Do you like to go biking? If so, how do you relax your leg muscles after a long ride? Let’s explore how to relax your leg muscles after biking and some of the best methods for doing so. We will also provide some tips on how to prevent muscle fatigue in the first place.
Get into the habit of taking care of your strained ligaments and muscles by stretching a little. You’ll quickly see the benefits of post-bike stretching and feel refreshed and ready to hit the trails the next day. Stretching regularly for only 5 minutes a day will considerably improve your flexibility.
Here’s How To Stretch Your Muscles After Biking
Why Stretching After Biking Is Important
The benefits of stretching have not been proven from a sports science perspective and likely vary from individual to individual. The proper time to stretch is also a matter of controversy. However, many recommend stretching after exercise, when the ligaments and tendons are already warmed up.
Despite what science says, if so many athletes – both in amateur and professional circles – swear by stretching, it’s because they must get beneficial results.
Try it out stretching and see for yourself if you feel better afterward – the answer is often yes.
Warming Up Before Stretching
We agree with the many experts who advise warming up the muscles beforehand. Isn’t a bike ride an ideal warm-up? Of course, running or any other physical exercise will be equally effective. What’s important is that your cardiovascular system has been challenged before, start slow and don’t overdo it. If it pulls a little, it’s fine, but the sensation should not become painful.
Ideally, you should stretch every day. Provided you have warmed up beforehand, a stretching program can be performed while talking on the phone, waiting for the train, or even while watching television. The ideal time is naturally directly after cycling.
Below you will find exercises that take care of the parts of the body that become stressed by cycling: the neck and the arms, the legs, and the pelvis. Static or dynamic, the positions will be executed between 30 and 45 seconds. If the positions are not tenable, shorten the time, extending the duration of the exercises is not necessary.
Stretching The Neck & Shoulders After Biking
Cycling and prolonged sitting at work often contribute to making the neck and shoulder areas of the body very tense.
Standing and in a relaxed position, let your shoulders drop back. Turn your head to the right and bend your right arm (like a runner in a sprint). Pass your left hand above your head and gently pull it back. You will then feel the stretch in the neck and shoulder area. The effect will be even greater if you reach to the floor with your right arm. Return to your starting position gradually by performing the movements in the reverse order and repeating the exercise on the other side.
The triceps, the back muscle of the arm extending from the shoulder to the elbow, also needs a good stretch because it is the recipient of a lot of pressure when the hands rest on the handlebars.
You can stand or sit for this stretch. Start by placing the hand of your right arm behind your head and reach for the top of your middle back.
Your elbow should be pointed mostly towards the sky. Pull your right elbow towards your head with your left hand. You should notice a slight stretch on the outside of your right arm. Keep your head straight as you perform this tricep stretch.
Although cycling puts a lot of strain on the muscles of the thighs and calves, the involvement of the trunk should not be underestimated.
It is mainly the hip area that is responsible for keeping you balanced, and although this area can be considered relatively passive on a bike, it constantly contributes to the support and maintenance of the racing position.
To prepare to stretch: Take a step forward with your right foot, planting the front foot evenly on the ground while letting the heel of the left foot lift off the ground. The size of your step forward will be a function of the tension felt in the pelvic region.
Place both hands on the floor to the left of your right foot. Keep your eye looking straight to the floor and keep your right leg bent at 90 degrees. You will feel the stretch in your left hip. Move your left foot further back to increase the stretch.
You will come out of this position the same way you entered it to reproduce it on the other side by taking the same step with the other leg. Repeat these movements several times to the left and the right, holding the stretch for 30 to 45 seconds.
The legs are the body parts most stressed by cyclists. We will focus here first on the classic stretch of the quadriceps femoris.
While standing, shift all your body weight onto one leg, grabbing the ankle of the other leg to pull it against your butt. Stay in this position. Be careful, however, not to stretch your foot too much, if you grab it by the toes. Try to stand up straight, even if the tension is very high. Try not to deviate the body laterally to compensate for continued imbalance and make sure your knees are close together. Use a wall or another stationary object if you need support for balance.
Stretching The Hamstrings After Biking
While standing shift your body weight onto one leg, bend the other leg, grab it below the knee and pull it towards your chest. Continue to stand upright throughout this stretch with our eyes looking out to the horizon.
This stretch should also have a noticeable effect on the gluteus maximus muscle (gluteus maximus). Lean against a tree or wall if you have trouble keeping your balance.
Repeat this stretch 3 to 4 times for both hamstrings.
Stretching The Calves After Biking
To stretch your calves lean with your hands against a wall or a sturdy tree. Take a step back with your right leg and stretch the back leg, pulling the heel towards the ground. Hold this position, feeling the slight tension in your calf, then switch sides.
Repeat this stretch 3 to 4 times for both calves.
Yoga Stretch – Dog Upside Down
Start by getting on all fours, hands just under the shoulders, knees under the pelvis, and aligned with the hands and feet. By supporting yourself on the ground with your hands and feet, you will push your pelvis upwards to the sky. The desired position is that of a triangle (side view).
If flexibility is lacking, bend your knees slightly to be able to stretch your legs well without damaging your back. Hold the position for a few seconds.
If you aren’t stretching daily, now is a good time to start. Begin by committing to stretch for just 5 minutes a day and do it for 30 days straight. You will be amaze at just how limber you feel.