Cycling can be a great way to break a sweat and enjoy the outdoors. However, the repetitive motion and rounding forward can be challenging on the body… especially if you’re already sitting all day.
When you cycle
the front of your body becomes increasingly tight and overworked.
As you pedal, you’re largely relying on the quadriceps and hip flexors which, as you sit, will compress and shorten. The combination of prolonged sitting and consistent cycling can lead to significant imbalances and postural issues throughout the body. If cycling is your preferred method for working out, keep it up! Just make sure you start working in some preventative recovery measures into your routine so you can avoid getting injured. If you’re unsure where to start, try these 5 easy to do active stretches to combat the repetitive stress of cycling:
- Stretch*d Squad (quadriceps)- Lay on your side with your bottom knee bent and leg lifted up toward the chest (hip at 90 degrees is fine). Stabilize the bottom leg by resting the foot against a heavy object or wrap a strap around the foot and hold the opposite end with the hand on the same side of the body. With the top arm, grab the ankle of the top leg and kick the leg back as far as you can as you assist by pulling on the ankle. Reset the leg forward after a brief hold and then kick the leg back again to repeat.
- Twist & Dipp*r (quadratus lumborum) – Sit with your feet flat on the floor and knees a bit wider than your hips. Interlace your hands behind your head and then twist as far as you can in one direction. At the end range of the rotation, drop toward the floor so the elbow pointing forward goes toward the floor outside of the knee on the same side of the body. (left elbow pointing forward drops toward the floor outside of the left knee) Hold for a brief moment before sitting up to reset and then repeat.
- Chest Open*r (pectorals)- Sit in a chair with a tall back or stand in a door frame with your back flat against the surface and your spine straight. Interlace your hands behind your head and then use your shoulder blades to draw back your elbows as far as you can. Hold for a brief moment before resetting and bringing your elbows forward before repeating the stretch.
- Neck Flex*rs (neck flexors)- Sit with a straight spine, place your hands on your chest and gently press down on the chest as though you’re trying to pull it away from the neck. Next, drop your head toward one side and slowly drop it back so your chin is pointing toward the ceiling and roll toward the other shoulder. Go back and forth slowly- you should feel a stretch along the front and sides of your neck.
- Serve the Platt*r (rhomboids)- Sit with your spine straight. Lift one arm out in front of you so it’s straight at the elbow and the palm is up facing the ceiling. Grab that arm with the other hand and pull up and across toward the other side of the body. Try to keep the shoulders as relaxed as possible as you move the arm.