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Yoga-Influenced Stretching for Cyclists

I've started running through a sequence of stretches at night. I've found that it helps immensely with being able to sleep after hard rides, and I no longer do my bent-forward "old man walk" when I'm stiff and tired after a ride. (Because, y'know... I don't feel stiff and tired.)

The sequence focuses mostly on the hips and low back, and takes about 10 minutes, so it's a great time investment:

  1. Start in a "hero sit", with an inflatable balance disc between my heels and butt.
  2. Twist right and left
  3. Bend backward, support with my arms and extend my hips to stretch the hip flexors. (Essentially an adapted saddle pose.)
  4. Bend forward into child's pose, but with arms extended to stretch my lats.
  5. Separate the knees and move up onto all-fours, push the hips backward to stretch the whole hip area.
  6. Lift the hips into downward dog
  7. Stretch the calves and hamstrings, extend the shoulders
  8. Swing my left leg forward into "pigeon pose"
  9. Bend forward over my front knee, then backward to stretch my abs and hip flexor
  10. Return to downward dog
  11. Swing my right leg forward into "pigeon pose"
  12. Bend forward over my front knee, then backward to stretch my abs and hip flexor
  13. Move to a cross-legged seated position, with my lower legs parallel
  14. Bend forward to stretch the ITBs and gluteus medius
  15. Reverse the legs and repeat
  16. Return to "hero sit" and let everything settle.

Either I learned this sequence somewhere, or I'm a natural-born yogi, because this makes me feel awesome.

I've been getting a lot of good information from a book called Full-Body Flexibilty. The sequence above comes straight out of Yoga class, but I get more out of it than I used to because I'm using what I know from Full-Body Flexibilty.

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