Purpose: Elongates the back and quad muscles, which are compressed during bicycle rides.
Kneel in front of a couch or chair. Put your left foot on the edge of the seat behind you. (Beginners may just want to rest the foot directly on the floor.) The knee of the right leg should be over but not in front of the forward foot, instep touching the ground.) Keeping your torso perpendicular to the ground, place your right hand on your abdomen and your left hand on the back of your hip. Inhale, lifting your chest and expanding your spine. Exhale, moving your lower abdominal area back. This rotates your hips to stretch the thigh. Stay in this position for five or seven breaths. Repeat the lunge with your left leg forward and your right leg back, switching the position of your hands.
Purpose: Stretch accesses the hip muscles. It also releases tension around the sacrum and sciatic nerve, a way to counter prolonged sitting.
Lie on your back, hips near a wall, bed or couch. Begin with your right foot on the wall. Cross your left ankle over your right thigh, just above the right knee. Maintain this position for five breaths. At the end of the five breaths, switch legs and repeat process.
Inner leg lengthener
Purpose: Increases recovery of the lower back – a critical area for cyclists – and also increases lymphatic circulation from the lower back to the toes, using gravity to aid circulation. This is also a logical next step after the pure hip exercise, as it is a variation of the stretch.
Lie on your back near a wall, bed or couch. Place the outside edges of your feet on the wall. Bend your knees so the knees and ankles are in a straight line perpendicular to the floor. Place your hands on your legs, just below the knee and push gently, toward the wall. Stay and inhale. Exhale and release pressure on your legs. Repeat the process.
Purpose: Helps stretch the hamstrings, hips and the outside of the leg. It also decreases compression in the knee joint.
Place both hands, shoulder distance apart, on a wall or on the back of a chair. Walk your feet under your hips until your legs are perpendicular to the torso. Bend your knees a little so you can arch your lower back. Stay in this position for five breaths. Inhale and raise your left leg back. keeping the ankle flexed, so the toes point toward the ground. Straighten the left leg. Exhale and bring your left leg back down to the starting position. Inhale, take your left leg back, again keeping the ankle flexed. Straighten your right leg. Repeat two more times, alternating from leg to leg.