Hip flexors may sound like a trendy gadget, but they’re the muscles that can ruin a ride if not stretched correctly. Lexie Williamson, a yoga for cyclists tutor, explains how to improve your hip flexor flexibility for cycling.
1. Learn to lunge
It’s possible to almost miss out stretching the hip flexors in a low lunge if you fail to push your hips forward, so don’t do the stretch with your backside sticking out!
Many people have trouble detecting the position of their pelvis. If you’re unsure, reach around and slide a hand down your lower back. Rather than feeling the dip of your lower back or lumbar curve, you’re aiming for a flatter lower back.
2. Lunge low with a high chest
To perform a hip-flexor-stretching lunge correctly, lower down to all fours.
Step your right foot up in between your hands and raise the upper body.
Push your hips forwards and lower into the lunge.
Take your hands behind your back and interlink your fingers.
Draw your shoulders back and squeeze your shoulder blades closer.
Cyclists will benefit from a stretch that counters the rounding of the back that occurs when bent forward for long rides.
3. Be like the lizard
For an advanced hip flexor stretch, do The Lizard.
From all fours, step your right foot up to the outside of the right hand.
Let your hips sink down.
Either remain here with straight arms or slowly lower down onto the forearms.
A block or book under each forearm will raise the floor level if this proves difficult.
Repeat on the other side.