September 20, 2012

How To Stretch

Cyclists spend a lot of time hunched over the bike and the act of cycling means that your muscles contract (and therefore shorten) thousands of times every hour.

Stretching after riding keeps our muscles from shortening.

Increasing our flexibility enables us to not only stay comfortable on our bikes and put out as much power as we can but also it helps us to bend ourselves into a more aerodynamic position.   Unless you’re carrying your family in a trailer then you are the least aerodynamic part of your bike so becoming flexible enough to get lower will do your riding no end of good (and help you to do the splits the next time you’re cutting some shapes on the dance floor!)

Hold a stretch for a minimum of 30 secs but ideally 60 seconds (you are of course going to be counting quickly if you find it boring after all!)

Breath, don’t hold your breath!

Come in and out of the stretch slowly.

Stretch after the ride/session not before.  Think about it, your muscles are warm at this point and when something is warm it is more pliable and therefore more receptive to being stretched.

Stretch daily.  If it is a day when you are not exercising then stretch at your warmest point e.g. if you’ve just walked down the shops or been doing some gardening and not when you’ve just watched Avatar lying on the sofa.

How hard to stretch?  You want to feel mild tension/discomfort so about 7 out of 10, don’t force it as hard as you can.

Now sit up straight!

Cycle Training
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