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Warm up with dynamic stretches

15 August, 2011

Use the time spent waiting for your mates with this dynamic stretch from Vanessa Lougoon.

Before riding the best warm up is dynamic stretching, which involves a progressive stretch through a specific range of movement. This is far better than the traditional static stretching. In dynamic stretching the end position is held for 1­–2 seconds.

A dynamic stretch you can do beside your bike is a lunge.

Figure 2. Illustration by Dr Levent Efe.

    • Start with your feet together and step forward approximately the length of your leg in distance (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Illustration by Dr Levent Efe.

    • Bend both knees and drop into the lunge position (Figure 2). Only drop down as far as you feel a moderate stretch. If you do not feel a stretch you may have to step further forward.
    • Hold the lunge for 1–2 seconds and straighten knees. Repeat for 6–10 lunges with that first foot forward.
    • Return to standing upright and step forward with the other foot to do 6–10 lunges on the other leg.
    • As you drop deeper into the lunge position, squeeze the glute of your back leg. This allows the muscles on the front of your leg to relax, lengthening your hip flexors. Remember to keep your belly tucked in to lock your pelvis into a stable position and to keep your hips level and squared to ensure good technique and to get the most out of your stretch.
    • You should feel a stretch in your quads and hip flexors, although this will feel like a lower body exercise.
    • Do two sets of six to ten repetitions each leg.

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.

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