I’ll admit it – I don’t stretch too much, especially if I’m not on a full training program!
That said, I’ve added a few stretches to my routine as I’m wrapping up a ride. It’s good to do a short cool-down, and these stretches fit right in. These take just a minute or two, and usually feels pretty good a the end of a ride!
I’ll be describing four stretches, and the main focus is on the legs, specifically calves and hamstrings, but also incorporates shoulders and back.
All stretches are done while coasting slowly, hopefully there’s a quiet and flat street near your finish, and hold each for 15-40 seconds.
#1 – Calf Stretch
This is a pretty easy one, simply drop your heel, and stand straight up, focusing your weight on your dropped heel to give your calf a really good stretch. Do both legs of course!
#2 – Hamstring Stretch
This one is a bit more complex, while out of the saddle, bend forward at the hips, and position yourself so you’re stretching your hamstrings, arching your lower back down towards the ground, the heel will need to drop a bit as well. You can get your calf a bit as well, but better to focus on the hamstrings. Wiggle your hips to really ‘get it’. Don’t forget the other leg!
#3 – Calf, Lower Back & Shoulder Stretch
Very similar to #1, but press your pelvis forward towards the handlebars, you should feel it flexing and stretching your lower back (which is hunched forward while riding, nice relief!) And while in this position you can also push your shoulders back, opening your chest a bit. Best repeated on both legs.
#4 – Hamstring, Lower Back & Shoulder Stretch
Again, similar to #2, but arch your back inwards, and push your upper chest downwards, giving your shoulders a good stretch as well. Again, do both sides as well!
And that’s it!
Takes just a minute or two at the end of your ride, and if you’re not doing any other stretches, this ought to help keep you a little more limber. Hope that helps!
Pro tip: on longer rides, these stretches can also help offer some relief as you’re rolling along!