Lower-body tightness is common among mountain bikers. But this yoga flow will help open and release the quads, hamstrings, and hip flexors, and stretch the lower back. Unlocking muscles will help access more power as you ride by ensuring full range of motion. And don’t neglect shoulders and chest, which are responsible for making fast adjustments as your legs churn.
“I’m a full-time free-ride mountain biker, and about five years ago I incorporated yoga into my training,” says professional mountain biker Geoff K. Gulevich. “I practice three times a week for warmup and cool down, and on off-days. It helps me recover faster from long, hard rides. It also helps me relax and helps me stay strong and avoid injury. To keep my back healthy, I do a lot of upward facing dog and cat-cow.”
If you’re new to yoga, set a goal to do it for 20 minutes, three times a week. Hold a pose until the tension releases, or do it for a set time, like 30 seconds. Cycle through moves pre- or post-workout, or as an active recovery-day activity. Some discomfort is OK, but if a pose is painful, back off slightly. As with any sport, getting better takes practice.