5-Pose Yoga Fix Stretches for Cyclists


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Video taken from the channel: Global Cycling Network

5-Pose Yoga Fix: Stretches for Cyclists 1. CAT AND COW. Cat and cow pose go together like peanut butter and jelly. Cat stretches the back and strengthens the 2. DOWN DOG.

This lengthens the back muscles and hamstrings. Widen your stance and keep a soft bend in your knees to 3. PLANK. This.

As cyclists, we often look for quick exercises that result in more power, speed, and endurance. Many think of yoga as a counterbalance to these drills that leave muscles tight and sore. Engage your abdominals, tuck your toes and step your feet back. Keep contracting your abdominals so you create one long line from head to heels and avoid sticking your butt in the air or drooping your belly.

Look slightly ahead of your fingers to keep your neck long. Hold for 5–10 breaths. Yoga is a commonly known generic term for the physical, mental, and spiritual practices.

Originated in ancient India with a view to attain a state of permanent peace. There are many great reasons. Quadriceps. Standing, reach back with your right hand and grab your right foot at the top of the ankle, and pull up towards your butt. The quads are the biggest cycling muscle, and deserve a very slow stretch, careful not to pull too hard too fast.

Hold for 15 to 30 seconds, then rotate legs. What It Works: Transverse abdominus, upper and lower back 1. Lying on your stomach, place your elbows under your shoulders with forearms and hands on the floor. 2. Planks target your shoulders, abdomen, and lower back. Lifting one leg can add a degree of difficulty to each set and further target the lower back.

Start with hold times of 30-60 seconds per round and progress to 60-90 second hold times as you go through offseason training. Extension. 3 of 10. With an upright posture, tilt your head back (opposite of flexion) so that your nose is towards the sky. You should feel this stretch in the back of the neck and the muscles of the upper shoulder.

Hold for five seconds and repeat five times. A lot of cyclists find they get a sore lower back on long rides or hard climbs, and when you think about it that’s not really surprising. In this video, Emma.

Hip rotator stretches for cyclists D’Adamo has provided two stretches that fully open up the rotator muscles. There’s no limit to how often you should do them, before or after, says D’Adamo.

List of related literature:

Ideas for moves and stretches include rolling the shoulders backward, stretching the pectoralis major (chest), and stretching the upper trapezius (neck; see figure 12.2) to counteract the rounded, hunched posture so often seen in cycling classes.

“Methods of Group Exercise Instruction” by Mary M. Yoke, Carol Armbruster
from Methods of Group Exercise Instruction
by Mary M. Yoke, Carol Armbruster
Human Kinetics, 2019

This latter skill is essential to countering the tendency of anteriorly tilting the pelvis, a common postural problem that often accompanies movements in which the legs move away from the center, such as in Hundred (exercise 5-4) and Teaser (exercise 5-9).

“Pilates Anatomy” by Rael Isacowitz, Karen S. Clippinger
from Pilates Anatomy
by Rael Isacowitz, Karen S. Clippinger
Human Kinetics, 2019

Self-assisted passive knee flexion (a) Heel drag in supine (simultaneous hip and knee flexion in lying supine) position (b) Bedside sitting, relaxed knee movements with the help of sound leg (in unilateralTKR) (c) Sitting with feet planted on the ground, lift and push forward by raising trunk on arms 3.

“Essentials of Orthopaedics & Applied Physiotherapy E-Book” by Jayant Joshi, Prakash P Kotwal
from Essentials of Orthopaedics & Applied Physiotherapy E-Book
by Jayant Joshi, Prakash P Kotwal
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2016

Gluteal stretch: Supine; on involved side, hip is slightly abducted, and patient brings hip and knee into flexion to stretch the buttock muscles (Figure 7-12).

“Obstetric and Gynecologic Care in Physical Therapy” by Rebecca Gourley Stephenson, Linda J. O'Connor
from Obstetric and Gynecologic Care in Physical Therapy
by Rebecca Gourley Stephenson, Linda J. O’Connor
Slack, Incorporated, 2000

The most popular yoga activity is hatha yoga, a sequence of stretching, bending, and twisting movements that causes each joint to move slowly through its maximum range of motion, then is held for several seconds and repeated (see Figure 4.5).

“Health Promotion and Aging: Practical Applications for Health Professionals” by David Haber, PhD
from Health Promotion and Aging: Practical Applications for Health Professionals
by David Haber, PhD
Springer Publishing Company, 2013

Yoga is another great way to stretch the muscles you’ll need for riding.

“Horses For Dummies” by Audrey Pavia, Janice Posnikoff
from Horses For Dummies
by Audrey Pavia, Janice Posnikoff
Wiley, 2019

8.25), and the fullest expressions of many inverted poses (chapters 8 and 9), just to mention a few—in which generating tension in the hamstrings or releasing tension in the quadriceps femoris muscles to permit frank bending of the knees would alter the fundamental nature of the posture.

“Anatomy of Hatha Yoga: A Manual for Students, Teachers, and Practitioners” by David Coulter
from Anatomy of Hatha Yoga: A Manual for Students, Teachers, and Practitioners
by David Coulter
Motilal Banarsidass, 2004

To achieve the greatest benefit from each of these postures, patients should complete at least five and up to 15 full yogic breaths per pose.

“Integrative Gastroenterology” by Gerard E. Mullin, Marvin Singh
from Integrative Gastroenterology
by Gerard E. Mullin, Marvin Singh
Oxford University Press, 2019

Letting your breath accompany the movement, turn from side to side, finding a rhythm and pace that allows you to explore the rotation in your hips, the bend in the hinge of your hips, and how your feet alternately flex and extend.

“Self-Awakening Yoga: The Expansion of Consciousness Through the Body's Own Wisdom” by Don Stapleton
from Self-Awakening Yoga: The Expansion of Consciousness Through the Body’s Own Wisdom
by Don Stapleton
Inner Traditions/Bear, 2004

While the apparent similarities between modern yoga postures and contortionist turns are to some degree a function of these basic possibilities, they remain nonetheless suggestive.

“Yoga Body: The Origins of Modern Posture Practice” by Mark Singleton
from Yoga Body: The Origins of Modern Posture Practice
by Mark Singleton
Oxford University Press, 2010

Alexia Lewis RD

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  • Thanks Dan! What a man! I hate doing yoga because I get just as frustrated and I can’t do half of the crap! Very happy I’m not alone! ������������

  • Wonder-fucking ful. It felt like angels came to kiss my muscles in pain and healed them. I did 4 hour bike ride and 3 hour hike and 2 hour walk.
    I couldn’t walk before this stretch and now I am walking normally.
    Thank you with my life

  • Thank you for this! I’ve been doing a lot of indoor cycling sessions these past few days. Now I know what to stretches to do after the sessions.:)

  • I saw this clip March last year. It inspired me to start with yoga, first on my own and then in August at a studio. I do Vinyasa yoga now two times a week and it is indeed a good thing for the cyklist in me. Thanks for the inpiration!

  • have to be honest, started to watch this to see how Dan falls over but damn it this is good, think will need to start doing some of these particular Yoga exercises and they are so well explained that I can do them from home

  • That is soo good to hear & see the corrections of a professional:) Dan is doing really good actually in comparison to meeeeee aaaaaah!

  • I even stretch mid-ride. If I’m able to coast I do things like:
    — One hand on handle bar, straighten back, reach opposite hand around my back. Maybe tilt my head slightly away from the reaching shoulder. (helps loosen shoulders)
    — If I’m coasting I’ll stand on the pedals, lean forward with a straight back. Straighten the legs and really push my glutes UP. If I do it properly it seems to help stretch my hamstrings and calves a bit.
    — Look down at water bottles for a second, look up, down, repeat. Stretches the back of the neck.
    — Put chin down closer to chest, twist head left then right and repeat a few times. Keep the chin down toward your body. This seems to really help stretch the side of your neck/shoulders

    hope that helps. No one asked, but thought I’d offer it up. My friend took my suggestion to stretch during his rides and said he felt a difference in how much looser he was post-ride.

  • I’m impressed by Dan’s flexibility. I’m 54 and took up yoga last year and although I feel like a fish out of water in the class, I feel better for the classes and recommend it to all my mates. Also, I haven’t been to my osteopath since I started yoga.

  • Just found out about your channel after search for the best stretches for cyclists. This video is was what I was looking for. Nice work.

  • Yoga is one of those activities that if you have the discipline to do it 2+ times a week, I’m sure it will yield benefits over time. However, I did a class some years ago for quite a while and all it did for me was show me how uncomfortable most of these poses are which makes it less than enjoyable. If you’re not enjoying something you just won’t do it.

  • Thank you for sharing this information. I am a disabled veteran with primarily neck issues, and it’s really been difficult while road biking which I am becoming more and more passionate about doing. I am going to start these exercises today (already have) and hopefully that improves my neck situation while riding and after riding. Thank you again

  • I’m about a year overdue for this (and other) vid(s). Ride lots, through lots of pain and ridiculous levels of tightness. I hope nobody else waits as long as I did to address the issues.

  • When I first started cycling I never used to stretch afterwards, and then would wonder why I struggled so much on my run the next day. Then a friend who is an experienced triathlete said that it was his ritual after every ride. So from that moment on I started to do stretches and I have never looked back. I find that It makes a huge difference the next day. I will, however, point out that I am in my 40’s. You could probably get away with not stretching when you’re younger, but when you’re older, it’s a must.
    I also take a protein shake with high carb content (recovery drink) immediately after a ride too as I find this also helps a great deal.

  • Who says yoga is soft? That really was a workout. + you looked like an elephant trying to get in a car. Well done though. Rest of team better watch out in Majorca

  • This is a good example of offering advice that’s beyond their scope of practice. Hamstrings aren’t tight because the knee doesn’t reach full extension, in fact, it’s lengthened repeatedly at the bottom of each pedal stroke. The actual reason why many cyclists need hamstring stretching is because many males have tight hamstrings, but not everyone is inflexible at the hamstring. Most importantly, you need to determine if a muscle imbalance is caused by lack of strength or inflexibility. The psoas, piriformis, soleus, TFL and gluteus medius can easily cause low back pain as well. Please, please consult a professional, especially if you’re experiencing chronic pain.

  • 0:34 I read in a book that’s not what it’s called it’s called, I think you don’t say the ‘a’ in yoga it something.
    Yeah…I think.

  • hey i’ve got a question, I’m currently racing but I really want to become a pro one day so my question is do all talented riders win from the very first time? because thinking about the fact that i don’t have talent makes me sad

  • Ace video. It just goes to show how stiff our bodies get over time without stretching/yoga, especially when in a cycling position. I will definitely add these into my routine!

  • OMG, I know the park (next to the powerhouse in del Mar) you shot this in. I will be there Sunday afternoon. If Google+ was still around you would see the view of the park I will have. It’s a great place to ride.

  • just an FYI-Stretching your hamstrings by bending over at the waste is actually a horrible way to stretch your hamstrings if you have a bad lower back. An alternative stretch is to get a chair or desk and extend your leg to rest on the chair or desk. This will stretch out your hamstring and keep your lower back in a safe position

  • Until i saw this video, stretches was forced upon and never consistently followed. i now look forward to the relief it gives post a bike ride. thanks for sharing

  • Usually, when I watch 20-minute videos with the tag “Yoga”, yoga itself ends somewhere around the 5th minute. GCN expanded my mind today. Thank you, Dan

  • Yoga is really annoying if you have T-REX arms and have had severe injuries to the neck and elbows and shoulders with nerve damage nope just nope. Good luck to everyone else though. I have to modify to much to go to a public class with dignity. And my town has free yoga classes.��

  • I was originally thrilled to see this video posted! Good on you for putting yourself through this for us Dan! This is not a shot at Dan or the instructor! The absolute worst edited video GCN has ever made. Impossible to do along with Dan. Goes off the rails with the very first pose. Dan starts on the right hand and then she corrects him on the same hand and then we move to a new pose! I need to get up go to the remote, rewind it and duplicate on the other side and then move on. Is this an instructional video or or a entertainment form to watch Dan abuse himself?
    Dan does multiple poses from one position! How did we get there? Where do we go from here? I cant follow along and do it with you mid pose. I don’t do yoga often and need to be lead by the nose! Please re-edit the video and do not cut so much out. There is no way I could ever adjust my gears or anything else if GCN tech videos were edited like this.

  • Thanks for the lovely video. Just a thought it’s very easy to edit out things that you don’t like in the video. These days lots of even basic editing software will get you far.
    Seeing that you have a Sony A7III, simply use the Image Edge SW that comes with it for free. Of course, this is now 7 months after the fact so I’m sure you’ll have done something about it.

  • The first pose is just downward dog and you are moving your feet a bit. GRX!!! Way to go! In your lunge like stretch, make sure you always have the front of your foot ahead of your knees. You should take up yoga!

  • Does that mean I won, the whole point of yoga!!! Competitive Yoga a whole new uci class. Just think of all the rules they could make.

  • Try Pilates, much more engagement with the relevant muscles and tendons. However I must compliment the Yoga instructor in targeting the right groups!

  • I’m here cuz i go to work by bike (and it’s pretty a long distance lol).
    Btw this is a great video! I’m gonna try these stretching exercises for sure:)

  • Hi Katie, I heard you say you stretch ‘after’ a session/event. As I understand it you don’t stretch before a session as it weakens your ligaments; you warm up doing what you are about to do but at a low effort. Have you had similar advice and what do your expert contacts say on that subject?

  • Interesting but… wrong!
    If you don’t know him, watch Dylan Johnson (he’s vegan I think?) channel, and this video -> https://youtu.be/x1wjkdGouMk

  • Nicely done, Dan and Bex! I’ve been road cycling since 1989 and went through a 10 month yoga teacher training program in 2011. I did my YTT project on Yoga & Cycling Anatomy: https://www.slideshare.net/mattleveque/yoga-cycling-anatomy… A couple of things I’d share with Dan some of those postures are really difficult so don’t be frustrated. And yes, you can gain strength and flexibility benefits by practicing yoga, but those are secondary. Learning to breathe (in and out through your nose) and quieting your mind are the main benefits. Once I began practicing yoga I was keenly more aware and relaxed when cycling. It’s kinda like Velominati Rule #6 Free your mind and your legs will follow… Chapeau and good luck with your practice.

  • I stretch before riding and have been told to also stretch after to avoid cramping later on.
    Curious that your legs are not all bulging muscles with the long rides you do, what’s your secret?

  • Here I am guilty of ever procrastinating my stretching routine; I am quad dominant and so my effort is to ease the pain around there most of the time. Pigeon pose! Wasn’t aware of this one, I shall give it a try ��

  • Thanks for this video! I really appreciate Bex’s very clear instructions on how to do the different poses. It would be great to add more videos like this to the GCN Training video library!

  • Get it Dan! Zero to Hero no doubt, I’m rooting for you! Great informative video, will be using these techniques in my workout routine!

  • All these videos should start giving credit for these exercises to the ancient Indian art of Yoga. That is what these are: Copies with slight variations of Yogic Asanas.

  • Loving my bike>>> ur2.pl/1144. It was quite easy to assemble, no issues at all. I followed a YouTube video about assembling it and that helped a lot. Only small issue is that moving it around is a bit of a drag because you can only bend the bike to a certain angle to be able to move the bike around, which to me isn’t the best angle since i have to be constantly moving it. Wish the wheel was a bit larger or situated further back so one could bend it further out and make it easier to move around. Other than that, i have no issues.

  • Bloody Hell, Dan,you are a Legend! So impressive.!!! That is a tough routine, and to put ones self out there for all the world critique. Chapeau my friend. I have book marked this to see how long it takes me to achieve this. Think you might have just made Hero ( in my books,anyway)

  • Shared this video with my yoga-instructor wife, her comments: “The yoga is fantastic, but the music sounds like porn…not that I know what porn music sounds like!”

  • I’m really new to biking and don’t have my own bike yet (looking at nice Road bikes on Craigslist) and on my mom’s mountain bike that is too small everytime I get up a big hill near me I feel like I’m going to puke and feel awful until I’m at home, I can’t wait until I get my bike and become more acclimated to riding

  • Studies have actually shown that stretching does not help in recovery. In fact it can even slow down recovery if done improperly since stretching the muscles damages it further. Stretching should only be done after a light exercise to increase range of motion.

  • brilliant video, get her to do an hour long in depth video and routine, I’d say your pretty flexible but she made you look like a brick.

  • This is amazing material, what about if someone like Katherine were put through this?

    No, I’m not saying this just to see a pretty lass get featured more often, but I’ve got serious concerns for the demands of flexibility, particularly for off-road riding (cross and gravel). I think this’ll be heaps of good stuff for non-pros like her and me (and a lot of mere mortals).

  • I’m feeling the neck right now. It is that time of year when you get back outside and have to look up to see where your going in the aerobars after a winter off.

  • How does a foam roller compare to yoga? I just started using a foam roller and noticed much more relaxed muscles overall and better flexibility in my back and hips.

  • Just tried this, yesterday I was exceptical about my body, bc like I said I had a 2 knee surgery and I wasnt getting result with the bike, or was because I wont stretch after every bike round. I can go further as you, but with my own limitations I can assure I feel better already. All I need to do is do this every day. Thanks!

  • Pre exercise stretching doesn’t help in improving your performances, studies has shown that it may actually increase the chances of injury as stretching desensitized your GTO.

    Stretching post exercise however, helps to increase your flexibility by loosening up tight muscles, ligaments and tendons. However, in most cases, people dont hold the stretch long enough to actually cause a plastic lengthening of the muscles, ligaments and tendons. One should to hold the stretch for at least 30s or more, this allows the GTO to desensitized, enabling one to stretch further.

    If you really want to improved your flexibility for cycling I advised one to do the stretches mentioned in the video and hold the stretch for 30s or more, repeat for 2 to 3 times on each side. This principle goes for all other type of stretches.

    Having doubts about my statement, just Google for journals articles, there are gigabytes of them backing up my statement.

  • Here’s a great 10 minute stretching routine for cyclists and triathletes. Perfect for after ride cool down… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hp3mzRadyHA

  • Do you think this helps quadriceps tendonitis because I’ve only done this twice and it’s worked better than any other stretches I’ve done ���� thank you!!

  • 1move your hands to install a BMX handle bar,
    2turn to upright position regularly to rest your neck and enjoy watching the landscape.
    3rest on elbows/forearms to have aerodynamyc position
    4forget about top speed and winning the race
    5start embracing health and sightseeing

  • Hey guys, do you have anything planned on rehabbing injuries?
    I’ve pulled my Achilles’ tendon and am facing a few weeks off the bike.
    Any advice would be appreciated.

  • At 2:30 Gluteus medius is not the larges muscle in fact it tends to be rather weak https://youtu.be/1iODncOLJnk?t=176 I think you’re confusing it with gluteus maximus.

  • wow this is really useful! as i cycle further/longer i am starting to get sores and cramps post ride i shall try these stretches now! tbh i know all of em having played footie competitively at amateur level in my younger days haha

  • I’m learning cycling from you guys and some other sources, thanks for the informative and hilarious content. You’ve got another cycler on the road, and another sub! Love the bloopers, “well, it is another leg”. That part had me crying ��

  • Great Video, thanks. Some quick questions, are these relaxiation moves during your ride or routine exercises to strengthen the neck? If it’s routine exercise, should we do it daily? or at some other frequencies?

  • Good video. But that last figure 4 stretch, you should be trying to keep your coccyx on the floor. Your butt shouldn’t be rolling up off the floor like that:).

  • Could I recommend a walk through video of post ride stretching, like in the style of your Train with GCN videos or even the Fitter, Stronger, Faster video. It would be really helpful after a trainer workout and walk through each stretch for 5-10 minutes. #TorqueBack

  • Loosening tight muscles increase efficiency, spending less energy overcoming tight muscles. (Think antagonistic muscle pairs) Relaxed muscles fatigue less and prevent poor posture.

  • To stand and bend over OR to sit and lean forward is only going to stress the back and the hamstrings slightly. The back muscles will stretch long before the hamstrings.
    I tell people to put some music on (or whatever one wants to listen to) lie down on the floor close to a door frame. Extend the leg and rest it against the door frame. Most elite athletes do NOT do what these guys are showing(stand a d bend over from the waist or sit and bend from waist. You’ll just put A LOT of pressure on your back’s discs). The elites lie down and have a trainer hold their leg extended and then the trainer begins to bring the leg back until resistance if felt. Most people cant afford a full time trainer, so the door frame takes its place! I have fallen asleep many times with my leg extended at 90 degrees to the floor.

    The other poor stretch is for the hip flexors. This places one in a VERY UNstable posture.
    A MUCH better stretch for the hip flexors is to lie supine (on back). Bring feet, keeping them flat on the floor, up underneath your body while raising your pelvis up to the ceiling. And hold. Repeat. To add a much higher degree of work; while your legs are underneath and feet flat on the floor…..holding that poaition….now extend a leg out and then extend your midsection up to the ceiling and hold and down and up and hold…repeat.

    You will immediately feel the tightness in your hip flexors. And this stretch and exercise helps offset the tightness that ensues from having ones hips flexed and back bent over a bikes top tube. It will GREATLY strengthen one’a back AND add hip flexor flexibility at the same time.

    I don’t appreciate the “Stand and pull your leg underneath you and put out your hand for extra stability” stretch.

    Instead of that I do what most MUSCULAR track sprint athletes do: Get on my knees in front of something behind me that I rest or hook a foot on e.g. sofa or the side of a squat rack with a bar on it. Then bring a leg forward and put a foot on the ground as if you’re going to stand. Now bring the other leg up and hook or place it such that the top of the foot of the sttetched leg is on the sofa or squat rack bar. Now lean forward to stretch the hip flexors. One can lean back to stretch the quads. Placing a pillow or pad underneath that kner that comes in contact with the floor adds comfort

  • What I want to know is: How the hell do you keep from smashing your junk while getting into an aero position? (And how the hell did Chris Froome make that descent pedaling on the top tube?? I mean, I know he wanted to win, but Jesus *cringe*…:D )

  • I had a fairly bad motorbike accident which resulted in various injuries. However the really pain (lol) is in my kneck. After some rides,say around 30miles in, my neck actually is so painful and I cant hold my head up. Tried everything from bike fit to tape with various massages in between. Any suggestions especially given you like the longer rides as do I. It’s making me think of giving up which from 8000/10000 miles average per year is not something I can accept without a fight

  • I recently started riding. I am having pain in the outside part of my lower leg, about 3-4 inches above the ankle, after I ride. No pain while riding. I would greatly appreciate u have any suggestions, as I love riding and would hate to give it up.

  • Know any stretches that would help cure pain in the lower back whilst on the bike. Only really occurs when going up hill, mostly on the steep bits. Thanks

  • Nice set of routines. And I’m joining others with a question about the timing between ride ends and stretching starts. Perhaps, it depends on the type of the ride and the stretching load: easy vs hard ride, stretch to soften vs stretch for flexibility. And as of my opinion, stretching during the “rest days” is the way to start; I already started after certain off-bike videos from Gx(y)N Constellation:), feel a bit more relaxed and agile on a bike.

  • very impressive Dan. i’ve done yoga for years off and on and you’re a natural…it looks like you could get v good fairly readily

  • There are some interesting, and perhaps surprising findings about stretching for cyclists in this video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1wjkdGouMk

  • I never thought I’d see the day I’d happily watch two men in tights bending, stretching and touching each other’s arses in front of a fireplace. I imagine you guys were watching that Olly Reed film recently. Is this the real reason Simon hurt his neck a while back? Naked wrestling?

  • Great video!  Be careful while stretching though, I actually tore my hip labrum trying to do the side splits on the beach. Hopefully I will be able to get it healed soon so I can start my cycling hobby. 

  • Well worth mentinoing that you need to bend your knees ever so slightly when you stretch your hamstrings, to make sure you’re not stretching/damaging your nerves. 

  • Hey some girl on insta sent me here:p Nice video i actually have a squat rack i use for stretching/warming up always good to do what ever you can:]

  • I freely admit I’ve never gotten to the point of objectively enjoying yoga/strengthening/stretching, but it also seems crucial to keeping me injury free on my bike and running. It’s worth it!

  • For me, stretching is a post ride ritual. It feels beneficial for me. After doing it my legs isn’t in pain and I can recover better.
    My advice is to not to do the stretching to hard. You have to be calm and easy.