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Best Stretches for Cycling

A simple stretching routine for cyclists


Updated June 03, 2011

Bicycling is a repetitive motion exercise that can lead to tightness in several major muscle groups. Stretching after cycling can have a variety of benefits for when done properly. Before you try the following stretches, learn:

1. Standing Quad Stretch

Quad Stretch
Photo © Stockbyte / Getty Images

The quadriceps (quads) are a group of muscles along the front of the thigh. These muscles are the most developed in cyclists and often prone to fatigue and cramping. Here is a simple stretch you can do while standing.

2. Standing Calf Stretch

Calf Stretch
Photo © Mike Harrington / Getty Images

The calf, or gastrocnemius, muscle runs along the back of your lower leg. Cyclists use this muscle constantly during the pedaling motion.

3. Hip and Lower Back Stretch

Hip and Lower Back Stretch
Photo © Jonathan Daniel / Getty Images

Chicago Bears cornerback Devin Hester demonstrates a simple way to open the hips and stretch the muscles of the hips, groin and lower back. THis is great for golfers as well.

4. Hip Flexors and Psoas Stretch

Hip Flexor and Psoas Stretch
Photo © Graham Mitchell / Getty Images

The hip flexors are a group of muscles that bring the legs up toward the trunk. Cyclists often have tight hip flexors because the cycling motion never allows to thigh to fully extend. Keeping the hip flexors limber is essential to avoiding muscle imbalance and post-ride stiffness.


5. Simple Shoulder Stretch

Shoulder Stretch
Photo © Photodisc / Getty Images

Cyclists spend a lot of time hunched over the handlebars. This basic shoulder stretch can help open the chest and loosen tight shoulder.

6. Seated Hamstring Stretch

Hamstring Stretch
Photo © Vladimir Pcholkin/ Getty Images

Like the hip flexors, the hamstrings don't extend fully while cycling and can be prone to stiffness. This stretch can help maintain length in the hamstrings.

7. Plantar Fasciitis Stretch

Plantar Stretch
Photodisc / Getty Images

If you have any foot pain while cycling, this stretch can help relieve pain along the plantar fascia, a band of tough connective tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot to the heel.

8. Piriformis Stertch - Pigeon Stretch

Piriformis Stertch - Pigeon Stretch
Photo © Noe Montes/ Getty Images

Cyclists need this stretch. There are many different ways to stretch your glutes (buttock). This is a more advanced stretch, that is sometimes called the Pigeon Pose in yoga.

9. Quad Stretch with an Exercise Band (Advanced)

Quad Stretch with an Exercise Band
Photo © Hamish Blair / Getty Images

There are many different ways to stretch your quadriceps, but here is a more advanced stretch that many cyclists can benefit from doing regularly after riding.

Related Video
Stretches to Reduce and Prevent Shoulder Pain

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