Here’s something for you to try… The quadriceps (4 heads) are a cyclist’s primary pedalling muscle group, and are:
• Rectus Femoris,
• Vastus Lateralis,
• Vastus Medialis and
• Vastus Intermedialis.
It’s worth spending a little time and effort to look after them: some gentle stretching after a ride can aid blood flow, helping to repair any micro-tears in the muscle and helping them to return to their resting length. As the quads share a common tendon that passes through the knee joint, some stretches can cause discomfort and soreness in the knee if there are any injuries, so the golden rule is if there’s any discomfort, come out of it and substitute another stretch with less knee impact.
This pose is a good all rounder as it reverses the compressed cycling posture and opens out the whole of the front of the body, including chest, shoulders, hip flexors and quads, and it helps improve your balance too. It also strengthens your feet and ankles, but does take a little practice, so perhaps start by standing near to something you can hold on to for support initially.
So, start by shifting your weight onto one foot, then take hold of the top of your other foot with the same side hand and bring your heel as close to your buttock as you can.
Try to keep your knees together and stand up nice and tall, lifting your heart and ribs and elevating your chin a little.
Finally, raise your free hand up by the side of your head and breathe.
Hold the pose for about 30 seconds or 5 or 6 breaths.
Repeat to the other side.