We are used to training and strengthening our muscles, however, they don’t get more flexible just by working out. Hence, it makes sense to mobilise muscles to increase overall flexibility and to set the groundwork for more stability.
Advantages Of Flexible Muscles
Movements keep your joints and thus also your muscles flexible. If one joint’s radius is limited, the muscles concerned may become limited in their range of movements. When cycling, a lot of force is applied to the legs and the muscles get stronger and shorter. The joint alignment of e.g. the knee can suffer and cause injuries.
The solution: Mobilisation Exercises
Intense mobilisation exercises can be compared to vigorous weight training. The exercises are characterised by a training stimulus which lessens the strain put on the muscles as the muscles aren’t shortened but rather stretched. The goal is to free the body from its limitations and to reestablish symmetry. Mobilisation leads to muscle relief, power is more well-distributed and the muscles thus stabilise.
The Best Exercises
Unlike classic stretching exercises, mobilisation exercises are not about keeping your muscles in a certain position but rather about improving the cooperation of muscles necessary for moving through dynamic movements. It’s important to note that not all motions are used on purpose, instead, tension is achieved through all the muscles involved.
A shortened version of the exercises can be done before your workout, but 2-3 sets of 10 repetitions also work really well as a workout of their own.
Spread your arms in a 90° angle from your body while lying on your back. Keep one leg stretched out on the ground and bring your other leg towards your arm. This mobilises the hip which often becomes a problem zone for cyclists.
Stand and swing your leg upwards. Try to reach your stretched out hand with your toes.
Take the ends of a towel and hold it up behind your head with your arms stretched out. Start with your hands being far apart and move them closer together during the exercise. This mobilises the shoulders which can be restricted by your position on the bike.
Lunge with turned upper body
Do a lunge (right leg in front) and bring your stretched out right arm towards the ground next to your ankle. Straighten your left arm and lift it up while turning the upper body. Hold the position for a short amount of time and change sides.
Are you fit for the upcoming cycling season? 💪
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