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Stretching for Cyclists

How can cyclists often discount something that takes so little time, feels good, and prevents injury? Stretching is necessary for maintaining healthy muscles that can often be taxed from hard riding and training. Stretching brings much needed oxygen and nutrients from the blood directly to the muscles.

It is recommended that you do some stretching before and after any hard or long ride. If you take the moment to stretch you will be able to ride longer, harder, and your body will feel better after the ride.

All the stretches covered will benefit any active person. Care should be taken to perform these stretches gently. Take your time and feel the muscles that you are stretching. As with yoga concentrate on your breathing and relaxing the body as the stretches are performed.

You should not stretch when the muscles are cold. Doing so could injure the muscles. Warm up by gently spinning for about 5-10 minutes. If riding with a group talk everyone into stopping 10 minutes into the ride.

Neck, Shoulders
Cycling can be very hard on the neck. Tilt your head gently forward and then to the left and right. To not rotate the head. Movement should be slow and smooth.

Knee, Hamstring
This is will help with your balance in addition to stretch your legs. Place one foot flat on the ground and grab a hold of the other leg, bending the knee. Try to hold this stretch for at least 5 seconds.

Calf, Knee, Hamstring, Thigh
Step forward with the left food and bend the knee as shown. The right foot should be flat and perpendicular to the other foot. Rock gently forward bending the left knee. The stretch will be felt in the right leg. Repeat with the other leg.

Back, Shoulders, Upper/Lower Calf
Put your feet flat on the ground and bend down to reach for your toes. Keeping your feet flat try to lift your knees up. You will fee the stretch. Try to keep the legs straight.

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