Double- and triple-digit rides on a road bike can lead to uncomfortable tightness in key areas on the body. Pedaling long hours astride the saddle with the neck up shortens the spine and causes tightness in the lower back, sacrum, and hips. The neck and jaw can lock up, too. Good posture and stretching will help diminish these after-effects of serious rides.
First, look at your posture in the saddle. Focus on lengthening the spine—be conscious of keeping space between the shoulders and neck. Also, lift the navel to engage the lower abdomen. This will keep the support in your core to protect your lower back.
Second, do these four yoga postures every day to stay loose and maximize your potential on the bike.
Josh Schrei is a yoga teacher at Body in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and an endurance athlete. He placed 9th among 40- to 49-year-old males in the Jemez 50K Trail Race last year. In October, he’s planning to do 3,000 sun salutations around South India’s sacred Arunachala mountain to raise money for Water.org.