4 Yoga Poses to Prevent Cycling Injuries

Janu Sirsasana: Head-To-Knee Forward Bend

How To Do it: Come down to the floor into a seated position with your legs extended forward. Bend right knee outward to a 90-degree angle and press right foot into the inner left thigh. Grab the left shin or foot, inhale, square the hips and lengthen the torso over the straight leg. Exhale, fold forward slowly by extending the spine and opening the chest. Allow your back to lengthen instead of round. Pull left toes back toward you and extend through the left heel while firmly pressing the right foot into the left thigh. Continue to breathe steadily, gazing at the left foot. Stay in pose for 1-3 minutes and switch sides.

Why Do it: Stretches the spine, shoulders, hamstrings and groin.

More: 5 Yoga Poses for Cyclists

Ardha Matsyendrasana: Half Lord of the Fishes Pose

How to Do It: Start in a seated position with legs extended forward. Inhale and bend your knees towards the sky. Drop the left knee to the floor facing forward and bring the left foot underneath the right leg. Secure the left foot next to the right hip, and point toes back. Cross the right leg over the left, bringing the right foot to the outside of the left knee. Exhale, bend the left elbow and place the elbow or left shoulder on the outside of the right knee. Place the right hand underneath the right shoulder. Inhale, lift the torso and lengthen the spine, exhale, twist gazing over the right shoulder. Press the left shoulder into the right leg. Allow the shoulders to drop down and stay aligned as you reach upward through the spine. Stay in pose for 30-60 seconds and switch sides.

Why Do it: Stretches the shoulders, hips and neck and energizes the spine.

More: Yoga Poses to Boost Your Cycling Performance

Ustrasana: Camel Pose

How To Do it: Kneel on the floor with the knees hips-width apart and thighs perpendicular to the floor. Turn your thighs inward slightly and firm your glutes. Press shins and feet firmly into the floor. Rest your hands on the back of your hips, the base of the palms on the top part of the glutes and fingers pointing down. Inhale, lift your chest and press your shoulders down and towards the ribs. Exhale, let the hips push forward as you lengthen through the front of the body and arch back, bringing your hands to the back of the heels if possible. Press your hands into the heels while pushing the hips forward and lifting the chest. Drop the head back, gaze upward and breathe steadily. Or, you can keep hands on the back of your hips. Stay in pose 30-60 seconds, breathing deeply.

Why Do it: Stretches the entire front of the body, as well as the ankles, thighs and groins. Opens abdomen, chest and throat, and stretches the deep hip flexors. Strengthens back muscles and improves posture.

More: Yoga for Cyclists: 3 Poses You Should Practice

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About the Author

Laura Waite

Laura Waite is a yoga teacher and certified massage therapist in Dana Point, California.
Laura Waite is a yoga teacher and certified massage therapist in Dana Point, California.

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