Recovery for cyclists is about more than just a day off the bike. It feels amazing to push your body to its limits, ride those extra miles, and reach your cycling goals, but if you want to keep moving forward, you need not just to train hard, but recover fully.
During a hard ride, your muscles start to break down. It’s only during a period of recovery when your body repairs the muscle fibers, and you reap the benefit of that cycle session.
Try these two tips to improve the quality of your recovery so that your next ride is even better.
Massage: Foam Roll
Cycling will make your legs feel like they are on fire, especially if you do hill repeats! Muscle adhesions (or knots) can form from overuse, and foam rolling can smooth those knots out.
Massage can also push out the fluid carrying waste products of muscle breakdown, encourage fresh blood to flow, and help muscle rebuild. In fact, massage following exercise can often improve circulation for up to 72 hours later.
Foam rolling is a form of myofascial release, which is a way to use pressure to release tension in the muscles, much like a sports massage. It might not always be feasible to schedule a sports massage after every bike ride, so having a foam roller as part of your smart recovery plan is a perfect alternative.
As you move tight muscles toward full length after a ride, you may experience resistance or pain. You may feel a tightness not just in the muscles worked but from muscles used in the forced position needed to operate your bike.
The purpose of a stretch is to have more muscle length available, otherwise known as full range of motion. The ability to fully flex your hip, knee, and ankle joints, is related to better cycling due to greater efficiency in their rides.
Try these 5 Recovery Exercises for Cyclists
1. Standing Glute Stretch with SMART Strength Band
2. Outer Thigh Foam Roll with SMART Recovery Foam Roller
3. Quad Foam Roll with SMART Recovery Foam Roller
4. Hamstring stretch SMART Strength Band
5. Inner Thigh Roll with SMART Recovery Foam Roller