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Cycling and stretching

Posted on: Monday, June 12, 2017

Cycling has become a very popular pastime in recent years with the 2012 Olympics in London showcasing some of the worlds best athlete's. The bike to work scheme has also meant that people have cheaper access to great bikes. This has all meant that come the weekend, keen cyclists spend hour upon hour bent over handle bars. Cyclist who train regularly have great cardio vascular fitness, however many lack flexibility throughout their bodies (particularly thoracic spine, hamstrings and calves). Cycling is a repetitive sport that involves moving the feet in a fixed position through a small range of motion. The knees and hips are never taken through a full range of movement and the back stays in a static hunched position for often several hours at a time. This can lead to tightness and muscle shortening. This shortening can mean that it becomes easier to injure yourself while doing simple things like playing with your children or going for a short run.

Below we have included some stretches that you should get into a habit of doing. Normally to actually achieve a change in the muscle length you need to be stretching everyday for at least 6 weeks. We would also advise in order to maintain the new length, you should do about 10-15 minutes of stretching daily.

1) Hip flexor stretch

2) Calf release with tennis ball

3) Calf stretch on step

4) ITB release with tennis ball

5) Pecs stretch

6) Thoracic extension 

Hold each of the stretches for 30 seconds and repeat several times. 

Normally you should spend a few minutes on the tennis ball exercises.