Super six static stretches
Post-ride stretching converts your valuable exercise into flexibility
and stable posture. Vanessa Lougoon selects a super six collection
of static stretches for maximum effect in minimal time.
> Perform each stretch two times each for 20–30 seconds for each stretch. (If time is limited perform only one set.)
> Gently move into each position until you feel a moderate-to-strong stretch.
> Take regular, full breaths to achieve a deeper stretch.
> Any abnormal or persistent pain should be investigated by a physiotherapist or a doctor.
From standing position, place one foot on a step.
Keeping your knee and back leg straight, rock your trunk forward from the hips until you feel a stretch in the back of your thigh and knee.
If you only feel the stretch behind the knee, bend knee slightly and rock further forward until you feel the stretch in the hamstring. Keep your back straight, hips level and squared, and the foot of the standing leg straight. If you cannot maintain good form, decrease height of step.
Increase step height.
Hip flexors and quads
In lunge position – with the leg to be stretched behind you.
Gently lean forward until you feel a stretch at the front of your hip and quads. Contract buttocks and maintain neutral curve in lower back to increase stretch intensity.
Keep hips level and squared. Place a pillow under knee if necessary.
When back knee contacts ground, lift the back foot off the ground and hold.
Lying on your back, bring your knee towards the opposite shoulder while keeping the opposite leg straight.
Use hands to bring knee towards your body until you feel a stretch in the buttocks.
Keep shoulders relaxed and head on the floor. If the position is too difficult, guide the knee to the shoulder on the same side. If experiencing back pain, bend the resting leg.
Rotate further by grabbing the ankle and pull towards body.
Trunk rotation & lower back
Lie on your back with one knee bent and the other straight with your arms to the side and palms facing up.
Rotate hip so that the bent leg rolls over the straight leg, until you feel a moderate stretch in your lower back.
Keep both shoulders on the ground at all times.
Place the hand opposite the bent leg on the bent knee and push down (keeping your shoulders on ground).
Standing in a doorway with forearm against the frame with elbow bent at 90 degrees.
Lean your body forward until you feel a stretch across your chest.
Keep shoulders squared (avoid rotating shoulders).
Perform with both arms at the same time.
Upper trapezius & neck
Sitting straight with one arm either a) sitting on your hand or b) holding the chair bottom or chair leg with your hand.
Tilt head laterally to the opposite side and use your free hand to push head to increase neck stretch.
Push head to increase neck stretch. Pulling the hand under the chair will increase stretch in upper trapezius.
Rotate head so that chin points to opposite shoulder and pull with hand from behind the head.
> If you experience that one side of the body has significantly less flexibility than the other, perform an extra set on this side until even.
> You can perform these stretches at work such as in a meeting room.
> There are many ways to increase flexibility, so if you find the above stretches uncomfortable or not getting any effect, seek an alternative for that muscle group.
Vanessa Lougoon is an accredited exercise physiologist and high performance consultant. She specialises in injury management, athletic preparation and chronic disease management through exercise and lifestyle intervention. inspiredperformancetoday.wordpress.com
Ride On content is editorially independent, but is supported financially by members of Bicycle Network Victoria. If you enjoy our articles and want to support the future publication of high-quality content, please consider helping out by becoming a member.