Part of my daily routine is stretching, but on ride day I know my body needs a little something extra. In this article barré instructor Patty McCarthy teaches me some post ride stretches to keep my body in great shape for those long days on the bike. In some of the stretches you can see modifications for my prenatal status.
Chest and Arms Stretches
Arm Across Chest, a classic stretch, you start this pose by sitting comfortably on your heels, then stretch your arm across your chest and hold for 30 seconds. Repeat with the other arm.
Forward Fold Shoulder Rinse is full body stretch that starts from a standing position. Interlace your hands behind your back, bend your knees and then, with a flat spine, fold at the hip crease. Keep your neck relaxed, your head heavy towards your mat and a slight bend in your knees. Bring your arms up towards the sky to feel the stretch. Hold for 30 seconds.
Child’s Pose. To get into this pose, bring your knees as wide as the mat, or if you have back pain, keep your knees closer together. Stretch your arms out long in front of you and rest your forehead on the mat. If your head does not rest on the mat, you can use a pillow or yoga block to bring the ground up to you. Push your glutes down onto your heals and hold for 30 seconds.
Wing pose. This one is a bit complicated, but feels really good. Starting by lying on your stomach, bring your arms out to a T with your palms faced down. Then press your right hand into the floor and roll onto the left side of your body. Next bring your right leg to a 90 degree angle with your foot flat on the floor behind your left leg. For more of a stretch bring your left arm closer to your head, for less bring it closer to your glutes. Hold for 30 seconds and then switch sides.
Upward Facing Dog and Full Body Stretch are great stretches for your core muscles. In this photo Patty is demonstrating Upward Facing Dog and I am demonstrating Full Body Stretch. To get into upward facing dog lie down on your stomach, push the tops of your feet into the mat and bring your hands beneath your shoulders. Push up with your hands, expanding your chest and pushing your shoulders down and away from you ears. Full body stretch is self-explanatory but is a great stretch for your core muscles as well as the rest of your body.
Supine Twist starts in a full body stretch. Next, bring your right knee up to your chest, take your left hand on top of your right knee and drag it across our body towards the left side. Keep your shoulders flat on the mat, extend your right arm to the right and look right. Hold for 30 second and then switch sides.
Legs and Glutes
Reclined Pidgeon is one of my new favorites. You start lying down on your back, bring your right ankle to your left quad. Weave your hands around your left thigh and pull towards your chest, flexing both feet to protect your knees. For more of a stretch, push your right elbow into your right knee. Hold for 30 seconds and then switch sides.
Pidgeon pose starts in downward dog. From there, take your right ankle and bring it towards your left wrist, then shift your left leg so it is flat on the ground. Keep your hips square. You can stay upright or fold over. Hold for 30 seconds then switch sides.
Happy Baby, lying on your back grab the inside arches of your feet and pull your feet down towards the ground while pushing your feet into your hands. Hold for 30 seconds. You can also rock from side to side, kick one leg out and then the other, whatever feels good to you.
(We will spare you a photo of happy baby, you can google).
Low Lunge starts in downward facing dog, step your right foot towards the front of your mat and lower your back knee to the ground. Be sure your right knee and right ankle are inline with one another. Bring your hands to your hips and push your hips forward. Be sure your knee and ankle stay in alignment with each other. Hold for 30 seconds and switch sides.
Half Splits from low lunge, bring your hands back to the mat to frame your front foot. Next, push our hips towards your back leg and flex your front foot towards the sky. Fold forward over your extended leg, hold for 30 seconds and then switch sides.
Seated Forward Fold and Side Fold sitting firmly on the ground, extend both feet in front of you, or for side fold, do one leg at a time. As you inhale, lift your arms up to the sky and then exhale while you fold forward with a flat back. Grab onto your feet, ankles or back of your legs to hold the stretch. Hold for 30 seconds and then switch sides if you are doing one leg at a time.
Special thanks to Patty McCarthy for sharing her knowledge and teaching me some awesome new stretches! I know my body definitely loved these stretches and I hope your does too. If you enjoyed this article please share, like, comment or follow trailridermama.com. I am now on Instagram and Facebook.