I get so many cyclists as patients and clients and many issues stem from or revolve around – not surprisingly- the hip and pelvis.
This is our base and our foundation for movement. This is where our biggest movers- glutes, lats, hip flexors, and our surrounding core originates from.
Without a strong and also mobile base we run into issues. Specifically repetitive motions such as cycling or sitting at desks in a seated position all day- keep muscles in a shortened, stiff, tight position.
So which to stretch, when, how?
Stretching need not be pre or post workout- really we are trying to obtain a new and more normal baseline of flexibility and mobility with stretching. So it may not directly correlate to your sport and when you actually do it. More important is that you just, do it.
Research is varied but for my years of work as a PT, trainer, athlete, I can tell you that stretching is a slow process, there is no rx for time unfortunately- but I believe if you are tight- more is better. Most of us don’t even spend 30 full seconds stretching an area, so even one minute is better than nothing. Giving each area time and a few minutes to stretch is more likely to achieve the goals you are seeking.
What this means is either a dynamic or static stretch holding for at least one minute. At least. Several repetitions is ideal for each area. In total that should take no more than 7-10minutes but it is essential to actually spend real time stretching if you want to achieve better motion and potentially mitigate any injuries in the future. Think of it as “prehab”.
Here are my Top 5 for hip mobility for cycling:
1) Knee to chest stretch – works glutes, hip extensors, low back.
2) Trunk twist- glutes, lateral hip, thoracic and lumbar spine, lats