Written By: Donald Stewart
Cycling is a fantastic form of exercise because your body is able to boost cardiovascular performance and Increase muscular strength and flexibility. Although cycling is considered a low risk and impact exercise, you can still develop pesky issues due to your unnatural riding stance and repetitive nature. So today I will share with you my ride routine that can help you recover faster and more efficiently.
Step 1: Rehydrate and Refuel
The most important thing to do post-ride is to start replenishing your body’s nutrients as soon as possible with a quick snack. Start by drinking a glass of water then eating something rich in protein and carbohydrates, which are essential for your body to start repairing soft tissue like muscles after your ride. I’m not saying go and eat a hamburger; think more along the lines of granola and dried fruit, a fruit and yogurt smoothie, or my personal favorite: a hardboiled egg and half an avocado.
Step 2: Take Care of that Spine
Most people think of sore legs after riding a bike but they often neglect the spine. When riding, your back and core muscles take a beating to hold yourself in the flexed position for so long and not to mention your neck holding your head up at an angle.
To reverse this hunched position, I will hang out in Upward dog for a good minute or 2 and really focus on opening my chest and shoulder muscles while extending my spine. I will follow this up with some simple head circles to loosen my neck – remember, gentle motion and no pain! The added bonus of this stretch is the awesome hip flexor stretch that comes with it.
Step 3: Stretch those Legs (Hold 30 seconds, 3-5 reps each)
Your legs may feel like they are going to explode depending on the intensity of your ride, but it is important to stretch those muscles while they are still warm. I can’t stress enough how important stretching is after exercise for muscle repair and simply to get you less sore! Start with a simple hamstring stretch, then follow that up with a basic standing calf stretch. Finish with a quadriceps stretch. Remember, any stretch you perform should never be painful.
If you have any health conditions or injuries, talk to your doctor or physical therapist about which stretches are right for you.
Once you have completed this routine, it’s time to kick back and relax because you have now not only gotten in an awesome bike ride, you are also ready to take on tomorrow’s ride rather than sit home with a sore back and wrecked legs.