Stretch away your muscle pain: What to do after you ride...

All riders will be familiar with muscle pain on the days following a big ride, but did you know that a few simple stretches can lessen the pain and get you ready to ride again sooner?

All riders will be familiar with muscle pain on the days following a big ride, but did you know that a few simple stretches can lessen the pain and get you ready to ride again sooner?

"Stretching after you ride decreases lactic acid build-up in your muscles," explains Rosemary Gallagher from the Gordon Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Centre (one of the wonderful BHCC sponsors).

"It lengthens your muscles, gets them ready to ride again, and importantly it will help reduce muscle soreness the next day. These stretches are simple and don't require any special equipment, so they are easy to do at home after you ride."

All stretches should be held for 30 seconds and repeated five times.

  1. Quad stretch. Stand resting one hand on a wall or chair for balance. Hold your left foot with your right hand lift your heel towards your bottom and gently push your knee and leg backwards. Repeat using opposite hand and foot.
  2. Hip Flexor stretch. Kneel on a pillow and put your right foot flat on the ground so that your knee makes a right angle. Gently squeeze your bottom muscles and lean your pelvis forwards until you feel a stretch down the front of your left hip. Repeat on other side.
  3. Gemelli stretch. Lie on your back on a bed or the floor. Lift your left leg, grab your knee and calf and gently pull your knee towards your right shoulder until you feel a stretch down the outside of your buttock. Repeat using opposite side.
  4. TFL release. Sit on a chair with your knees bent, place your hand on the outside of the top of your thigh, firmly push the heel of your hand into your muscle and slide it down towards your knee. Continue doing this for two minutes. Repeat on opposite leg.

If you struggle with muscle recovery after riding consider seeking professional advice from someone like Rosemary who will be able to make sure you are stretching correctly and will provide you with a personalised stretching program.

Rosemary Gallagher
Manipulative Physiotherapist
Gordon Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Centre
Tel. 9498 6133
www.gordonphysiotherapy.com.au

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