Strengthen and Stretch for More Effective Riding
All those hours hunched in the saddle come at a cost. “The small muscles in the front of your body (hip flexors, quads) work harder relative to your largest muscle group (low back, glutes, hamstrings),” says Santa Barbara, California-based chiropractor Eric Goodman. The result? A lopsided tug-of-war that can cause a world of hurt–and ineffective riding. This sequence strengthens posterior muscles and stretches the ones in front. Do it three or four times a week.
A. Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder width.
B. Extend your arms until they’re shoulder-height and lower yourself into a squat. Press through your heels to come back to start. Do 10.
A. Stand with legs shoulder-width apart, elbows bent.
B. Hinge forward at the hips, keeping your back straight, knees slightly bent and weight on your heels. Keeping your spine extended, pull yourself quickly back up by contracting your glutes and hamstrings. Do 10 to 15.
A. Stand in a wide straddle stance, knees slightly bent, butt pressed back, chest high, weight on your heels. Extend your arms in front of you and hold 15 seconds.
B. Keeping your back flat, twist to the right and hinge forward. Reach to the ground with your left hand while reaching to the sky with the right. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds. Switch sides.
Workout adapted from Foundation: Redefine Your Core, Conquer Back Pain, and Move with Confidence by Goodman and Peter Park (Rodale, $23).