17 Mobility Exercises For Cyclist, Runners, And Triathletes

As you ride your bike, think about your body’s position. You should lean forward from your hips, with your arms outstretched. Your legs will be in a constant rotation as you pedal.

According to Rena Eleázar, D.P.T., C.S.C.S., co-founder of Match Fit Performance in New York City, cycling is largely done in the sagittal plane or front-to-back. To maintain strong muscles and avoid injury, cyclists should also incorporate sideways movements, or those done in the frontal plane, into their workout routine.

The best mobility exercises for cyclists

Eleázar provides eight of the best mobility exercises that every cyclist should add to their routine to keep them comfortable and riding strong. These exercises can be performed anytime you need to move your body through different ranges of motion, or immediately post-ride to loosen up all the right spots.

When performing mobility exercises, Eleazar says the most important technique tip is to make sure you’re not pushing past your limitations and therefore straining any muscles. “Pay attention and listen to your body and move in a controlled range of motion,” she says.

Schedule permitting, do this workout 1 to 2 times a week, making sure to leave 48 hours in between sessions for your muscles to recover. Do the exercises in the order listed below for the number of reps specified. If you are doing this workout after a ride, only do 1 set. If you are doing this workout on its own, do 3-4 sets. Make sure to watch the video so you know the proper form for each exercise. You can use an exercise mat if you have one, but it is not necessary. Do this workout 1-2 times per week, depending on your schedule. Make sure to leave 48 hours in between sessions to give your muscles time to recover.

1. Wall angels

How to Do Wall Angels for Strong, Pain-Free Shoulders | livestrongWall Angels: How To, Variations, Benefits, Muscles Worked, Beginner Mistakes, & Alternative Exercises - FitLifeFanatics

To improve posture and alleviate pain in the shoulders and upper back, focus on stretching the chest and front of the shoulders, while also strengthening the rotator cuff and stabilizers of the shoulder blades.

Stand with your feet and back against a wall, and your arms raised to shoulder height with your elbows bent and your hands against the wall (or as close as you can get). Extend your arms overhead, keeping them as close to the wall as possible, then lower your arms back to shoulder height. Repeat this ten times.

2. Prone Shoulder CARs

6 Exercises to Strengthen Your Shoulders For Better Running Form - Outside Online

The text is discussing a type of exercise called CARs, which stands for controlled articular rotations. This exercise involves moving the shoulder joints slowly and smoothly through their full range of motion.

Place your face down on the ground, with one leg extended and the other bent at the knee. Stick your arms straight out above your head with your palms facing downwards. Without moving any other part of your body, lift your arms up and then circle them back behind you, flipping your palms to face upwards at the halfway point. When your arms reach your hips, bend your elbows so your hands are behind your lower back, with your palms still facing upwards. Pause in this position, and then reverse the motion to go back to the starting position. Repeat this 5-8 times.

3. Cat cow

Cat-Cow-Pose - Yogahub

The cat-cow stretch helps improve flexibility in the spine by working both the flexion and extension muscles. This can help you maintain a neutral position on the bike, avoiding stiffness.

Inhale deeply while curving your lower back and bringing your head up, tilting your pelvis up like a “cow.” Exhale deeply and bring your abdomen in, arching your spine and bringing your head and pelvis down like a “cat.”

Begin by getting down on all fours, with your shoulders over your wrists and your knees under your hips. Take a deep breath in and allow your belly button to drop towards the floor while you arch your back and look up towards the ceiling. exhale and tuck your chin into your chest while rounding your spine and pulling your belly button up towards the ceiling. Alternate between these two moves for a total of ten repetitions.

4. Side-lying thoracic rotation

Prone Thoracic Rotation < Exercise Vault | Health in Balance, Caulfield South | Melbourne Exercise Physiologists, Allied Health Professionals delivering safe & effective clinical exercise, lifestyle & behavior modification programs for prevention,

This move targets the upper spine and rib cage while also stretching the chest muscles, which feels great and can help improve your posture.

Lie down on your side on the ground with your shoulders, hips, and knees stacked on top of each other and your knees and hips bent at about a 90-degree angle. Place your head on a pillow or yoga block and extend your arms out in front of you with them stacked on top of each other.

Opening your Arm across your body at the hips, like you would a book, try and get it as close to the floor behind you as possible. Pause, then return to the starting position. Repeat this 5 times, then switch sides.

5. Lower trunk rotation

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Stretching the Quadratus Lumborum (or QL), the deep core muscles on either side of the lower spine can help relieve tightness after long rides. This move can also help loosen up the low back extensors, as well as the glutes—other common sore spots on cyclists.

The Quadratus Lumborum (QL) is the deepest back muscle and originates from the iliac crest and inserts on the transverse process of lumbar one through five and the lower part of the twelfth rib. The QL muscle is flattened and has a quadrangular shape.

Quadratus Lumborum - Physiopedia

Roll onto your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Bring your knees to the right side, then back to the centre, and then to the left side. Keep alternating for 5 repetitions on each side.

6. 90-90 seated hip rotations

3 Hip Mobility Exercises & Why You Should Do Them | Onnit Academy

Sit on the floor with your left leg bent at the knee and the shin parallel to the hip. Your right leg should be bent at the knee and the shin should be perpendicular to the hip and on the floor.

This is your starting position. Sit up straight with your arms raised. Without putting your hands down, lift your knees and turn them to the right. At the same time, twist your torso so you’re facing the opposite direction. Your legs should land with your right leg in front and your left leg to the side. Return to the starting position. Repeat, this time moving to the left. Alternate sides for 5 reps.

7. Front foot elevated split squat

Front Foot Elevated Split Squats | Strong Lean AustraliaFront Foot Elevated Split Squat - Height Performance

In this lunge position, you will be targeting the quad and hip flexors of the back leg by dynamically lengthening and eccentrically strengthening them. You will also be targeting a deeper range of motion in the front leg when you lower down and flex the hip.

Position your right foot on top of a step that is approximately at shin-level height. Step your left foot back into a lunge position. With your hands on your hips, bend your knees to lower yourself down into a lunge. Both of your knees should be bent at a 90-degree angle. Drive through your feet to stand back up. Repeat this 5 to 8 times, then switch sides.

8. Cossack squats

Cossack Squat Exercise Guide

This exercise will stretch your adductor muscles (the muscles in your inner thighs), as well as strengthen your glutes and quads. It will also help improve your ankle mobility.

Stand with your feet wider than hip-width apart and your toes pointed out slightly. Put your hands in front of you and shift your weight to your right foot as you send your hips back and bend your right knee. Keep your left leg straight and your foot planted.

Stand on your right foot and press down to lift your left foot off the ground. Return to the starting position and repeat with your left foot. Continue alternately pressing down with each foot, keeping them in the same position the whole time, for 5 to 8 repetitions on each side.

9. Hip bridge exercises

Glute Bridges: The Right Technique

A bridge exercise helps to improve the strength of your gluteus and hamstring muscles. These are the key muscles that make up the posterior chain.

Laying on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground, the glute bridge is a move that can be performed without any equipment. You can do the glute bridge while lying on a fitness or yoga mat or a towel, whichever is more comfortable for you.

A glute bridge can be done by anyone, no matter their age or fitness level. Even though it is a simple exercise, the benefits will be felt long after the workout is finished.

The glute bridge can be combined with other exercises for a full-body workout, or done as part of your warm-up.

It’s a key player in hip flexion, the movement that brings your thigh up toward your chest. If you have tight hips post-workout or during your training sessions, you’re not alone. The psoas is the largest hip muscle and it wraps from your mid-back across the front of your pelvis to the top of your quad. It’s a key player in hip flexion, the movement that brings your thigh up toward your chest.

If you perform certain yoga hip stretches and strength training moves frequently, you can decrease tightness, relieve aches, and increase overall mobility in your hips. This may also improve your swimming, biking, running, and golfing abilities.

10. Child’s pose

How to do Child's Pose in Yoga - Proper Form, Variations, and Common Mistakes - The Yoga Nomads

Sit on the ground with your knees bent and your feet behind you, touching your big toes together. Lean back on your heels, and spread your knees slightly wider than your hips. Exhale and stretch your arms out in front of you as you lean your upper body between your thighs. Stay in this position for 30 seconds to a few minutes, breathing deeply.

11. Low lunge

Anjaneyasana, Low Lunge - Yoga ChuckMove your right foot forward, keeping your feet shoulder-width apart. slowly lower your back knee until it almost touches the ground. Your front leg should be bent at a 90-degree angle. You should feel a stretch in your back leg’s hip flexor. Hold for 15–30 seconds and then switch legs.

This exercise helps with back pain and opening up the hips after riding a bike for a long time in a hunched-over position.

Try holding your back ankle instead, keeping your heel close to your glute. If your back knee is causing you pain, it may be difficult to do this pose. Try holding your back ankle instead, keeping your heel close to your glute.

If you continue to practice the pose, you will eventually get used to the pressure on your knee and the pain will go away.

12. Pigeon pose


How to Do Half Pigeon Pose | PRO TIPS by DICK'S Sporting Goods

Pigeon is a very revealing and difficult yoga move that every cyclist, runner and triathlete should be aware of and does often. The pigeon pose also stretches out the hip flexors. It also loosens your glutes and piriformis, a small muscle behind your gluteus maximus.

If you’re not feeling comfortable doing the pigeon pose the first few times, don’t worry, it’s normal! Your body is just confirming that you’re tight all over your core.

Place your hands on the floor under your shoulders. Walk your feet back until your legs are extended straight and your hips are over your heels. Get into the Downward-Facing Dog Pose to stretch your hips. Put your right leg up high behind you, then bring it forward towards your arms. Put your right knee on the floor just behind and to the left of your right wrist, with your shin on a diagonal and your heel pointing towards your left frontal hipbone. Put your hands on the floor under your shoulders. Walk your feet back until your legs are extended straight and your hips are over your heels.

Lean forward over your left leg, placing your right foot on the mat behind you, and hold the position for 15-30 seconds. Then repeat on the other side.

13. Lizard pose


7 Incredible Health Benefits of Utthan Pristhasana (Lizard Pose) - Rishikul Yogshala

Another great stretch for tight hips is the Lizard stretch. With your left leg forward, lunge low. Bring your hands to the inside of your left foot and gradually lower them to your forearms. Breathe while pressing your left heel down. Continue to take several deep breaths before shifting to your right side.

14. Seated forward bend

Paschimottanasana or seated Forward Bend Pose | Tapas Yoga Center | Dubai

To do this hip stretch, sit with your legs in a V-shape. You may need to put a pillow or towel under your butt to help you get into this position.

Begin by extending your thighs so that your knees are pointing directly at the ceiling. Slowly lean forward, and as you walk your hands forward between your legs to a comfortable length, flex your feet to keep your legs active. Hold this position for one minute.

15. Buddha/Budda bound angle pose

Welcome Discomfort In Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)

Bend your knees and pull your heels towards your pelvis from a seated position. Then drop your knees out to the sides and press your feet together. Hold this position for 1-5 minutes.

16. Wheel pose

Wheel Pose | Upward Bow (Urdhva Dhanurasana) // Lessons.com

Inhale and press your feet firmly into the mat. Exhale, drawing your navel toward your spine and accommodating your head, neck, and shoulders off the mat to look up at the ceiling. Lie on your back, with your knees at hip-width apart. Bend your elbows, and bring your hands overhead, palms just above your shoulders on the mat, emails pointing toward your feet. Inhale, and press your feet firmly into the mat. Exhale, drawing your navel toward your spine, and accommodating your head, neck, and shoulders off the mat, looking up at the ceiling.

As you lift your torso off the floor and toward the ceiling, press down into your feet and palms. Take three deep breaths and hold them here. Tuck your chin into your chest and slowly lower yourself back down to the floor from this hip-opening stretch.

17. Happy baby

Happy Baby Pose | Ananda Balasana video

To do this yoga pose, start by lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground. Then, use your hands to grab your big toes and pull your knees up toward your chest. Finally, open your knees out to the sides of your body and bring them up toward your armpits. You can rock back and forth while doing this pose and breathe deeply for as long as you want.


Endurance sports, sitting, and poor posture can lead to reduced hip flexibility and durability.

In other words, all of your high-intensity training sessions are putting a lot of strain on your hips.

If you suffer from lower back pain, it may be due to tight glutes. The external rotator muscles in your hips, which you use to open your front hip in pigeon pose, may be especially tight.


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