Training & Nutrition

Video: Quad Stretch for Cyclists

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

Stretching is something all of us know we should do. Keeping up with a regular routine after your rides will help to keep you more supple – resulting in fewer injuries and stronger performances where your muscles are free to work at their optimum. 

To help you remain supple, we’ve teamed up with the guys at Velo Atelier to bring you a series of six video guides for stretching, followed by six strengthening moves later in the summer.

Velo Atelier: Bike Fit Beyond the Nuts and Bolts

Instructed by Level 3 Pilates teacher, Dorte Jensen, the videos will demonstrate stretches for key areas which can become a source of irritation for cyclists:

  • Glutes (view that one here)
  • Quads (below)
  • Hamstrings
  • Neck
  • Hip Flexors
  • Calves

Our second stretch is a quad stretch. The quadriceps are the outer thigh muscles, and they work incredibly hard for cyclists – particularly when you’re riding at high intensity, climbing, or using a bigger gear.  Tight quads can pull on the muscles around the knee, causing discomfort that’s often tricky to shake – so it’s well worth looking after them.

Here’s the video to show you how to stretch your quad muscles properly, without stressing your lower back or knee…

How to: The Quad Stretch

  • Start lying on your front with your legs out straight – like a pencil
  • Lengthen your tailbone away from your head, and draw your belly button in so that your lower back lengthens – this prevents you from compressing the discs in the lumbar spine
  • Bend your knee, to bring your heel to your bottom
  • Reach your hand to meet your foot or ankle. If this is uncomfortable, or causes your leg to move out towards the side – as opposed to creating a straight line between the knee, ankle and the sit bone – use a towel or belt to wrap around your foot and bring it closer to your bum
  • Keep thinking about lengthening the tail bone and drawing the tummy button in as you lay your leg down and repeat on the other side
  • The key thing to remember is that the knee, ankle and sit bones should be in line, and that your knee should not move to face outwards. If this happens, use a towel or belt to give you more space

About Velo Atelier and Dorte Jensen

The team at Velo Atelier offer ‘products for the discerning cyclist’ – they work with physiotherapists to provide clinical bike fitting, as well as coaching, saddle mapping, custom frame building, and pilates classes to name just a few.

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. 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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