. Shrug your shoulders up and down for a couple of minutes to warm up the latissimus dorsi muscles, or lats as they are called in the fitness community.
Stretching your limbs and torso before a cycling session is essential for your comfort and wellbeing. A warmed up musculoskeletal system functions smoothly, just like a well-oiled machine would. It is your responsibility to perform a pre-ride routine and prepare your body for the exercise that lies ahead.
About the Author
Oliver Devon is an amateur rider on the gravel and a seasoned veteran when it comes to the world of riding. Sitting on the edge of his seat, he sifts through tons of news daily, everything is stored into his head and everything above that gets posted on BikeGearExpert, the place that he calls home.