Yoga: For Cyclists (and Runners and, well everybody)

Yoga - Dancers Pose

So recently one of my besties – Perfect Rachael – told me that she was going to start Road Cycling (she is a lady of many talents!) and it got me thinking about the huge amount of cyclists I see on the roads now-a-days – men and women. Alison and I are both accustomed to losing our husbands for the day so that they can get out on their bikes, and I’m sure as Father’s Day approaches many of your partners will certainly be making the most of the glorious weather we are promised this Sunday and going for a ride if they are into that.

I wrote a few months ago for Beards Bikes blog (check them out if you are/know a cyclist, they have some awesome content!) outlining the benefits of Yoga for cyclists. Have a read or share with your cyclist partners/friends and family. 

If  like me, you don’t cycle, as quite frankly you’d be a hazard on the road (of course I passed my cycling proficiency age 11 because I could absolutely turn right by taking my left hand off the handlebars to indicate!), try a few of the poses below after any sort of work out like running, spinning or even after a walk

If you’ve recently accumulated some serious cycling mileage you might feel that those hamstrings, hips and back muscles are tighter than a tourniquet! Why not give Yoga a try – it isn’t just chanting and incense! It can really aid as a performance tool to your cycling; helping flexibility, core strength, balance and breathing.

Paul from Beards Bikes demonstrates our top 5 Yoga poses to do after a ride to help ease those aches and pains:

Dancers Pose

Good for stretching out the hamstrings post ride as cycling for even a short amount of time can shorten them.

Yoga - Dancers Pose

• Rotate the right shoulder to catch the right foot from the inside

• Raise the left arm

• Keep your torso straight and kick your leg up and backwards into the palm of your right hand

• Take some long deep breaths in and out through your nose

• Repeat on the other side

Downward Dog

The absolute all star of poses when it comes to opening the shoulders, lengthening the back and getting into those hamstrings and calves.

• Your goal is to try and make an upside down ‘V’ shape

• From all fours, take your hands shoulder width apart, spread your fingers and press down into the mat

• Take your feet hip distance apart and push your feet into the mat

• Slide your shoulders down your back and try to rotate your shoulder cuffs so that it feels as though you are moving your arm pits forwards and your inner elbows face one another

• If you are already quite flexible your legs may be straight, but if you’re very tight you may need to keep a slight bend in the knees

• Try to maintain a straight spine – bend at the knees if this helps

• Take some long deep breaths in and out through your nose

Camel Pose

A beauty for opening the chest and shoulders and to stretch out your crumpled feet and toes.

• Kneel on the mat, resting on the balls of your toes

• Take hold of your heels with your hands and gently push your chest forwards

• Try to straighten your arms but don’t lock them out

• Relax your neck and head back and take in some long deep breaths through your nose

Pigeon Pose

Great for easing the tension on your glutes that builds up from long hours on the bike.

• Bend one leg and sit back into a low kneeling position, keeping the hip aligned

• Keep the other leg straight back behind you

• The aim is to try and keep your hips aligned. If this is tricky, use something to stabalise your bent leg – like a blanket or a rolled up towel

• If you can, and you’re not experiencing any knee pain, try to lean forwards into the stretch taking your hands out in front of you and rest your head forwards

• Take some long deep breaths in and out through your nose and remember to do both sides

Low Lunge

The pose will access those tight hips and help to stretch out the flexors.

• Start on your hands and knees and bring the right leg forwards

• Ground the right foot down into the mat, bending the knee, keeping it parallel to the ankle

• Stretch your left leg out behind you and ensure that the hips aren’t rocking to one side – you can use your hands to turn them to the front

• Push down rather than forwards into the stretch – try not to extend your right knee over the tips of your right foot

• To deepened the stretch, take your hands up over your head, spread your fingers and stretch up to the ceiling – lengthening your spine but pushing deep down into the stretch with your hips

• Take some long deep breaths in and out through your nose and remember to repeat on the other side

 

Well done! You’ll be a fully fledged Yogi before you know it!

Do you use any elements of Yoga to compliment your regular training program?

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We’re two Mums who are getting through motherhood one day at a time whilst enjoying Yoga and other ‘me time’ activities. We don’t profess to be experts in Yoga, Pilates, exercise, meditation, the human anatomy or medicine and we’re certainly not experts in parenting. We are simply sharing our experience and opinions and occasionally those of people who’s advice we value, and we’ll always reference them. If you’re unsure of starting any new exercise or practice, please consult your GP. And if you’re unsure of purchasing any products we suggest, please consult your bank balance!