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Important Stretches To Perform Before And After A Long Ride
This is a sponsored post and was not written by Venus Trapped in Mars
There are many types of important stretches to perform before and after a long ride, and most are beneficial, if executed correctly. The majority of the following stretches focus on the lower half of the body, since cycling primarily works out the legs and abdominals more than anywhere else on the body. 99 Bikes know how important it is to protect your muscles during a long bike ride, and have provided a list of areas on the body riders need to stretch to minimize muscle injury and maximize muscle strength.
Stretching your calves is perhaps one of the most important things to do before and after a long bike ride. Begin by standing with your feet pointed straight ahead, then step forward with your right leg, bend your knee, and keep your foot firmly planted on the ground. While keeping you upper body straight, drop your hips forward without bending your waist and hold the position for fifteen to thirty seconds.
Your quads are the muscles used most in cycling, so require a very slow stretch. While standing, reach back with your right hand and grab your right foot at the ankle, pulling it towards your butt. Hold it for 15-30 seconds, then stretch the left foot.
An IT Band runs down the side of your leg to help with balance and control in the hip and knee area. Before stretching, making sure it is not too tight, as it can cause alignment issues and tendonitis. Once you are ready, cross your left leg across your right knee and slowly pus down on the left knee. If you hold for 15030 seconds you will start to feel it stretch on the outside of your leg. This is a great way to get your lactic acid pumping and ready for high intensity cycling.
The gluteus muscle is often overlooked when stretching before and after a long bike ride. Place yourself in a cross-legged position and angle your left leg over your right, while placing your left foot next to your right knee so your left leg forms a triangle. Then, clasp your left knee and lean forward, keeping your back straight. This will stretch your hamstring and releases the muscles that often tighten after sitting on a bike seat for a long period of time. Repeat with your right leg.
Neck And Shoulders
Stretching your neck and shoulders is important because you use your neck muscles when checking for traffic and other riders. While standing, slowly roll your head in a circle several times and shrug your shoulders. This will alleviate any tension and help with cramps.
Stretching is an important part of cycling, particularly before and after long rides. These stretches are designed to stop you from pulling a muscle and to make sure your body is alert and ready at all times. Perform them before and after a long ride for maximum results.
Remember, stretching is an essential stage in any workout, on the seat or at the squat rack. Give your muscles the best chance to recover from an arduous workout and keep them coming back for more, opposed to barely working the next day. Is your favorite stretch missing? Let your fellow readers know in the comments below.