Any type of training has the potential to result in over- and underuse of your tissues. The best way to avoid this is cross-training, and making sure that you incorporate exercises that address both strength and mobility, as well as different directions of movements around your joints. In my last post, I talked about how movement affects your fascia and how adding some self-massage and gentle yoga can be a good idea for cyclists to avoid pain during or after a long bike ride.
Just as there are some non-negotiables when it comes to bike maintenance, it might be a good idea to create a few similar activities for your own body, to make sure that your back, hips, and legs can work perfectly during the entire biking season.
We all have our strengths and weaknesses, as well as issues in our tissues, but hopefully, you’ll find my personal go-to moves useful after a long ride or between riding days.
Therapy Ball Sequence for the Thoracic Spine
- Lie down on the floor or stand next to a wall.
- Place a pair of YTU Originals (toted or un-toted) between your shoulder blades.
- Use your legs to roll up and down between your scapulae, gently massaging your mid-trapezius and rhomboids.
- In a prone position on the floor, clasp your hands behind your back. Press your feet into the floor, support your lumbar spine by engaging your transverse abdominals.
- Retract your scapulae by engaging your rhomboids and middle trapezius.
- Extend your spine so your head, shoulders and upper chest lift from the floor.
- Hold for 5-8 breaths. Repeat 3 times.
Pec Release on Blocks
- Lie down on the floor with a bolster or rolled up blanket under your head and ribcage.
- Externally rotate your arms and place them in a position where you feel a gentle stretch in your chest (pectoralis major & minor) and anterior portion of your shoulder (deltoid).
- Hold for 5 minutes and just breathe.
- Lie on the floor and place one or two YTU-balls under one of your quadriceps.
- Play around with RMM-moves like cross-fiber, contract-relax, pin and stretch, sustained compression and stripping.
- Repeat in different areas of your quad before moving to the other leg.
Apanasana on block
- Lie on the floor and place a block under your sacrum.
- Flex your right hip and hold your right knee towards your chest at the same time as you extend your left hip and leg to stretch your left psoas.
Hold for 1,5-2 minutes and then switch legs.
Leg stretch #1
- Lie on the floor and loop a strap/belt around your right foot.
- Extend your knee until you feel a gentle stretch in your hamstring or along the back of your leg.
- Try to relax your neck and shoulders and hold the pose for 2 minutes. Switch legs.
There are a lot of other self-massage or yoga moves that can be beneficial for cyclists. The most important thing is that you find a few that help you recover after a long bike ride. Simple but regular maintenance of your fascia will ensure that you keep your tissues hydrated and fluffy. It will also improve “slide and glide” and elasticity, which in turn will help you be more efficient on the bike.