Exercises

While cycling is a great cardio workout, the extent of movement of our limbs is fairly limited.  Our arms and torso normally do not tend to move to a great extent, ie they do flex many times a second, but do not move in a significant range.  After a while some parts of our body can get stiff.  The following from the League of American Bicyclists will help you to increase your cycling distance by flexing those parts of your body that normally don't get such a good workout.

 

ON-BIKE STRETCHING AND EXERCISES

  • Reasons to stretch
  • Reduce tightness and strain in your neck, back, shoulders, arms and face
  • Ride longer with less fatigue; recover faster with post-ride stretches
  • Always warm-up muscles before stretching; cold stretching can cause injury
  • Be careful

  • Never attempt these stretches while riding in a group or paceline situation
  • Check for traffic, slow down and maintain control of your bicycle
  • Attempt only on smooth, flat, dry pavement
  1. Lower and middle back
    • With one hand on the bar, reach back and place your forearm across your lower back
    • Twist your upper body toward the hand that is behind you; hold for 5 seconds
    • Look over your shoulder and move that shoulder back while moving the other forward
  2. Shoulder and neck
    • Reach across chest to opposite shoulder as far as comfortable; hold for 5 seconds
    • Lift shoulders towards your ears until you feel tension
    • Hold for 5 seconds, then slowly roll back to original position
  3. Fingers and forearms
    • Place hand on hip, palm down, fingers up; straighten elbow to stretch for 10 seconds
    • Place fingers on handlebar and push down to stretch forearms; hold for 5 seconds
    • Bend hand back as far as possible; rotate wrist back and forth; hold for 5 seconds
  4. Face and jaw
    • Open your mouth in an "O" then move your lips right to left to stretch cheek muscles
    • Open your mouth wide to stretch jaw muscles
    • Never clench your teeth while riding
  5. Back
    • Arch your back while lowering your head slightly
    • Then straighten your back and lift your head up to straighten your spine
    • Hold each for 5 seconds; perform both stretches consecutively
  6. Legs
    • While coasting, straighten one leg in the 6 o'clock position and drop your heel
    • In the 3 and 9 o'clock position, stand and drop both heels; switch feet and repeat
    • Hold each stretch for 10 seconds and repeat