4 Stretches to Do Before Biking

leg-swingsStretching before biking can help to reduce cramping, prevent injury, and improve the fitness benefits gained by biking. Dynamic stretches that warm the muscles are recommended, as opposed to dynamic stretches that hold the muscle in a contracted position for a length of time. The following are a few of the best stretches to do before biking.

Leg Swings

Leg swings work your hip flexors, which can prevent tightness from creeping in while biking. To do leg swings, simply position yourself so that one leg is stable and straight and the other can swing freely by holding onto to stationary nearby object. Swing the leg backward and forward slowly, bringing the leg as high as possible on each swing.

Foam Rolling

You can use a foam roller to target hamstrings, quads, glutes, and hip flexors. To focus on one area, place the foam rollers under that area and shift as much body weight as possible to that area. If there is tightness or pain in that area, work it more than the other areas, but do it gradually.

Runner’s Lunge

A runner’s lunge hits the hamstrings, quads, and hip flexors. To start, bring the left leg behind the body and the right leg in front of the body. Bend the right leg to a 90 degree angle and straighten the left leg as much as possible. For the classic runner’s lunge, bring your hands down on either side of the body. For a more dynamic version, raise the arms above the head and straighten. Release and work the other side.

High Knees

High knees simulate the motion of biking, so they can relieve tension and cramping. To start, simply stand tall with the legs together and bring one knee up as high as possible, then quickly switch and bring the other knee up as high as possible. For a better stretch, pick up the pace, hopping back and forth quickly for about 60 seconds.

Speak Your Mind