Spin to Break the Cycle: Rider's Stretch
What if someone told you that an hour of spinning could help stop violence in Chicago – would you step up to the bike?
Spin to Break the Cycle is a high-energy, indoor cycling event that raises funds to support World Sport Chicago’s programs that are having an impact on reducing violence and creating opportunity in Chicago. On Saturday, April 18th the event took over three floors in the House of Blues – creating an emotionally and physically empowering experience.
Spin to Break the Cycle: Rider's StretchWe recently had a blast cheering on the athletes at one of our favorite, most unique fundraisers in Chicago! Our talented staff happily took over the historical Foundation Room for post-riding stretch out sessions! You can check out some of our favorite pohots on Facebook and click here to learn how to get involved with Spin to Break the Cycle.
You can stretch before or after your ride. Check out some of our favorite areas to target:
Calves: Stand with your feet pointed straight ahead. Step your right leg forward. Then bend your knee, keeping your left foot planted on the ground behind you Ensure that your upper-body remains erect and drop your hips forward until you feel the stretch in your calf. Hold for 15-30 seconds, then switch sides.
Quadriceps: Standing, reach back with your right hand and grab your right foot at the top of the ankle, and pull up towards your glutes. The quads are the biggest cycling muscle. Make sure to follow a very slow stretch, taking care not to pull too hard too fast. Hold for 15-30 seconds, then switch. Quick tip: Heighten the stretch by tightening your glutes.
IT Band: The IT Band runs down the side of your leg. It helps in balance and control. The section of this band that affects cyclists is between the hip and knee. A tight or inflamed IT band can cause tendonitis or knee alignment issues. Stretch this one from a sitting position. Cross your left leg across your right knee. Push down gently on the left knee. You will feel the stretch on the outside of your leg. Hold for 15-30 seconds. Then Switch.
Hamstrings: Pedaling develops short and powerful hamstrings. Unlike running, which lengthens hamstrings, cyclists are prone to tightness in these muscles. It’s very important to take time to stretch hamstrings with care. Standing, bend over from the waist. Dangle your arms toward the ground. Allow your knees to bend slightly outward. Use deep, steady breathing to take this posture further with each breath.
Gluteus: The glutes can get overlooked in terms of stretching. From a cross-legged sitting position on the floor, angle your left leg over the right and plant left foot next to right knee, so your left leg forms a triangle. Grasp the front of your left knee and lean forward, careful to keep your back straight. Feel the stretch along your left hamstring. This releases the piraformis, a connecting muscle that often tightens after sitting on a saddle. Perform this stretch with both legs.
Neck and Shoulders: Neck muscles come into play throughout your ride as you check for traffic and monitor your surroundings. Stand and gently roll your head in a circle several times, then rotate. Shrug your shoulders up and hold for five seconds. Repeat several times.
Core: Your trunk of abdomen and back muscles are the support system for your legs as they pedal. The best stretch is actually doing crunches or back extensions to help strengthen these varied muscles. You can try a simple back twist from the gluteus-stretch position, by twisting your trunk to look behind, one side and then the other. You’ll also feel this stretch in your abdomen.