Level UP w/ Josh Hult: Stretch Your Way to Better Riding
I don’t know about all of you but I’m just coming out of a LOOONG cold winter and now that we are getting back in to the real serious sessions it’s tough to feel comfortable on my bike. That being said I was thinking about the things I do a lot now that I’ve been riding for a long time and wishing I had been doing throughout my career on a bike. One of the most important that would helped so much is working on and maintaining my flexibility.
Not only does being flexible help you do tricks easier and help you to stretch them out even more but it pays off HUGE in preventing injuries! Which I’m sure we can all agree is worth it all by itself. I personally try to get at least a couple good yoga workouts in to my week but I know that’s not for everyone so here is a great way to get ready for every session and feel your best on your bike. The first part of this equation is to warm up a bit first. Trying to stretch cold muscles is just like trying to stretch cold taffy, they don’t want to move and stretch properly so a proper warm up is crucial. This is a bit easier for those of you riding street or parks because you can pump around a bit and get warm fairly quick. Since I ride dirt mostly I’ll dig for at least 10-15 minutes first whether the jumps need it or not to get the blood flowing before I stretch.
Now you need to know what your weak points are and make sure you can get those muscle groups moving, most bike riders have a tight lower back, hip flexors, quads, hamstring and shoulders. Sounds like a lot but from my experience over the years these muscles need the most help to make me feel good on my bike. Here’s a few pics of the stretches I do before I ride. Make sure when you do them that you are warmed up and maintain steady breathing through the stretch. IT is also important to listen to your body and not stretch too far. Just go to the point of feeling the tight spots and then go a little farther each time. You should hold each stretch for about a 45 second to a minute for maximum impact to your muscles and riding…
The biggest piece of advice I hope you get from this is to think about your flexibility and work on it every time you ride. It will help you in more ways than you could probably imagine. In the long run I hope this helps you have a better longer and more enjoyable time each time you ride your bike!