Cycling Warm up Exercises

Cycling warm up exercises

If you’re a cyclist, this article is tailored just for you. We’re going to cover our three favorite cycling warm up exercises. We strongly advise against hitting the trail without implementing one of these stretches into your routine. Pushing too hard, too early sets a bad tone for the whole ride and can lead to injury down the road.

Do these movement exercises before your bike rides, to “grease the grooves,” so to speak. Hip mobility of course is a top priority for cycling, however we’re also going to increase mobility in the shoulder joints and upper back. As a result, this will also encourage low-back stability (or anti-movement) through the trunk.

You want your shoulder, hips, and upper back to be primed so you can transfer power through your torso as efficiently as possible while still preserving your neck and low back.

This means efficient power transfer and effective joint preservation, over many miles.

Three Cycling Warm up Exercises

V-Stance Thoracic Spine

The “V-Stance Thoracic Spine” stretch is a great way to mobilize the upper back as well as the hips.

Setup & Execution:
– Split stance with palms planted in ground
– Press one hand towards the ceiling and follow with your eyes.

By doing this, you’ll feel a thoracic spine stretch as well as a groin stretch. Because cyclists spend a majority of their rides hunched over, thoracic spine mobility must be prioritized in order to keep the upper back mobile.

For that reason, this is one our top stretches to do before biking.

Related: Cycling Neck Pain: How to Eliminate and Prevent it

Hip Hinge Reach

This is a great full body stretch that gets some overhead movement and posterior chain mobilization.

Setup & Execution:
– Hinge into the hips (like a shortstop)
– Keep your upper back engaged
– Press your arms out keeping low back neutral

Open Chain Hip Rotation

The Open Chain Hip Rotation is one of the more dynamic stretches for cycling. It’s going to bring the hip through it’s full range of motion. By doing so, you’re going to challenge not only you hip ROM, but it’s active control.

Setup & Execution:
– Keep your core complexity engaged
– Slowly move your leg keeping your leg bend and the movement in your hips.
– Control the movement as much as possible.

You can press against a wall actively to help you engage your core, or you can challenge yourself by doing it with no assistance.

Do this exercise for 3-5 reps.

Final Thoughts

There is no need to overcomplicate your cycling warm up exercises. With that in mind, don’t let it’s simplicity cloud the importance of a proper warm up. If you implement these three warm ups, you should see an increase in performance and a lower risk of injury.

P.S. Stay tuned next week for three strength-building exercises for cross-training.. Sign up to our email list so we can send that information straight to your inbox.