One of the biggest mistakes you can make as a cyclist is skipping a proper cooldown after putting in time on your cycle bike. Cooling down is an important step in initiating the post-workout recovery process. After a vigorous HIIT session or intense hill climb, the last thing you want to do is to skip your cooldown. If you’re in a rush, it’s easy enough to add in these essential stretches on your own. With these stretches, you’ll be on with your day in no time!
1. Forward Fold
With feet either clipped into pedals or strapped into your cages, bring pedals level. Bring your hands into an aero position while standing up out of the saddle. Sit back with your hip just over your seat and hinge at the hips while tightening through the core to straighten your back. Let your weight fall into your heels as you feel this stretch through your calves and hamstrings. Hold for 30 seconds or as long as it feels good to you, then switch pedals so the other foot comes forward with the opposite behind.
2. Chest Opener
With feet either clipped into pedals or strapped into your cages, bring pedals level. Hold onto the end of your handlebars as if coming up into a climb and stand up out of the saddle. Shift the weight in your hips forward, as you lengthen through your spine, pushing through your hands, and down through your shoulders pushing down and away from your ears. Arch your back and look up towards the sky if you feel comfortable. Hold for 30 seconds or longer if that feels good to you.
3. Standing Hamstring Stretch
Dismount from your bike and stand on either side of the saddle. Choose one leg to stretch and gently swing it up onto the handlebars, placing your heel directly on the handlebar for support. Bring your right hand forward, twisting slightly to grab the inside of the left foot. Straighten through the spine, keeping your core tight and chest proud, hinge forward at the hips to bring your chest closer to your leg and deepen the stretch. If this is too hard for you, simply complete this stretch on the ground next to your bike by placing one foot forward, with heel flexed and toe pointed upwards, and folding from the hips to bring your chest closer to the leg you’re stretching. Hold for 30 seconds or as long as you’d like, then switch to the other side.
4. Standing Glute Stretch
Stand beside your handlebars and grab with one or two hands for support. Bring one leg up, rotating it outwards, and bending at the knee to rest your foot just above the opposite knee. Bend your standing leg and bring your hips back as if you were squatting or sitting in a chair. Remember, to grasp onto those handlebars for support if needed. Use one hand to push down on the leg being stretched, to deepen the stretch in your glute. Hold for 30 seconds, or longer if you prefer, then switch to the other side.
5. Standing Quad Stretch
Stand beside your bike, placing one hand on the handlebars for support. Kick your left foot up towards your left glute, grabbing your foot and drawing it closer to your glutes to deepen the stretch in your quad (the front of your thigh). Remember to tighten your core and keep your hips square - no cheating by arching your back. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, or as long as you like, then switch to the other side!
I hope you enjoyed these simple stretches that are quick to complete and are a great way to care for your muscles. If you’ve never taken time to cool down after your cycling workout, I hope these stretches have shown you just how easy it is to add to your at-home cycling routine! If these stretches have you hooked, be sure to check out some of our other stretching videos that would be great to relieve tight muscles, and get even more recovery in post-workout like 10-Minute Essential Full Body Stretch, 25-Minute Full Body Stretch, or 20-Minute Mobility Routine.