Stretch it Out For Better Flexibility: Part One

Following is a series of stretches that every cyclist should do before and after each ride to improve flexibility, recovery and performance – on and off the bike.
Rick Schultz with Amy Schultz, PT, DPT, CSCS

Along with the help of my daughter who is a physical therapist, I’ve comprised a series that features a list of stretches that I run my clients through during a fit or coaching session. These stretches are designed to help warm up the psoas (hip flexors), hamstrings, glutes, lower back, calves, and quads. Any perceived Leg Length Discrepancy (LLD) and other functional tightness usually disappears with pre-ride stretching. Just remember not to overstretch when you’re cold. Sometimes it’s better to do an active warm up like walking or jogging around the block in that case. Do a couple rounds of these stretches with some deep breaths for better flexibility and movement. 

Stretch 1

Stretch 1 – Start

Lay flat on your back with your knees bent, your arms by your sides, and lower back pressed against the ground.

Stretch 1 – Finish

Lift your hips to the sky while keeping your head and neck still. Release your hips back down.

Stretch 2 – Options 1 & 2

Stretch 2 – option 1 Light Stretch

Bring one knee towards your chest by interlocking your fingers behind the quadriceps and tugging lightly on the leg. Keep the other leg stretched out. Repeat on both legs.

Stretch 2 – option 2 Deep Stretch

Bring your knee toward your chest by interlocking your fingers over your shin and tugging lightly on the leg, keeping the other leg stretched out. Repeat for both sides.

Stretch 3 – Options 1 & 2

Stretch 3 – option 1 Both Legs Engaged

Cross one leg over the bent leg, interlock your fingers behind your quadriceps and pull the leg toward your center for a deep stretch. Repeat for both sides.

Stretch 3 – option 2 One Leg Engaged

With one leg straight on the mat, bend one knee and bring your leg towards your center, and gently across the body. Repeat for both sides.

Coach Rick Schultz specializes in coaching cyclists so that they can achieve their best. He is a certified bike fitter and author of Bike Fit 101: Your Toolset for a Great Bike Fit. Send your questions to [email protected] or ask on twitter @BICYCLISTxyz #askthecoach

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