For many cyclists stretching is often overlooked. Doing these five yoga poses will help increase flexibility which will aid in better cycling and they will strengthen the muscles we use for riding while getting a great warm up! Hold each pose for a cycle of 5-10 breaths and make sure to breath. Proper breathing technique for yoga is in through the nose and out through the mouth. With every inhalation push yourself to go just a little bit further on the exhale.
No. 1 Downward Dog
How: From all fours lift hips to the sky. Keep palms strongly grounded on to floor. Focus on keeping back straight.
Why: This pose helps to lengthen the back muscles as well as the hamstrings. This will help to give more power while pedaling.
No. 2 Chair Pose
How: From standing with feet about a fists width, squat back into an imaginary chair with arms overhead and hands together. Roll shoulders back and down to help open the chest.
Why: This pose helps strengthen the glutes, quads, hamstrings and lower back
No. 3 Warrior I
How: From standing step one foot forward and bend at the knee into a lunge. Make sure to keep knee in line with ankle and not past toes. Keep heel flat to the ground and raise hands overhead. Hold for 10 count then switch sides.
Why: This pose helps to loosen up the hip flexors.
No. 4 Half-pigeon Pose
How: From downward dog lift one leg high to the sky and then through the arms to a lunge. Then place shin to the ground with leg crossed in front of you. Keep rear leg straight with the top of the foot to the floor. Work on keeping hips level, this can be achieved by placing a block under the hip. If possible, fold forward and hold for 10 count then repeat on other side.
Why: This pose will work the hips and will give you a more efficient pedal stroke.
No. 5 Bridge Pose
How: From lying on back, bend knees keeping feet planted on the floor close to the glutes with arms at your sides. Then on your next exhale lift pelvis high to the sky and tuck arms behind back clasping your hands together. Tuck chin to chest and keep shoulder blades and head flat on the floor.
Why: This pose helps strengthen glutes and back. This will also help open the chest giving you better reach on the bike.