After clocking up the miles cycling, yoga is the ideal way to release tight muscles, keeping your body healthy and functioning at its peak. These are 3 brilliant yoga poses for cyclists. They’ll improve your range of motion, flexibility and strength. Practise them after a ride, or on their own after a bit of a warm up. Hold each posture for at least 5 breaths (practising in dungarees is optional – if I’m completely honest I’d run out of clean yoga leggings when I took these photos!).
- Downward Facing Dog
How to do it: From all fours, tuck your toes under and lift your hips back and up so that your body forms an inverted V-shape. Press into your fingertips and externally rotate your upper arms. Bend one knee at a time to take the stretch deeper into your hamstrings and calves. Keep lifting your hips back and up and take the gaze to the big toes. Hold for at least 5 breaths
Why it works: Downward facing dog is a great yoga pose for cyclists because it releases the back of your legs, especially your hamstrings and calves which riding tends to tighten. It also helps to bring your spine back into alignment and strengthens your upper body and shoulders.
- Crescent Lunge
How to do it: Lunge forward with one leg and bend your front knee, taking your front thigh towards parallel to the ground, but not letting your knee come forward of the toes. Lengthen your stance if necessary. Keep your back heel off the ground but press it away to deepen the stretch into your hip flexor. Engage your core, lengthen tailbone towards the ground and reach your arms overhead. Remember to repeat on the other side!
Why it works: Crescent lunge deeply stretches and releases your psoas and hip flexors, which are often super-tight for cyclists. It provides a much needed opening for the front of your body, while building stability in your legs.
- Bridge Pose.
How to do it: Lying on your back, bring your feet in, positioning them parallel and hip width apart. Press into your feet to lift your hips. Interlace your hands under your back and draw one shoulder at a time underneath you. Press the sides of your arms, wrists and hands into the ground to lift yourself higher.
Why it works: Bridge pose is the ideal counter for a rounded forward cyclist’s posture. It takes your arms into external rotation, opening the front of your shoulders and chest. This encourages your upper body to return to a healthy, neutral alignment after a ride. It also strengthens the muscles of your back and glutes while releasing your hip flexors, abdominal muscles and chest.