One reason we warm-up is to optimize Muscle length and flexibility. A good warm-up should allow us to get into our most efficient and/or comfortable position, which will allow for proper movement during the main workout. We can think of runners doing things like butt kickers, strides etc. to move through the range of motion and 'loosen' up their muscles. A cyclist would be concerned about things such as gluteal activation and low back flexibility that allow for proper pelvic tilt, proper seat height and a comfortable reach to the bars.
Something that we have been implementing into more and more of our training programs is an active flex routine prior to starting our strength or bike workouts. Any athlete would benefit from proper muscle flexibility and activation (it is not uncommon to see active flex and 'pre-hab' activities, such as foam rolling, included in the warm-ups of Major League Sports like Basketball).
- My personal experience has been that when I precede my bike workouts with movements of these types I am always surprised at how I immediately feel more comfortable on the bike and ready to move quickly through my bike warm-up (I find I am ready to precede to my main workout quicker after these usually).
- Note that these are NOT static stretches and that we are actually moving through the range of motion to create the positions pictured below. (ie. a walking lunge with minimal time spend holding any given portion of the movement ).
Give the following movements a try before your next workout and let us know what you think .. (4-10 reps per exercise/side works well usually)
Hip Lift - lay on back, hug knee to chest and then perform a glut raise/hip lift keeping knee at chest, push through heel .
Walking Knee Hug - moving forward if room, alternately bring knee to chest and hug to chest
Lunge Elbow to Instep - start standing and then perform a good lunge, once in lunge bring opposite elbow to inside of foot, back up to lunge then to standing and repeat other side.
Backward Lunge with Twist - lunge backwards then perform a movement as if you are throwing a ball over your shoulder, follow hands with eyes. (should twist to side opposite the backwards foot)
Forward Lunge with sideways bend - again bend away from the back leg to stretch the hip flexor
Airplane / standing hamstring - can do as a walking motion, alternately go from walking to the shown position, work on balance
Stay Flexible !
PS. If you are interested in learning more about flexibility, mobility or Strength training email about coming to visit us at our new facility !