Besides the obvious commonality of tight hamstrings, cyclists have a litany of other areas that need attention. Low back, hip flexors, shoulders and wrists can be tense and strained after a long ride. Cyclists need leg strength, quadriceps and hamstrings most of all, but also glutes and calf muscles. Core muscles also come into play.
Yoga can target all of these areas in strength and stretching, giving special emphasis to flexibility and strength in the lower back, hamstrings and hip flexors.
Cyclists spend most of their time bent forward over the handlebars, which leads to tight hip flexors. Forward fold, utkatasana, is a good pose to stretch the hamstrings, open up the low back and relax the hip flexors. Keep knees bent a bit to take strain off the hamstrings. Reclined pigeon, or figure four, is a good choice for a hip flexor stretch. Lunge and its deeper stretch, the lizard, can get into the psoas for stretch and strength. Plank is an excellent overall core builder. Eagle arms and cow face arms will help open the shoulders.
Many yoga poses target all these areas important to cyclists, helping to balance muscle strength and stretching to prevent injury. Yoga practice is also a focus on a deep and steady breath, important in any physical activity.
Thank you Bike Therapy for hosting me to teach pre-ride yoga. Come see us in the studio for more tips