22 Feb My Top Pre and Post-Ride Tips
Having a great ride depends a lot on what you do off the bike and there are definitely exercises, stretches, and other tips that can maximize your workout and help with recovery. Below are my own go-to tips.
I find it really helpful to include targeted glute activation exercises pre-ride to make sure that things are firing and ready to work hard. A set of 3 x 20 glute bridges and clamshells will take just a few minutes and make sure your glutes, hips, and hamstrings are warmed up and ready to roll!
Gentle stretching at the end of your ride for both lower body and upper body can help improve recovery and prevent improper form due to tight, fatigued muscles. Good post-ride stretches include:
*piriformis thread the needle stretch
*heel to glute quadriceps stretch
*fencer’s lunge for the hip flexors
*elevated hamstring stretch
*calf stretch/ heel drop off a stair
*doorway pec stretch (my favourite!)
Additional Recovery Tips:
Lying supine and elevating your legs up a wall is a great way to reduce any inflammation that is a normal side effect of training hard. Wearing compression socks or tights can help prevent swelling after a hard effort. If you ever feel any areas of abnormal soreness, apply ice (10 minutes on and 10 minutes off) to help get rid of inflammation. Applying some arnica cream or gel to the affected areas can also help to decrease inflammation and accelerate healing. Sitting in an ice bath or simply angling a cold shower at your legs after a hard effort on the bike can do wonders at keeping inflammation at bay.
In addition to the above, the most important recovery tips, however, are to make sure you rehydrate and refuel post-workout within 45-60 minutes of getting off the bike so are not going into the next training block with a deficit. Also, make sure to get a good night’s sleep as that is when our bodies do the most repair, keeping us healthy in the long term!