Cycling Stretching Routine
Cyclists should incorporate a cycling stretching routine in their cycling training to improve cycling fitness and flexibility.
Cycling is known for its various health benefits; however it is not a complete exercise in itself. People who cycle quite often can end up with muscles that are shorter and tighter due to their continuous movement during peddling. Muscles are never completely extended, as the legs are never completely flexed or extended during cycling, leading to muscle tightening, pain in the knees, lower back and hamstring muscles. By incorporating a proper cycling stretching routine in their cycling training, cyclists can prevent the occurrence of such problems.
Muscles used in Cycling
The quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteus maximus and gastrocnemius play an important role in completing the propulsive phase. In the downstroke phase, both medial and lateral vasti muscles are involved. The rectus femoris remains more active than these single-joint knee extensors, with gradual rise and decline. Some other muscles that function during cycling are the soleus (a single-joint ankle plantar), semimembranosus, semitendinosus and biceps femoris.
The Benefits of a Cycling Stretching Routine
One of the best ways to adjust to the rigors of cycling is to follow a regular cycling stretching routine. Continuous cycling can lead to gradual loss of elasticity in the muscles and may even decrease overall joint flexibility. Cyclists can overcome these problems through regular stretching.
Stretching enhances overall performance. This happens because well-exercised joints and muscles have enhanced flexibility and range of motion, which reduce the level of stress on various body parts, especially under competitive conditions. This enables cyclists to ride for a longer time at their optimum speed.
Despite the numerous benefits, it is important to bear in mind that stretching can have detrimental effects when done incorrectly. Improperly done stretches can over time cause permanent damage to ligaments and joint. When performing the stretching routine below, be sure to warm up first and if any of the exercises cause pain or severe discomfort, discontinue immediately. Review my article on the rules for safe stretching for more information.
Watch the Cycling Stretching Routine
Click on the play button below to watch the 10 minute cycling stretching routine video.
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