Yoga is an excellent, relaxing form of cross-training for cyclists, which takes the pressure off the muscles of the legs and focuses on stretching and revitalization. Are you wondering what the best yoga poses for cyclists are? Here we have the top six poses that you should focus on in your cross-training yoga practice.
Top 6 yoga poses for cyclists
One of the major benefits of yoga is improved strength and endurance, which is why it is so beneficial for cyclists. Biking, after all, requires two key components to be successful at: strength and endurance! In addition to helping you build your strength, the following six poses are great for rehabilitation after a ride.
Downward dog is hard to avoid throughout any yoga practice, and it's a good thing if you are a cyclist. Downward dog helps to stretch out the hamstrings as well as all of the muscles down the backside. It also helps to stretch out and lengthen the torso, which can get stiff from the forward position during biking.
This stretch, which has one foot forward with the knee bent, the other leg stretched behind you, and the arms straight into the air, has magnificent benefits for the hip flexors. This stretching exercise opens up the hips, which can get tight and stiff from cycling.
The bridge pose releases tension in the lower back, and works by having you lay on your back, bringing your knees to a bend with your feet flat on the floor, and then lifting up from your hips. This pose also opens up the entire front body, and offers a great counterbalance to being on your bike. This uplifting posture is also a great place to turn to after a tiring cycle.
Another hip-stretching postures that many beginners find difficulty with, pigeon is a pose that should be focused on especially for cyclists. Where you essentially sit with one leg bent at a 45 degree angle in front of you and one leg stretched straight out behind you, pigeon stretches all of the muscles surrounding the hips and glutes.
Perhaps the most aesthetically-pleasing but difficult to master poser, dancer has you in an upright position with one leg stretched up and back (and held onto at the ankle) and your arm stretched out in front of you for counterbalance. This pose is essential for cyclists because it strengthens the leg and back muscles and provides extension for the spine.
The reclining butterfly is a relaxing pose that is similar to the closing savasana, but with your feet touching and knees bent. This pose is great for cyclists because it stretches the inner thighs and groin muscles, which can be overworked during riding. This pose also restores the central nervous system, making it a great end-of-ride wind-down.
Finally, be sure you have all the right yoga gear for safety and comfort in each of these essential yoga poses for cyclists – shop our yoga section here. Happy cross-training.