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5 Stretches to Do After a Long Bike Ride

 

If you’ve ever woken up the morning after a lengthy bike ride with aching leg muscles and tight hips, you’d probably benefit from a post-ride stretch. Any sort of exercise that pushes you to the limit is sure to exhaust your muscles and leave you with aches and pains, but committing to a stretching routine will help alleviate the only downside to your biking habit. This is also true if you’re on a Bluejay electric bike, since you’ll still have to pedal in order to activate the battery-powered pedal assist. 


So, commit to doing these five stretches every time you hop off the saddle, maybe even keeping a yoga mat by your front door or in the garage to make it even easier to stick to this new routine. This habit will quickly start to feel like less of a chore and more of a treat for your body—limber muscles and all. Without further ado, here are 5 helpful stretches after a bike ride.

 

Stretches After a Bike Ride

Hip Flexor Stretch

Why You Should Do It:

Remaining in a seated position for too long can cause tightness around the front of the hips, similar to how you might feel if you sit in your office chair all day without getting up. This stretch gets deep into the group muscles that are used to lift your knee towards your body (which is a repetitive motion for cyclists).


How to Do It:

  • Start from a kneeling position and keep one knee on the floor, while placing your other foot straight in front of you. Your front leg should have a 90° angle from hip to knee. 
  • Tilt your pelvis up until you start to feel a light stretch on the front of your hip.
  • Squeeze your glute and, without arching your back, lean forward on your kneeling leg. You should feel the stretch in your hip deepen.
  • Hold the stretch for 5 to 10 seconds before slowly returning to the start position. Do 5 reps and repeat twice on both sides.

Standing Quad Stretch

woman stretching - stretches after a bike ride

Why You Should Do It:

Face it, your quadriceps are exhausted after a long cycle—hills or no no hills. The quads are the main muscle in the upper leg that puts in some serious work while you’re pedaling (hamstrings help, too). 


How to Do It:

  • Stand up straight, keeping your legs hip width apart.
  • Lift your right leg and grab your ankle with your right hand, guiding your foot as close to your glutes as you can. If you need some assistance with your balance, lightly rest your right hand on a wall or ledge beside you.
  • Bring your knees together and push your hips forward, being sure to keep the bent knee pointed towards the ground without arching your back.
  • Hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds and then repeat on the left leg.

Hamstring Stretch


Why You Should Do It:

The hamstring puts in a lot of work after you’ve pushed your pedal down and need to lift your knee up…to pedal again. This will stretch those overworked muscles.


How to Do It:

  • You’ll need an elevated surface to do this stretch, such as a chair or a side table. 
  • Lift your right leg and rest your heel on the elevated surface, keeping both legs straight. Be sure the toes of your right leg are pointed up.
  • Lean forward over your right leg, crawling your hands towards your foot until you start to feel your hamstring engage. To deepen the stretch, push your leg down lightly with both hands.
  • Hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds and then repeat on the left leg.

Reclining Pigeon Pose


Why You Should Do It:

This yoga pose gets into your hips to loosen any tension while also releasing strain in the glutes. It’ll feel like the physical version of a very needed sigh.


How to Do It:

  • Lay on your back with your left leg extended straight in front of you. 
  • Without forcing it, place your right ankle on top of your left knee to create a figure-four shape.
  • Bend your left knee and, by clasping your hands under your thigh, gently pull your left knee in towards you.
  • Lightly push your right knee out and down with your right elbow. Keep both feet flexed.
  • Hold for 20-30 seconds and repeat on the left side.

Standing Calf Stretch


Why You Should Do It:

Your calf is in almost constant use while you’re riding. So if you injure your calf, you’ll be off the saddle for quite some time (even a Bluejay e-bike). So consider making this stretch a post-ride requirement.


How to Do It:

  • You’ll need a wall for this stretch.
  • Stand about an arm’s length away from the wall, with your palms flat on the wall.
  • Take one big step back with your right left, keeping your leg straight and your heel flat on the ground. 
  • Bend your elbows and your right knee slowly, moving your hips forward until you feel a stretch in your right calf. 
  • Hold the stretch for 30 to 60 seconds and repeat on the left side.

 

When you do these stretches after a bike ride, you can prevent injury and keep your muscles from becoming sore. 


Want to learn more about Bluejay Electric Bikes? Visit our website here. We also offer plenty of info on how to maintain your bike and best practices for riders on our Owner’s Portal, found here

 

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