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What Muscles Get Tight When Cycling

Calling all cyclists!!!

The serious and the competitive bikers... mountain bikers... neighborhood bikers... cross country bikers... stationary bikers... 

You all need to listen up if you love to bike, want to keep biking injury free, and want to upgrade your biking performance. 

Cycling is pretty darn popular in the US. For example, the US bike market is worth about $6 billion. Between 2014 and 2017, the number of cyclists has increased from 43 million to 47.5 million. The number of young cyclists is decreasing, but that is not the case for older populations who love this form of sport and exercise. USA Cycling sanctions nearly 3,000 competitive and non-competitive cycling events each year in the United States.

So if you love to cycle, you are not alone! It's super popular. 

What are the most common injuries caused from cycling?

According to UR Medicine they are: 

  • Knee Pain
  • Head Injuries
  • Neck/Back Pain
  • Wrist/Forearm Pain or Numbness
  • Urogenital Problems
  • Foot Numbness and Tingling

If you cycle a lot without a warm up or cool down routine, you are bound to eventually end of with injuries in your knees, hips, back, and even neck and shoulders. Some cyclists do it just for leisurely fun, but there are many of you out there who compete and race and cycle as a main sport in your life and you are probably looking to both stay injury free so you can keep doing and also improve your performance. 

Pre stretches to do before cycling

If you are wondering, how should i warm up for cycling... the answer is pretty much the same way you cool down after stretching. There are a lot of options out there - things like dynamic stretches for cyclingBendable Body cycling stretches fill all of the requirements. When you do them before you cycle, you'll perform better, your body will work better. So you if you are looking to increase speed, acceleration, power and performance, stretch ahead of time. 

Post stretches to do after cycling

There are a lot of ideas out there about how often you should stretch, how to stretch, when you stretch, what stretches to do for aero position, etc... Let's keep it simple. We've already mentioned the benefits to stretching before you cycle. But there are just as many (if not more) benefits to stretching after you cycle. The way we like to describe it at Bendable Body is when you stretch with resistance after an athletic event, you take the event out of your body. What does that mean? It means when you are cycling you are creating wear and tear in your muscles and joints and you are expending energy. When you stretch with resistance using the Bendable Body Method, you are removing wear and tear, rehydrating your muscles and fascia, and creating and storing energy in your body. So it's kind of like pressing rewind when you think about it! The reason this is so important is because it helps keep you injury free. And that's key to keeping you doing the things you love - in this case - cycling! 

What are the most important stretches to do for cycling and why?

The primary muscle that leads the action for cycling is the medial hamstring. So when this muscle group has an accumulation of unhealthy fascia a few things go wrong: your hips and knees overwork and can get injured, your performance is negatively impacted, other muscle groups over participate - particularly the quadriceps. So getting your medial hamstring to fire and contract and optimally work is essential to a long relationship with cycling. In addition to stretching the medial hamstring, you will want to stretch your quads with resistance. The quads play an important supporting role in cycling. As I mentioned the medial hamstring leads the movement or action, but every time the medial hamstring makes a movement, it is dependent on the quads to participate in that movement and allow it to happen. They have what we refer to as a balancing muscle group relationship. When one muscle in the pair lengthens the other shortens and vice versa. So the medial hamstring needs those quads to be firing as well and to be supple and healthy for optimal performance and recovery and injury prevention when it comes to cycling. 

Watch this video and learn the 2 best exercises for cycling: 

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