Once the bike season starts, it can become difficult to find the motivation to complete the indoor tasks to keep the body balanced. Find time for these key stretches and exercises to keep the body moving efficiently on the bike with less aches and improved performance.
- Hamstring Strength – Lie on your back with legs extended on the ball, lift your hips so you are a “plank” from head to toes, pull your feet in towards your buttocks while keeping your hips lifted, then return to the starting position with legs extended. You can use your arms for stability. Perform 10 reps.
- Glute Strength – Place a band around your legs above your knees, keep your toes and hips facing forward while you make small steps laterally keeping tension through the band with an upright posture or “athletic position”. Perform 10 steps per side. Increase difficulty with varied band stiffness.
- Hip Flexor Stretch – Kneel on the ground with one knee and make a 90 degree position with the other knee with foot on the floor, keep your posture upright, shift your pelvis forward (shift weight forward) until you feel a good stretch through the front of the leg kneeling on the ground. Hold for 60 seconds per side.
- Quad Stretch – Standing upright, kick one foot towards your buttocks and grab with your hand, maintain good posture while you stand on one foot and feel a stretch through the front of your leg. Hold for 60 seconds per side.
- Chest Opening – Lie on a foam roller lengthwise (head to tail bone on the foam roller) with your knees bents and feet on the floor, outstretch your arms towards the ground at 90 degrees to your body and relax and let gravity open your chest. Your hands should be on the floor and you can move your arm position slightly to find the best stretch for your pecs. Hold for 60 seconds. This is a good stretch to focus on deep breathing and relaxation.
- Knees to Chest Stretch – Lie on your back and bring both your knees toward your chest, pull with your arms and relax through your back with your spine pressing into the ground. Hold for 60 seconds. You can also adjust this stretch by alternating with one knee to chest.
Please note that these 6 exercises are recommendations for the main areas of weakness that are typically seen but these areas of weakness may be different for you. Ideally perform this circuit 3 times after each ride or 2-3 times a week. See visual representation of exercises below.