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:
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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.
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The calf, or gastrocnemius, muscle runs along the back of your lower leg. Cyclists use this muscle constantly during the pedaling motion.
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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.
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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.
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Cyclists spend a lot of time hunched over the handlebars. This basic shoulder stretch can help open the chest and loosen tight shoulder.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.