Stretching for Cycling(B)

Posted by tan xiao yan on

Cycling is an incredibly rewarding activity which carries fantastic benefits.On the one hand, with its low impact on the joints and high rate of calorie burn, which allows people to get(and stay)in shape.On the other hand, it has also been known to boost mental health, to decrease the risk of coronary heart disease, and to improve coordination skills.Whenever you want to start an exercise or build an exercise hobby, cycling is always a good choice.As other sports, cycling also requires us to stretch our body.
We’ve talked about the benefits of stretching and introduced some instructions of how to stretch the upper parts of the body yesterday.In today’s article, we are going to learn how to stretch the lower parts of the body.
The main parts we would emphasize is the hip, thigh and calf.

Hip Stretches
The hip is a very stable ball and socket type joint with a large range of motion. The hip contains some of the largest muscles and some of the smallest muscles of the body. Sitting for a long time may result in tightness of the hip flexor and the hamstring. Tightness in the muscles and ligaments can create joint forces that may cause some health problems like arthritis, postural bursitis, and so on.
And here are some ways to stretch the hip and the muscles surrounding.

Way 1:stretch
a.Get on your hands and knees, in a position like a Frog.[right]
b.Slowly widen your knees out as far as they can go and make your feet in line with your knees. Your shins should be parallel with one another.
c.Flex your feet and ease yourself forward onto your forearms.Hold for 30seconds.
d.If holding the stretch for longer, try slowly moving your hips forward and backward to bring the stretch to different parts of your hips.

Way 2:

a.Sit down with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor in front of you.
b.Place your right ankle on top of your left thigh and flex your right foot.
c.Put your hands behind your body, with your fingertips facing away from your body and press your hips toward your heels until you feel a stretch over your outer left hip. Keep your back tall and chest open.
d.Hold for six to eight breaths, then repeat on the other side.

Thigh Stretches
We divide thigh into two parts, the inner thigh, and the outer thigh.The inner thigh muscles are what you use when you bring your leg toward the center of your body and the outer thigh is what you use when you move your leg away from the center of your body.Stretching thigh muscles could help you improve your performance and mobility.And here are instructions for stretches of the inner and outer thigh.

Inner Thigh Stretch
1.Take a big step outward, making your feet are about 4 feet apart with your toes pointed forward. Engage your abdominal muscles to stabilize your torso and keep your back straight.
2.Bend your right knee, transfer your weight to your right foot and move to the right side until your upper thigh is parallel to the floor.
3.Keep your right knee directly over your right ankle and your left leg straight.
4.Hold this stretch for 30 seconds and then switch to the other side. Repeat this stretch three times.

Outer Thigh Stretch
1.Start in a seated position with your legs extended in front of you.
2.Bend your right leg and cross it over your left leg.
3.Place your right foot flat on the floor. Contract your abs and rotate your head and torso to the right, placing your right elbow behind your right knee. Keep your left hand on the floor for support.
4.Gently push with your elbow against your knee to feel a deeper stretch in your right outer thigh.
5.Hold the stretch for 30 seconds before and switch to the other leg. Repeat the stretch three times.
Calf Stretches
For cycling is a sport that requires prolonged running, flexibility in the calves is imperative.So it is important to keep the calf muscles lengthened in order to exercise properly.The calf muscles include two muscles: the gastrocnemius, and the soleus. The gastrocnemius is the dual head muscle that makes up the outer calf and the soleus is a broad flat muscle in the calf of the leg under the gastrocnemius muscle. Both of these muscles insert into the Achilles tendon at the back of the ankle, but motivate different muscles to stretch.

Gastrocnemius Stretch
1.With your arms extended and your back straight, place both palms on a sturdy surface, preferably a wall.
2.Put the calf you want to stretch behind you, and make sure to keep your heel pressed to the floor and the leg extended without bending the knee. The other leg is in a lunged forward position in between the wall and the extended leg.
3. Keeping your heel down, slowly bend your elbows and lean forward.
4.Repeat the stretch 5 times and switch to the other leg.

Soleus Muscle Stretch
1. Lean against a wall with the leg to be stretched at the back.
2. Bend the knee keeping the heel in contact with the ground until a stretch is felt.
3. Hold for 15 to 20 seconds and repeat three times. If a stretch is not felt then another method is to place the ball of the foot against the wall and bend the front knee until a stretch is felt.
4.Then Switch to the other leg.
For cyclists, who spend hours crouching over their handlebars, stretching plays an important role in counteracting the muscles’ tightness, in which case, I hope this article would be helpful to those who love cycling to have a funny and safe ride.