Cycling is a demanding sport that includes constant repetition of the same plane of motion. The knee and hip move in what is known as the sagittal plane, which integrates consistent lower extremity flexion and extension movements. With the upper-body holding a “C‑Curve” spine, the body adapts to the soft curvature in the spine as well as the consistent repetition, which may lead to tight muscles, overuse injuries or poor posture.
When on the road, or trail, be sure to execute these yoga poses to increase flexibility, promote strength and mobility. These poses are ideal for cyclists to lengthen the chest, hips and forearm positions.
To perform, complete each asana for 30 to second seconds, or three to five deep, yoga breaths. Complete each asana and repeat the five poses.
Downward Facing Dog
This position is ideal to lengthen the front side of the torso and open the lower back, hips and those pesky, tight hamstrings and calves.
How to Perform: Start onto all fours, and walk the hands three inches in front of the shoulders. Slowly, curl the back toes underneath and lift the hips into the air and relax the chest and heels.
This position opens the hip flexor and quadriceps muscle while opening the chest.
How to Perform: Start onto the shins and bring your right foot forward. Slowly, walk the front foot three inches in front of the knee. Hinge and lunge forward into the front leg until you feel a stretch into the back leg. Raise arms overhead to open the chest. Repeat on the left leg.
This pose lengthens the back of the legs while opening the forearm extensor muscles, which is ideal for the persistent use of the hands on the handles and break gear.
How to Perform: Stand upright and place feet hip distance apart. Exhale, roll the spine down, into a forward fold, and place the palm of the hands under the sole of the foot. To open the forearms deeper, slightly shift the weight forward on the hands.
Side Angle Pose
This pose strengthens the legs while opening the hip, oblique and lats muscle.
How to Perform: Stand with feet three to four feet apart. Turn your right toes forward and left heel slightly kicks out. Bend your right knee to 90 degrees, place right forearm on the thigh and reach your top arm over toward the sky. To deepen the pose, reach your right hand toward the floor. Hold and switch to the opposite side.
This pose deeply opens the hamstrings, glutes and opposite leg’s quadriceps muscles.
How to Perform: Start on the shins and bring your right foot forward. Walk your right foot three inches to the right. Slowly lunge forward while lowering your upper body onto the forearms. To make it deeper, curl the back toes underneath and lift the back knee off the floor. Hold and switch to the other leg.