Indoor cycling offers an hour of sweaty cardio goodness. Your legs power this workout, so it’s best to stretch those tired muscles as soon as you hop off your stationary bike. In fact, that stable bike makes for a great stretching partner.
If you only have two minutes to spare on flexibility training, you should focus on your hamstrings and quads. Start with your hamstrings by resting one heel on the crook of the bike and leaning forward with a flat back, doing this basic hamstring stretch. And if you’re super flexible, you can put your foot on the bike seat. Next, you want to stretch your quads by bringing one heel to your bum, like this to stretch the front of your thigh. Squeeze your glutes and bend your standing knee to increase the stretch, and do hold onto that heavy, stable bike for balance. Hold each stretch for 30 seconds.
If you have a bit more time, you should stretch your glutes. Using the bike, you can do this variation of the ultimate booty stretch from yoga — pigeon pose. Moving down the legs, next on the list is your calves. You can stretch them on the bike by bringing the pedals parallel to the ground (one forward and one back), and dropping your heels to lengthen the muscles on the back of the lower leg (be sure to do this stretch once with the right leg forward and once with the left). Or off the bike, flex your foot placing the toes on the base of the bike keeping your heel on the ground similar to the "kiss the wall" stretch. Lean forward to stretch your calf.
I still have a few more stretches to recommend, so keep on reading.
With these three stretches you have hit all the major players, but I suggest adding these three moves into your cool down.
- The shin gets tight too when cycling, so once you've taken off your shoes try this stretch for the front of your lower leg and ankle.
- Stretch out the front of your body, which has been hunched over handlebars by draping your torso over a stability ball.
- The inner thighs work in biking keep your thighs parallel, making a seated straddle, a great stretch for those adductor muscles.
What's your fave stretch after a cycling class?