Training & Nutrition

Video: Hamstring Stretch for Cyclists

We're bringing you 6 stretches, then 6 strengthening exercises. Here's stretch number three...

Most of us know that we should stretch after a bike ride – but few of us actually get into a regular routine. We’ve worked with cycling experts Velo Atelier and pilates instructor Dorte Jensen to bring you six easy post ride moves that will make all the difference. 

None of these exercises are rocket science, but there is a right and a wrong way to do them, and Dorte can highlight the common mistakes people make which can make stretching less effective, or damaging.

Velo Atelier: Bike Fit Beyond the Nuts and Bolts

Here are the exercises we’ve done, and have yet to cover…

Our third stretch will help iron out niggles in the hamstrings. Though cyclists often recongnise it when their quads are screaming, tight hamstrings can go unnoticed for some time – causing discomfort in the lower back which isn’t always easily identifiable as being a direct result. Leave them to become too unhappy, and eventually they suddenly go ‘pop!’ and begin to cause localised pain that’s hard to shake.

Here’s a simple 60 second move to keep them supple…

How to: The Hamstring Stretch

  • Start with your feet hip width apart and parallel
  • Bend your knees, draw the belly button in, and roll down through the spine
  • Put all 10 finger tips on the floor in front of your toes
  • Keep your fingers on the floor, and your heels on the floor
  • Gently try to straighten the legs to a point that’s comfortable, breathe, and then bend them again
  • Repeat this 5-6 times
  • If you can straighten your legs fully, don’t let your knees ‘lock out’, keep them soft. If you can’t straighten them, don’t push yourself to – you’ll become more flexible over time
  • When you’re ready to come back, roll up one vertebra at a time, straightening the legs last.

About Velo Atelier and Dorte Jensen

Dorte Jensen is a level 3 pilates instructor with over five years experience. The stretches in our videos aren’t likely to be unknown to you, but she’ll demonstrate the correct way to carry them out and highlight common errors which can hamper the effects of the stretch.

You can see the first stretch in the series, the glute stretch, here and the quad stretch here. The next guide will be with you next week. 

You might also like… 

Common Cycling Niggles and Bike Fit Fixes

The Best Way to Plank

The Priestess of Pilates Shares Three Best Exercises for Cyclists


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