Biking is increasing in popularity over the last few years. More and more people are taking up biking both as a sport and as a hobby. Biking is a very healthy way of exercising, it’s a great statement for environmental consciousness and it’s quite fun as well. But because is so easy to get into, there are some bikers who forget some fundamental things when they take up biking. One of these is stretching first before biking for leisure or competitively.
Stretching is important because it prepares the various muscle groups for the rigors of biking. Stretching the muscles will prevent injuries and cramps from taking place. It also helps tone the muscles, making them more flexible and pliant.
When you do your stretching exercise make sure that you stretch each muscle group. Don’t do it abruptly or quickly. Stretching has to be done gently and with deliberateness in the movements. What you need to do when stretching is to put tension to the muscles. If you feel pain when doing your stretching exercises then you’re doing it wrong. Pain while stretching means you’re tearing muscle tissue, which shouldn’t happen.
Make sure that when you stretch, hold the stretched position for at least 20 to 30 seconds. Holding the stretched position, allows the muscles to relax and extend its fibers naturally, maximizing the stretching effect. Don’t do what some people do and bounce the stretched position.
Even though stretching exercises can be done before biking, it’s a better habit to stretch everyday even when you’re not going to go biking. Daily stretching exercises will make your muscles constantly limber. Even a ten minute stretching routine everyday will be a big help in the long run. But if you have injuries then that’s the only time you should stop any stretching routines because it can aggravate your injuries, especially the affected areas.
When you stretch, it is a good idea to start from the head and then work way down to the lower extremities. Don’t do a random stretch where you jump from one muscle group to another. This is the best way to stretch according to trainers.
After you’ve finished biking you shouldn’t just stop and rest. You should also do your stretching exercises again. Your muscles need to cool down, so some stretching exercises may help with the muscles relax. A cool down will also make sure that you won’t suffer from any kind of muscle injuries.