Ten minute foam roller exercise for cyclists

Last week we showed you how beneficial using a foam roller can be in our article Why You Should Use A Foam Roller. True to our word here is the follow up exercises you can do on a daily basis to see results on your next ride and over the next ten years! 

Created especially for cyclists you can get the following routine completed in just ten minutes. As mentioned they cover a range of muscles to make sure the source of your tension is covered. Use this routine daily and especially before a ride for a happier, healthier mind and body. 

Be sure to check in on our last post to understand the importance of long slow movements on all these exercises. There’s plenty of time to go flat out on the bike, but for now, a change of pace is just what the physiotherapist ordered. 

Your ten-minute foam roller workout

1. Quads

The quad muscles are usually the ones that take the brunt of your cycling tension, so these muscles will most likely hurt more and really benefit from some daily rolling.

Lay face down on your roller with the foam touching your knees.  Place your arms on the floor for balance, in line with your shoulders, and keep your elbows in. To keep the pressure on your legs have open palms with thumbs pointing skyward.

Move slowly so the roller reaches your hip and slowly return to the knee. Repeat six times. For some added stretch bend your knees behind you as you roll up and straighten them out on the return.

2. Knees and hips

This action stabilises your hips and knees and relieves tension along the IT band and abductor. Doing this exercise daily can fix months of knee frustration.

IT band:

Lay on your side on the roller with the foam resting against the side of your knee. You will know when your IT band is engaged as you will feel something like a solid tube up the side of your knee, pressing against the foam. Slowly roll up your leg until you reach your hip. Make sure you maintain one slow smooth movement. Return. Repeat six times and do the opposite side evenly.

Abductor:

For your abductors the same motion is required, only you have the foam roller pressing against the inside of your thigh and roll from knee to groin in one slow motion and return.

3. Glutes

Your glutes are your cycling powerhouse. Keeping these muscles flexible will help maximise your power output. Sit on your roller with knees bent. Rest your arms behind you for balance and place your left ankle on your right knee. Put your weight on your right arm (you can rest your left hand on your bent knee if you like). Move both backwards and forwards as well as in and out so your entire backside gets a smooth slow massage. Repeat evenly on the opposite side.

4. Calves

With this action getting enough pressure on your calf muscles is a challenge but the results are worth it to keep your calves strong and toned.

Sit with you legs straight and your left heel on the roller. Cross your right foot over your left to apply pressure. With your arms behind you for support, lift yourself off the floor so your full weight is on the roller. Slowly move so that the roller reaches the back of your knee and return. Repeat six times and switch calves.

5. Hamstring

Tight hamstrings can cause issues in any sport, unfortunately they are easy muscles to overlook. This action is very similar to the one for your calves, starting with the roller just above your knee, lift yourself on your arms and roll up to your glutes. Again, putting pressure from your opposite leg crossed at the ankle will help get maximum results. You can use your arms to help with the movement if you find rolling difficult.

6. Back

Bending over the handlebars is not a natural position for the human body, which is why so many cyclists have lower back trouble.

Upper back:

Sit with the roller behind you under the middle of your back. Bend your knees and lay flat over the roller with your bottom off the floor and palms on the floor for support. Roll slowly until the foam is at your neck. Slowly return and repeat six times.

Lower back:

Sit with roller behind you and secure it against the small of your back (the arch you have there). Bend one elbow on the floor behind you for support, bend your knees and lift yourself so your bottom is off the floor. Slowly roll up and down the side of your spine. Repeat evenly on the other side.

To really get the most out of this warm-up complete some stretches now that your muscles are warmed and loosened.

A healthy body doesn’t just feel great and give you more motion, it allows you to perform better for longer on the bike, and that’s really what we want to see. So get some slow motion in your life to enjoy your ride in the fast lane!

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