Anyone who’s ventured into the shed, dusted down that unloved bike and embarked on a long cycle, only to wake up the next day with hamstrings like breezeblocks, will know the importance of doing a cycling warm up properly.
Rather than stretching in a static position, the latest research shows that dynamic stretches (active movements) are the way to go.
- A dynamic stretching routine can be done in around three to five minutes, it’ll allow your muscles, joints and heart to warm-up gradually rather than putting unwanted strain on the body, and boy those legs will thank you for it in the morning.
- The British Cycling Federation says a cycling warm up should prepare the body for the range and type of movement that the activity demands. A rugby player may use bounding and dynamic twists but, for a cyclist, the most appropriate type of warm-up is on the bike.
- A well planned dynamic cycling warm up routine will also help you prepare mentally for your race or training session.
- Try listening to some kicking tunes during your warm-up to help you shut off what others are doing and get you pumped up for what's ahead
If you’re not sure how to do a cycling warm up properly, then try this routine designed for cyclists, runners and other endurance athletes. A few dynamic leg swings and shoulder rotations and you’ll be all warmed up and ready to pedal like Wiggo.
Dynamic Warmup: Runner, Cyclists by Fitjourney
For those who take their cycling a bit more seriously, and own a Turbo Trainer (or even know what a turbo trainer is!), American pro athlete Angela Dybdahl has a few tips.
Competitive Cycling: Warming Up for a Bicycle Race by Expert Village
Finally, this static stretching routine is designed to help cyclists improve flexibility and is best performed after a ride. Be warned though, it's slightly cheesy and very Australian.