Cycling Stretches After
Note: If you’ve had any recent surgery, muscle or joint
problems, please consult your personal health-care professional before
starting a stretching or exercise program.
How to stretch:Stretch slowly without
bouncing. Stretch to where you feel a slight, easy stretch. Hold this feeling
for 5 to 30 seconds. As you hold this stretch, the feeling of tension should
diminish. If it doesn’t, just ease off slightly into a more comfortable
stretch. The easy stretch reduces tension and readies the tissues for the
After holding the easy stretch move a
fraction of an inch farther into the stretch until you feel mild tension
again. This is the developmental stretch, which should be held for 5 to 30 seconds.
This feeling of stretch tension should also slightly diminish or stay the
same. If the tension increases or becomes painful, you are overstretching.
Ease off a bit to a comfortable stretch. The developmental stretch reduces
tension and will safely increase flexibility.
Hold only stretch
tensions that feel good to you. The key to stretching is to be relaxed while
you concentrate on the area being stretched. Your breathing should be slow,
deep and rhythmical. Don’t worry about how far you can stretch. Stretch relaxed
and limberness will come as one of the many by-products of regular
In the illustrations with
each stretch, the dotted areas are those body areas where you will most
likely feel the stretches.
1. To stretch your calf, stand a little ways from a solid
support and lean on it with your forearm. Bend one leg and place your foot on
the ground in front of you leaving the other leg straight, behind you. Slowly
move your hips forward until you feel a stretch in the calf of your straight
leg. Be sure to keep the heel of the foot on the straight leg on the ground and your toes pointed
Hold an easy stretch for 30 seconds. Do not bounce. Stretch both legs.
2. Opposite hand to opposite foot - quads and
With the left hand, grab the top of the right foot (from the inside of the
foot) and gently pull, moving the heel towards your buttocks. The knee bends
at a natural angle in this position and creates a good stretch in the knee
and quads. This
is especially good to do if you have had trouble or feel pain
stretching in the hurdle stretch position leaning back, or when pulling the
right heel to the butt with the right (same) hand. Pulling opposite hand to
opposite foot does not create any adverse angles in the knee and is
especially good in knee rehab and with problem knees. Hold for 30 seconds. Do both legs.
3. With arms overhead, hold the
elbow of one arm with the hand of the other arm. Keeping the knees slightly
bent (1 inch), gently
pull your elbow behind your head as you bend from your hips to the side. Hold an easy stretch for 10 seconds. Do both sides. Keep your knees
slightly bent for better balance.
CYCLING STRETCHES c1999 by Bob Anderson,
illustrated by Jean Anderson, Stretching, Inc., has been reprinted by
permission. For a free catalog of Stretching Inc. publications/products,
visit www.stretching.com or call 800.333.1307, Box 767, Palmer Lake, CO 80133. CYCLING STRETCHES is
available as a laminated 8 1/2- x 11-inch sheet, 22 1/2- x 34-inch poster,
laminated, paper, or paper/folded, a 4- x 4 1/2-inch booklet and as a routine
included in their book, STRETCHING.