How to Stretch While Riding

While I don’t do any static stretching before a workout, I usually do some stretching during a long ride.

Sometimes your body seizes up when hunched over for hours on end, and some stretches make you feel a ton better. I don’t like to stop and lose my rhythm, so I do a few light stretches while still rolling along.

* Do not attempt to stretch while riding unless you are comfortable with your bike handling skills. *

Here we go:

Foot/Toe Stretch

With your feet still in your shoes, curl your toes in, then extend them forward. This will help keep your feet from seizing up and make sure they get enough blood flow.

This stretch is easily done with your hands on the bar and feet still clipped in.

Calf Stretch

Stand up with pedals at the 6 and 12 o’clock positions. Drop your bottom heel (the 6 o’clock foot) and lean forward to stretch your calf.

Switch foot positions and repeat stretch with the other leg.

Quad Stretch

Unclip one foot and swing it up behind you. Pull it up with your hand and hold your foot behind your butt, concentrating on stretching your quad.

You could also bring your foot up and rest your toes on the saddle, rather than using your hand.

Repeat with the other leg.

Hip Stretch

Drop your feet to the 6 and 12 o’clock positions, and press your hips and pelvis toward the bar. The hip of the down leg (6 o’clock) gets the stretch. This is much like doing a calf stretch, but without dropping your heel.

Switch foot positions and repeat.

Core and Back Stretch

Sit upright with your back straight. Take your left hand off bar and reach around behind you (to the left) in a twisting motion. Rest your left hand on your right hip and hold.

(Obviously you want to make sure the road ahead is clear, since you’ll be facing backward.)

Then repeat with the right arm and twisting to the right.

Shoulder Stretches

1. Sit upright. Stretch your arms up, one at a time, pointing at the sky. You’ll feel it on the tops of your shoulders.

2. When there’s no traffic, bring your left arm up like you’re signaling a right hand turn. Then pull it back and press your shoulder forward. Repeat with your other arm in that same position (a 90 degree bend.)

Neck Stretches

1. Sitting upright. Look left. Then look right.

2. Tilt your head, touching ears to shoulders (i.e. left ear to left shoulder, right ear to right shoulder.)

3. Tuck chin into chest.

Perform those stretches during your long rides and you’ll feel fresher and hopefully alleviate back and neck pain.

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