Home / ankles / Cycling – advice to help you prepare for your rides

Cycling – advice to help you prepare for your rides

Charity cycle rideBoth Danny and I are supporting long distance cycle rides this weekend, providing osteopathic treatment as the cyclists proceed along their route, to ensure that they can keep those wheels turning.

Most of these cyclists are not members of cycling clubs, and don’t cycle these sorts of distance regularly, so we have prepared a guide on the sorts of exercises and stretches that they should be doing to help them prepare and to help them ease their tired muscles during the ride.


Get out on your bike – follow a plan to gradually build up your mileage (British Cycling offer various plans depending on the type of riding you will be doing).

Mobilise each joint – your ankles, lower and mid back, and neck are just as important as your hips and knees.

Build up the strength in not only your leg muscles, but also your back and neck muscles.

Danny recommends full squats as you will mobilise your ankles, knee, hips and pelvis whilst also strengthening your lower leg, pelvic, abdominal and lower back muscles. (an example below from our colleagues at rehabmypatient).

Full Squat

Full squat

Open your legs slightly wider than shoulder width, and bend your knees to the full squat (90 degrees) position. Your feet can be pointing directly forwards, or turned out slightly. Make sure you keep the middle of your knee-cap in line with the middle toes of your foot. Always keep your feet flat on the ground.
To enhance this hold on a door frame, lower your bottom further towards your ankles (achieving full flexion of your hips and knees) , and gentle backwards, forwards and side to side to articulate your ankles, knees and hips to improve their mobility.
Perform 1 times daily | Repeat 8 times

Video: http://youtu.be/d_xB-41ieqw

On the day – Warm Up

The general belief is that static stretching (holding a stretch for a period of time) won’t help on the day as a warm up for a ride. Instead a cyclist needs to prepare themselves for the type of movements they will be doing during the ride, and the best way to do this is on their bike.  The British Cycling 20 minute warm up gives you a routine to follow which will help prepare you for the ride.

Post Event Recovery

And after the big event – British Cycling recommend that you plan in some recovery time, which includes eating some protein, stretching, elevating of your legs, wearing some compression clothing (tights), massage (#osteopathyworks), sleep and if possible a recovery ride the following day. Don’t forget to book in to see your favourite osteopath after your ride to help your recovery.

If you are interested in seeing how osteopathy can help you prepare for a big ride, or help your cycling generally, or would just like to see our exercise guide contact us or book online