The Best Warm-Down Exercises After a Long Cycle Ride

Warming down is essential, but often omitted part of any healthy physical exercise routine. Its effects should not be ignored, especially when it comes to highly demanding sports, like long-distance cycling.

Whether taking part in the sport as a professional, or simply for fun, a warm-down exercise session is essential to good post-exercise recovery, muscle relaxation, metabolite expulsion, and psychological form.

No wonder that 9 out of 10 collegiate athletic trainers in the USA encourage a warm-down stretching session after physical activity.

Spinal Twists in Supine Lying

This exercise stretches and relaxes the lower back and buttock muscles, which are some of the muscle groups which do most of the work during cycling. To do this exercise, lie down on your back with arms stretched out to the sides.

Lift up your knees, which should be bent at a right angle. They should then be slowly twisted down to one side while turning your head and upper torso to the opposite direction. This immediately gives a great relaxing stretching sensation.

This position should be held for 5-10 seconds, and then pulled back and repeated towards the other side. It can be repeated anywhere from 3 to 5 times for the best results.

Prone Lying Ankle Pull

This exercise is started in a lying down position, this time face down. Reach down and grab a hold of your ankle. Next, start pushing your ankle away from your body and into your hand.

This will cause your chest to rise and will start to stretch your lower back, as well as the hip muscles. This position should be held for up to 10 seconds maximum. Then, the exercise should simply be repeated on the other side.

The exercise can also be performed on both sides at the same time, this, however, requires some more balancing.

Hamstring Stretch With a Resistance Band

This next exercise is excellent for stretching the hamstrings and the muscles at the back of the legs. This type of stretching requires resistance bands (for best results) but it can also be done with a belt or towel. Start by sitting down with your legs stretched out straight and forward.


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    The band should then be placed around the middle of one foot. Next, lie back and start pulling your foot up and then back towards your body with the band. Your knee should be kept straight, which will cause the hamstring and muscles to relax and stretch.

    Neck Flexion and Side Flexion

    Long-distance cycling can put a lot of stress on the neck. The hours spent in a poaching position can tire out neck muscles, and if not properly taken care of, can even cause back pain and headaches.

    The best exercise to relax those muscles is to stand up straight with hands interlocked at the back or simply down by the sides. Next, lower your head so that your chin is as close to your chest as it can be, and hold that position for a few seconds.

    Lift your head, then tilt your head towards your left shoulder and hold that position for a few seconds. Repeat the move and tilt your head towards your right shoulder.

    Warm-down exercises are essential after long-distance cycling sessions. The ones mentioned above are just a few select ones that cover a good range of muscles, and can, or even should be expanded depending on personal preferences and circumstances.

    They are sure to help with post-exercise recovery, ensuring continual progress.


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