By Rick Schultz, MBA, DBA
I get asked all the time about the best stretches/exercises to do before and after a bike ride.
I discussed this with my daughter, who is an accomplished cyclist with a doctorate in physical therapy. Together, we came up with a set of stretches that will help warm up the psoas (hip flexors), hamstrings, glutes, lower back, calves and quads. Please keep in mind though — when your muscles are cold, don’t over-do the stretching. It’s often better to do an active warm up like walking or jogging around the block first.
Prior to any bike fit, I run my clients through numerous stretches to warm up their psoas, lumbar, lower back, etc. Any perceived leg length discrepancy (LLD) and other functional tightness usually disappears.
Below is the first of a four part series of stretches that every cyclist should do before and after each ride.
Single Leg Pull to Chest
Option 1- Light Stretch:
Option 2- Deep Stretch:
Richard Schultz, MBA, DBA
USA Cycling Level 2 Coach (w/Peaks Coaching Group)
Certified Power Based Training
Certified Skills Instructor
Beginner Racer Program (BRP) Instructor/Coach/Mentor
Certified Bike Fitter – IBFI Level 3 & other multi-sport disciplines
Certified Personal Trainer
Amy Schultz, PT, DPT, CSCS
BFC Bike Fit Level 1
USA Cycling Women’s BRP Mentor
Want to learn more and be able to ride better, and more comfortably? Check out our comprehensive book, Stretching & Core Strengthening for the Cyclist. It’s a 57-page eBook, with with nearly 50 different stretching and core exercises (including variations) that is just $14.95.
Amy Schultz has a Doctorate in Physical Therapy, is an accomplished cyclist and has done extensive research on athletes and injury prevention. Amy demonstrates the proper form for all the stretching and core exercises in the eBook. Most of the exercises are easy to do, with more difficult ones labeled. All are clearly illustrated, with actual photos demonstrating the proper technique.
You might also be interested in our other ebook, Strengthening and Stabilization Training for the Cyclist, which was also specifically created for the cyclist. It includes 32 fully described exercises, clearly demonstrated in photos that accompany each exercise. Co-author Amy Schultz demonstrates the proper form for all the exercises in the eBook, just as she does in the Stretching and Core eBook.
Most of these exercises are programmed to target multiple muscle groups, so you get increased strengthening and stabilization. These exercises have the potential to provide you with more enjoyment on the bicycle. You will get stronger and, therefore, cycle more efficiently. You will also have more flexibility and therefore be more pain-free. Learn more.
Coach Rick Schultz is an avid cyclist who trains, races and coaches in Southern California. Rick is an engineer by trade, and in addition to being a coach, he's a bike fitter and prolific product reviewer. He's the author of Stretching & Core Strengthening for the Cyclist and Bike Fit 101: Your Toolset for a Great Bike Fit in the RBR eBookstore. Check his product reviews website, www.biketestreviews.com, and his coaching site, www.bikefitnesscoaching.com. Click to read Rick's full bio.