5 Essential Warm-up Yoga Poses for Cyclists
WARM-UP YOGA POSES FOR CYCLISTS
5 warm-up yoga poses for cyclists to awaken their muscles and their joints before your next ride. These poses can help you tighten any weak muscles, as well as stretch and release any tight muscles.
A good warm-up primes and prepares your body, muscles and joints so it can deliver the best performance. Warming up your body before any form of physical activity also protects the body from injury and aches, and should be an integral part of any physical workout so as to soften the strain that we put our bodies through. So many people pull a muscle daily because of the lack of a good warm-up or because they rush through a warm-up routine.
But the good news here is that your warm-up doesn’t need to be very long. With short targeted yoga practice, you can achieve the same benefits of a longer warm-up practice. A good warm-up sequence is also a preventative measure to ensure your body is feeling loose and ready to get on the saddle.
The muscles you use most when you’re cycling are the hamstrings, quadriceps and calves. Additionally, it’s also important to do some full body stretches as well as stretches that target your shoulders and your lower back.
Yoga is a great tool for cyclists as it can help you prevent injury as well as help increase your overall comfort on the bike.
For each pose that you do, ensure you hold it for an extended period of time. The real benefits of stretching are obtained when the muscles relax. This is where the breathwork that comes with yoga practice can be really beneficial. If your mind and your breath are prone to drifting, try the box breath method where you inhale for a count of 5, hold the inhale for a count of 5, exhale for a count of 5, and then hold that exhale for a count of 5.
Here are 5 essential yoga poses you should do as part of your warm-up to awaken your muscles and your joints before your next ride. These poses can help you tighten any weak muscles, as well as stretch and release any tight muscles.
STANDING FORWARD FOLD
A standing forward fold stretches out the back of your legs as well as your spine and your shoulders. Release your arms down to the ground. You can also grab onto opposite elbows. It is an incredible asana that stretches the hamstrings, calves and hips and helps to relieve fatigue and tiredness from your body before your cycling session.
This is a simple pose that can help decompress the spine and release tension in the upper body and spine, as well as the hamstrings.
During a cycling session, you spend a lot of time hunched over the bike that can make you feel stiff in your body. Side stretches are great as they help you by providing your body with some lateral movement that stretches and strengthens the torso. Along with being a great stretch for your entire body, it also improves your balance and stability.
This pose is also great for strengthening the muscles in your legs and stabilising the core.
In this asana, you cross one leg onto the ground in front of you as you step forward. It releases tension that we hold in our glutes and also stretches the piriformis. This pose can help loosen the muscles in the glutes that you use when you paddle and can help you feel more comfortable and relaxed in your body before you head out for your next cycling session.
This pose stretches your entire back as well as engages and warms up your glutes and your hamstrings, which is very important for cyclists. It also helps stabilise your core and your shoulders and can help you build endurance and stamina for longer rides.
The downward-facing dog is a great pose to stretch out all the lazy and tight muscles in the hamstrings, calves, ankles, all the way down to your feet. Additionally, this pose also helps to lengthen your spine, which is great before a cycling session where you may be in a hunched position for extended periods of time. Walking out your downward dog can also help you get deeper into the stretch. Try to focus on getting your shoulders down and away from your ears so you can really feel the benefits of this pose all the way into your upper body as well as all the big muscle groups in your legs that you use when you ride.
Don’t underestimate the benefits of a warm-up before cycling, or before any physical activity, you partake in. A good warm-up can help by increasing your blood flow, increasing your range of motion as well as raising your body temperature to prepare your muscles for the fluidity you need when you’re cycling. It doesn’t have to take long, as long as your practice targets the muscle groups you use most so that you can get the most out of a short practice.
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