Stretching tips for Women Cyclists:
Dynamic stretches are best prior to movement.
Dynamic stretches are essential to warm up the entire body prior to exercise. Dynamic stretching is stretching with movement with the intention of activating the Pillar (hips, torso, and shoulders.) Movement preparation for the upper and the lower half of the body should be specific to the demands of the days training session or competition.
Below are a few examples of dynamic stretches to target your whole body prior to your ride. (Holding each stretch 2 seconds per movement.)
1. Walking Quadriceps stretch
2. Walkout plank
3. Bird dog
4. Inverted hamstring
5. Reverse lunge with reach
6. Leg swings
Post Stretch routine may consist of static stretches that target those hardworking muscles. Hold the stretch for 30-60 seconds.
Static Stretches may include;
1. Standing or laying down Quadriceps stretch
2. Standing hamstring stretch
3. Lower back glute stretch
4. Ankle rotation and Calve Stretch
5. Standing hamstring stretch
6. Wrist rotation
7. Wrist stretch
8. Shoulder Stretch
9. Triceps stretch
(Recovery days and Daily routines)
A Daily Foam rolling routine and Yoga practice is suggested to maintain flexibility.
Foam Rolling may aide in targeting relief of aches and pain, as well as aiding in myofascial release, helping to flush out any lactic acid from your training session. The focus should primarily be targeted towards the lower body consisting of quads, hamstrings, gluteus, calves and lower back.
Total Body Regeneration is also a suggested routine to target trigger points. Using this routine may help address the quality of muscle tissue throughout your entire body. You may benefit from this by limiting the post workout soreness and slowdown. This will encourage your body to recover faster from your training session. You may use a tennis ball to target the smaller trigger points.
Regularly incorporating recovery sessions with soft tissue massage is suggested for injury prevention.
It is suggested to add regeneration to your daily routine 10 minutes each morning when you wake up and 10 minutes before bed. This helps to reinforce the balance your body needs to function optimally.
Alison Ricciardone, Fitness and cycling enthusiast, works as Fitness Coordinator at the Portsmouth Naval shipyard. Along with her shipyard cycling family, they together reduce the carbon footprint on the greater seacoast.