Many people tire of spending countless hours peddling on the same old stationary bike. Bring excitement back into your exercising by stepping off the stationary bicycle and moving outdoors.
Your first step should be to map out a low-mileage bike route of flat terrain. Once you’ve become comfortable with your route and your level of conditioning has improved, increase the length and intensity of your rides.
Biking is a repetitive activity that puts your body in the same position for prolonged periods. Muscular and postural compensations can occur with consistent cycling which can be avoided by following a flexibility program. Otherwise known as “foam rolling,” self-myofascial release increases flexibility by focusing on the fascial system or outer layer of muscles in the body.
Self-Myofascial Release Technique
- Using a roller–a firm cylinder-shaped piece of foam–place a tight area of your body on it.
- By applying pressure from body weight, foam rolling will decrease tension in that specific muscle and restore flexibility.
Strength training is often overlooked by cyclists. To avoid “biker’s posture,” which can develop after the body has been in a prolonged state of flexion, incorporate exercises that will put the body into extension and strengthen the hamstrings, posterior hip, and back muscles.
Leg Romanian Dead Lift: Hamstrings
- Begin with feet shoulder-width apart, pointing straight ahead, knees slightly flexed, aligned over 2nd and 3rd toes. Bend at waist and grasp dumbbells with extended arms and hands slightly wider than shoulder width.
- Draw in and lift dumbbells by activating the glutes and bringing the upper body to an upright position. Extend the hips and retract shoulder blades.
- To lower weight, slowly bend at the waist, maintaining slight knee bend, keeping the arms straight, and guiding the bar towards the ground. While lowering, decelerate through the glutes and maintain optimal alignment of your lower body.
Reverse Hyperextensions: Low back and glutes
- Begin prone with upper body supported on a bench and lower body suspended in air.
- Draw abdomen in and squeeze glutes, extending legs straight out behind body until triple extension (hips, knees, ankles) is achieved.
- Hold and then pull legs up towards upper body to original start position.
Stability Ball Prone Cobras: Mid and Lower Back
- Lay in prone position with ball under abdomen. Keep feet pointed down, legs completely straight, and abs drawn in. Extend arms in front of body.
- Activate glutes and bring arms around to the side of the body by pinching shoulder blades back and down. Lift chest off the ball and keep back and neck in alignment.
- Hold and lower chest to ball and return arms to front of body.
Stability Ball Prone Dumbbell Rows: Mid and Lower Back
- Lay in prone position with stability ball under abdomen. Keep feet pointed down, legs completely straight, and abs drawn in. Extend arms in front of body holding dumbbells in hands.
- Contract glutes with chest lifted off ball and row the dumbbells by retracting and depressing the shoulder blades. Flex elbows, bringing thumbs toward armpits.
- Hold on, then return dumbbells slowly to ground by extending elbows and allowing shoulders to protract at end of range.
- A simple change of scenery can bring exercise and fitness to another level. Keep excitement and adventure in your training with outdoor biking.