The poses below can be practiced at any time – before a ride, after a ride or on a break during a ride. For starters, Mountain Pose (Tadasana) elongates the spine and releases stiffness in the shoulders and upper back. Intense Side Stretch (Parsvottanasana) targets the hamstrings and the glutes, which can get tight from sitting. And, last but not least, Reclined Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose (Supta Padangusthasana) lengthens the hamstrings and opens the lower back and hips.
Moutain Pose (Tadasana)
This posture develops proper alignment and body awareness.
How to Practice: Stand with big toes touching, heels slightly apart, arms by your side. Distribute your weight evenly on both feet. Engage the quadriceps by drawing up on the kneecaps. Move the belly button back toward the spine. Lengthen the tailbone toward the ground. Gently roll the shoulders up and back and draw the bottom tips of the shoulder blades toward each other. Reach through the elbows and extend the fingertips toward the floor.
Breathe normally. Keep your neck relaxed. Hold for 30 seconds.
Intense Side Stretch (Parsvottanasana)
This pose is great for stretching tight hamstrings, the outer hips, and the iliotibial bands.
How to Practice: Stand in Mountain Pose. Bring your hands to your hips and step your right foot back three feet. Square your hips to the wall in front of you.
Exhale, hinge at the hips, and extend your torso forward. Expect a big stretch in the left hamstring and the right calf. Move the shoulder blades down the back. Be sure that the neck is in line with the spine. To come out, engage the core, press into the back heel and raise the torso upright and back to center. Repeat on the opposite side.
Reclined Leg Stretch (Supta Padangusthasana)
If you do this pose every day, it’ll make a difference in hamstring and calf flexibility. Additionally, the pose will ease stiffness in the lower back.
How to Practice: Lie on your back, legs together. Strongly extend through the heels.
Keep the left leg tunneling into the ground as you bend the right knee and draw it into the chest. Place a strap around the arch of the right foot and hold the strap loosely in both hands.
Exhale and extend the right leg straight up. Walk your hands up the strap until the elbows are fully extended. Keep the neck relaxed.
Lengthen the back of the leg between the buttock bone and heel. Try not to be overly enthusiastic about pulling your leg toward your chest. Instead, emphasize the grounding of your left leg as you draw your arms back into their sockets.
Stay for 30 thirty seconds, breathing evenly. Slowly release. Repeat on the left side.