Yoga For Cyclists – Is It A Good Thing?

While both indoor and outdoor cycling are among the very best forms of cardio conditioning, they often leave the rider with tightness, cramps, or in some cases, even pain.   How about trying some yoga for cyclists? A constant sport-related yoga plan could relieve a lot of these symptoms; including back discomfort, trapezius tension and tight hamstrings as well as quadriceps.

yoga for cycling

Repeated cycling pushes your body as you have long stretches of forward flexion, similar to sitting down at a table for long hours or driving a car.

Nevertheless because of the work involved there becomes the extra problem of a tightening up in the muscles of the lower body, quads, hamstrings as well as gluteus. More of this at yoga teacher training.

Yoga Poses offers us an opening within these areas.  The following is a list of poses that will stabilize the body and lower the chance of injury, especially for cyclists.

Yoga For Cyclists

Upper Body Openers:

During your own bike ride remember to periodically open up the upper body and pull the shoulder blades back and down, squeezing the particular shoulder blades together and tensing the back muscle groups.

Take 10 deep breaths to open out the upper body and shoulder, which remain contracted throughout the ride.  While riding try and keep the shoulders comfortable and wide open.

When the ride is finished get off of the bicycle, interlace hands with each other at the rear of the back and clear the chest forward by tugging the arms as far from the body as you possibly can.  If you’re at a normal resting pulse rate you could forward fold right into a full chest expansion simply by hinging at the hips and folding the upper body on the lower body.  Keep hands interlaced for ten heavy breaths.

yoga for cyclists

You can also try the triangle pose, which is a little more challenging.

Take your feet wide, and turn your left foot in slightly (approx 45 degrees), and your right foot out (approx 90 degrees). Reach your arms out at shoulder height. Inhale and extend your body in all directions. Press down with your feet, up through your crown, and out with both arms. Reach your right arm over your extended leg and stretch your left hand up.

With so much time spent hunched over your handlebars, your bodies are crying out for lateral movements. Side-bending strengthens and stretches the torso, shoulders, legs, and hips using a balance of internal (muscular) and external (skeletal) support.

yoga for cyclists

The Cobra Pose

An upper body and shoulder opener – laying the body face down on the floor, put hands underneath shoulder blades, and lightly push to arms towards straight as far as you can, keeping a small bend within the elbows.  Protect the lower back by keeping the hips on the floor and contracting the gluteus (those muscles you’re sitting on) tight.

Locust Pose

Lie on your belly. Bring your hands to your waist, palms up. To prepare, lengthen your body by reaching down through your toes and up through your crown.

Inhale, then lift your chest and toes, and press the tops of your hands into the floor. Spread the load throughout your body and breathe up towards your chin, rather than pressing your belly into the floor. Hold for up to five breaths, rest, and repeat. This strengthens your back and stabilizes your shoulders.

Quadriceps Openers:

Quad Stretch

Lying facedown on the ground – flex one leg and grab your ankle – gently pulling the leg back and up – try touching your own foot to the gluts.  Switch sides.   This can also be done standing up.  Be gentle if you have knee problems.

Hip Openers:

Upside Down Pigeon Poses

Lying down face-up on the floor, lifting the legs to tabletop off the ground, bring the right ankle to the left quadriceps – aiming for a place on the leg halfway between knee and crotch.  Draw left knee into the body, press right knee out gently right up until you experience a deep stretch in the hip and glute region.  Hold for 10 heavy breaths and change sides.

This is also a great stretch for those gluts.

Hamstring Openers:

Forward Fold

Stand with your feet hip-width apart, soften your knees. Exhale and roll your spine towards the ground. Let your hands and head just hang. If it’s too intense, keep the legs bent and rest your chest on your thighs. To really utilize your spine, think of ‘unrolling’ as you come back up to a standing position.

This simple pose stretches the hamstrings, decompresses the spine, and releases tension in the upper back by literally turning your bike posture upside down.

Side Openers:

Lateral Flexion

Due to the position on the bicycle, it is common to have tight Latisimus Dorsi (Lats) as they are contracted for most of the bike ride.  With this particular stretch, we could open the sides of our own bodies.  Standing brings both arms overhead; bring the right arm down relaxing the particular hand on the hip.  Breathe in, lifting out of the lower back.

yoga for cyclistsExhale sink the left arm overhead until you feel a heavy stretch in the left side of your body.  Keep your glutes tight and the lower body moving forward while the upper body proceeds to lift and sink.  Take 5 heavy breaths and switch sides.

Perform these poses at the end of your ride and you’ll feel rejuvenated, calm, and refreshed.  You will see vast differences in your own versatility.

These types of postures can also be used for corporate employees, long-distance drivers, and even stay-at-home Moms. Which is your favorite yoga for cyclists move?

Leave a Comment