Take the time to recover
It goes without saying that cyclists who’ve been cycling for a long period face muscle tear and pain, if they do not perform some recovery stretches after their ride. However, as Mike Brcic quotes “A bad day on a mountain bike always beats a good day in the office.” The cyclists also need to perform some cardiovascular exercises as part of the cyclist recovery. The regular cyclists have to show a very high power output when riding as well as energetic thighs to be able to withstand the strain and maintain the speed.
Here are some recovery exercise tips that a given cyclist should follow after a long ride to keep the aches at bay as well as prevent any injuries. Some of the stretches you can do are:
This pose focuses on the hip flexors, the spine and the quadriceps which are all continuously in use when cycling. Since the upper body is also highly involved, this stretch also opens up the chest.
Start with your hands and knees on the floor and the soles of feet pressed against the wall. Lift the right knee from the floor to place it against the wall with the right toes facing up and the shin against the wall. With knee and shin always in contact with the wall, slide the knee down. Keep lifting left leg with a 90degrees angle at the knees and the sole on the floor. Keep doing this deep stretch while taking about five breathes. Take your hands slowly from the floor and place on the left knees.
Switch sides after some time.
Revolved belly pose
This recovery exercise is good for stiff backs. With your knees bent, lie on your back and bring the knees into your knees. After an inhale, move the knees from that position to the right side and let them rest in that position. Stretch out the hands completely on the floor to open up the shoulder blades. Then straighten the legs slowly as the lower back then releases gradually. Have the toes of the feet touching the nearest hands. Repeat this on the other side. You can incorporate the use of resistant bands to make it more intense.
The downward facing dog stretch
It is important to release the tension that is built throughout the spine area and stretch the back of the legs and hips. Stand with your feet apart. You can bend your knees or place the heels on the floor depending on how tight your hamstrings are. Begin to go down to have both knees and hands down on all fours with the hands slightly in front of the shoulders. Slowly lift the knees from the floor to straightened legs. Ensure you push the bottom high and pressing the heels into the floor. Take five breathes and repeat. It aids in the cyclist recovery process.
This yoga pose opens the grown and stretches the muscles on the thighs, back and front of the shoulders. Sit in a kneeling position with the sole of the feet against the wall. Rise slowly to bring the torso and thighs upright. Inhale then move your back into an arc and bring your hands to your heel. Ensure the back of the head makes contact with the wall. In this position take five breaths.
Seated Gluts or the Piriform stretch
It is meant to stretch the gluts which are important when cycling. Sit at the edge of the chair with one leg crossed and the ankles resting on the opposite knee. Place one hand on the thighs, and the other one holds the ankle of the crossed leg. Keep the back straight and then slowly bend forward at the hips. The shoulders should fall towards the shin of the crossed leg. Hold for about 30 seconds and repeat the other leg 3-4 times.
These are just a few stretches that you can perform after a long ride. However, this video will illustrate better more recovery exercise tips.
Remember “There is nothing, absolutely nothing quite so worthwhile as simply messing about on bicycles”- Tom Kunich