VERVE CYCLE is one of the best workouts to improve cardiovascular fitness, muscular endurance and strength, and mindfulness. It’s important to take care of your body and stretch properly before and after your rides to avoid injury and improve your performance. Here are some of the best stretches for VERVE riders and cyclists:
Hip Flexor Stretch
The hip flexors are important muscles for cycling, but they can also become tight from sitting in a bent position for long periods of time. To stretch your hip flexors, find a low lunge by starting in a kneeling position with your right foot forward and your left foot back with the toes untucked. Play with reaching your arms up overhead, grabbing one wrist and leaning to the same side as your front leg. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds and repeat on the other side.
Tight hamstrings can lead to lower back pain and reduce your cycling performance. To stretch your hamstrings, sit on the ground with your legs straight out in front of you. Reach forward and try to touch your toes, keeping your back straight. Bending your knees slightly can help if you have super tight hamstrings. Another option is to sit at an edge of a chair and extend one leg out with your heel on the floor. Lengthen through your spine and then gently hinge at your hips to fold over that front leg. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
The quads are the muscles at the front of your thighs and are the muscles that create power and force when riding. To stretch your quads, stand with one hand against a wall for balance. Bend one leg at the knee and grab your ankle with your other hand. Pull your ankle towards your buttocks until you feel a stretch in the front of your thigh. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
Tight calves can lead to foot pain and reduced pedal power. To stretch your calves, stand facing a wall with your hands on the wall at shoulder height. Step one foot back and press your heel into the ground, keeping your back leg straight. Lean forward until you feel a stretch in your calf. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
IT Band Stretch
The IT band is a thick band of tissue that runs from the hip to the knee and can become tight from cycling. To stretch your IT band, stand with one foot crossed in front of the other. Lean to the side, away from your crossed leg, until you feel a stretch on the outside of your thigh. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side. Another option is to hop on a foam roller and foam roll the later aspect of your upper leg.
Remember to stretch gently and avoid bouncing, which can cause injury. Stretching before and after your rides can help improve your performance, prevent injury, and keep you riding strong for years to come. We also recommend using Therabody products like the Theragun Pro to activate muscles before class and recovery after class.