8 Stretches Every Cyclist Should Do Before a Ride

8 Stretches Every Cyclist Should Do Before a Ride

Before you hop on your bike for an exhilarating ride, it’s essential to warm up to prevent injury and soreness. Stretching before a cycling session will loosen the muscles and tendons, reducing the risk of strains or sprains. 
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost 300,000 people end up in the ER annually due to biking accidents.

To prevent this from happening and help you get the most out of your cycling sessions, here are eight stretches every cyclist should do before a ride.

Standing quadriceps stretch

To do this stretch, stand with your feet about one foot apart. 
Next, push your hips back and bend forward at the hips. Hold the stretch for about 30 seconds, and make sure to keep your knees straight throughout the stretch. 

Forward bend

The forward bend is a classic yoga pose that stretches the backs of the legs, the hamstrings, and the lower back. This stretch is done while standing with your feet together. 
Next, bend your spine forward at the hips while keeping your back straight. Hold the pose for 30 seconds, and make sure to breathe throughout the stretch. 
You can place your hands on a wall for support if you need it.

Shoulder stretch

This stretch is done while standing, with one arm raised above your head and the other hand on your hip. 

Make sure to switch arms halfway through the stretch to ensure that both sides of the body are stretched. Hold the stretch for about 30 seconds. 

This stretch can also be done while sitting, with one arm raised above your head and the other hand on your hip. 

Trunk Rotations

The trunk rotations are done while standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. 

Next, bend your knees while keeping your back straight. Make sure to rotate your torso, bending to the right and then to the left. Hold the stretch for about 30 seconds, and breathe throughout the exercise. 

Bending knee hamstring stretch

The bending knee hamstring stretch is done while standing with one leg bent and the other leg straight. 
Next, bend your torso over your straight leg, placing your hands on your knee or the floor. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds and switch legs halfway through. 
This stretch is particularly beneficial for cyclists who experience pain in the backs of their legs while riding. 

Hip flexor stretch 

This stretch is done by laying on your back on the floor. Lift one knee up to your chest. Hold it for 30 seconds, breathing throughout the exercise. 
Repeat the stretch on the opposite side. 

Calf stretch

Standing against the wall, place one foot against the wall, toes pointing toward the wall. The other foot should be extended behind you with your foot flat on the floor. 
Gently lean forward toward the wall, holding the pose for 30 seconds. Switch legs and repeat. Keep your hands on the wall for balance if necessary.  

Wrist flexor stretches

Stand or sit with your arms outstretched in front of you. Bend your wrist toward the floor. Take hold of the extended wrist with your free hand and gently push against your wrist. 

Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other wrist. 
With stretching, you improve your blood circulation, increase your range of motion, and reduce the risk of injury in your joints. Whether a beginner or a seasoned cyclist, you can find amazing resources and comradeship in cycling communities such as La Byci.