Cyclists tend to have issues with mobility due to all the time spent in the same position doing a repetitive motion. Problem areas typically include the shoulders, back, hip flexors, and quads. If not addressed, your lack of flexibility could hold back your training. Tight quads, for example, can pull your kneecap out of alignment, which can lead to grinding knee pain.

You can prevent any immobility and weakness by improving your flexibility. Try incorporating these mobility moves into your training plan to start feeling stronger in the saddle. Remember to start off slow and build your flexibility over time to avoid muscle strain or injury. 

The Essentials

  • Do these mobility moves two to three times a week
  • Push yourself until you feel a stretch and build up flexibility over time
  • Stop if you feel a sharp pain

Bench Bar

  • This exercise is great for people with limited shoulder mobility
  • You’ll need a bar or single dumbbell
  • Kneel in front of a bench and place your arms on it with your elbows centered in the middle and your palms up
  • Sit back on your heels and bring the bar or dumbbell overhead
  • Then, lower the weight behind your neck
  • Put the weight over your shoulders forcing your chest down
  • Aim for 10 reps on each side and two to three sets (beginners: start with lower number; experienced gym buffs can go higher)

Foam Roller T-Spine

  • If you constantly find yourself slouching and are looking to improve your posture, this one is for you
  • This stretch is designed to help restore your back and shoulders by training you to retract your scapulas and open your chest
  • Lie on your back with a foam roller underneath your spine supporting your head and butt
  • Start by reaching your hands out over your head, then slowly bring them down toward the floor with your elbows bending in and your palms up
  • Continue to raise and lower your arms to add to the stretch
  • Aim for 10 reps and two to three sets

Classic kneeling hip flexor stretch

  • This stretch targets the iliopsoas, one of the main hip flexors
  • Kneel with one knee up and the other down on the floor behind you
  • Keep both knees at a 90-degree angle
  • Your hips and chest should be vertical and straight
  • Squeeze your glutes and focus on driving your hip forward and pressing your rear knee into the ground
  • Hold for 30 seconds, and then repeat on the other side

Foam roller hip flexor

  • This move can be done using a foam roller, medicine ball, or lacrosse ball
  • Lie facedown across your roller with it underneath your hip
  • Drive the roller into the crease of your hip as you roll back and forth over any tight, tender areas to maximize your flexibility
  • Roll each side for about 30 seconds, repeating as needed

Side lying quad stretch

  • There are many ways to stretch your quads but this method is safe and relaxed
  • Lie on your side with your bottom arm outstretched and your head resting on top
  • Reach back with your other hand to grab your top foot and pull it toward your butt until you feel a stretch
  • Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat on the other side