For most cyclists, riding the bike takes priority over all other fitness related activities such as strength training and stretching. Given a choice between strength training or stretching, many will chose the weight room, allowing flexibility to be pushed aside and left undone.
If flexibility is not given any attention, more than likely it is just a matter of time before imbalances occur. These imbalances are a result of holding a curled forward, near fetal position while riding a bike for hours on end. Often, the cyclist goes from cycling to working at a desk or in front of a computer, again curled forward.
When pain in the neck, lower back, knees, gluteus muscles, illiotibial band, hamstrings, Achilles tendons or elsewhere becomes performance limiting, the cyclist finally seeks help from a sports medicine specialist such as a physical therapist.
Knowing that cyclists are limited for time, I asked Rodrigo Gil Moreno de Mora and Misty Woodden of Diamond Peak Physical Therapy P.C. to give me three stretches that would give cyclists the most bang for limited time. Given that Rodrigo is a competitive cyclist himself and Diamond Peak has helped Olympic medalist Georgia Gould stay healthy, I considered the business a great resource.
Pinched for time? Here are three stretches you definitely have time to do.
This stretch helps to:
- improve mobility and flexibility of the thoracic and lumbar spine.
- relieve tightness in the pectoral and latissimus dorsi muscles.
- stretch the illiotibial band.
- stretch the abdominal muscles, including the obliques.
- improve flexibility of the neck.