4 Lower-Body Stretches For Sore Cyclists

When yoga instructor Katie Brauer helped the women of Team Specialized-Lululemon loosen up at their first training camp earlier this year, a chorus of agony echoed throughout the studio—especially when she got to the lower body.

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That was no surprise to Brauer, the director of teacher training and yoga programming at Yoga Six in San Diego. Cycling's static position and repetitive motion create muscular imbalances that lead to tightness and pain, she says. These factors can also compromise your ability to generate power.

This sequence targets the hips, glutes, quads, and hamstrings. Do it for 10 minutes after every ride. (Add in these Self-Massage Tips for Cyclists for an even better post-ride recovery.)

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Baby Cradle

Sit on the floor with your left leg extended. Wrap your arms around your right shin and lift it toward your chest. Gently rock your right leg side to side for five breaths. Switch sides and repeat.

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Low Twisting Lunge

Start in a standing position with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lunge forward with your left leg, then lower your right knee to the mat. Turn your left foot out to the side and press your right hand into the mat. Twist your torso gently to the left, lift your right foot off the ground and grab it with your left hand, slowly pulling it toward you. Hold for five breaths, then repeat on the other side.

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Bridge

Lie face up with your knees bent, feet hip-width apart, arms by sides, palms down. Slowly lift your hips off the ground until you form a diagonal line from knees to shoulders. Slide your arms underneath you, lacing your fingers together below your hips. Take five breaths, then slowly lower back to start.

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Pyramid

Place a block on the ground in front of you. Bend at the waist and rest your hands on it. Step your right foot back a couple of feet, keeping your right heel lifted. Inhale and lift your chest up until your back is parallel to the ground. Next, exhale and bend down over your left leg, leading with your chest. Lower your heel to the ground. Hold for five breaths, then repeat with the other leg forward.

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