Warm-Up Exercies

By Peg Labiuk | 03/12/12
Warm-Up Exercies

Photo © Cynthia Lou/bicycle.net

We’ve teamed up with Marilyn Trout, certified USA Cycling Elite Coach to answer Voler Newsletter List members’ training questions. You can view her coach profile at http://www.linkedin.com/in/mountainpedalscoaching80903 Send your cycling inquiries to Marilyn, and for a limited time, if yours is selected to be answered in our Training column, Voler will send you a $20 gift certificate that can be used towards any purchase from the Voler Store at http://www.voler.com. To submit your inquiry, e-mail her at Marilyn@MountainPedals.net, and type “Voler Training Question” in the subject line of the e-mail.

Voler E-Mail List member Bill Grandi is our 87th winner of a $20 Voler gift certificate! His question was answered by Peg Labiuk (nee Peggy Maass), a colleague of Marilyn Trout, and a certified NCCP level 3 coach with a career in international road and track racing. She is a World Championship medalist, World Record holder, U.S. Olympic Team member, former British national team coach and Kreb's Cycle co-founder (British Columbia, Canada).

Warm-Up Exercises

Got a question for you: Because it is so hilly around here, and because I have to climb a hill within 2-3 miles from my house, I have been starting at the church lot where I am a pastor. It gives me about 3 miles or more (depending on the direction I take) to ride some flat land. I don't have access to an inside trainer to get loose since I dress at the office and take off from here.

Would you please recommend some warm up exercises for me to do using just the floor or resistance so that I don't take off riding "cold turkey." My doctor told me I shouldn't even be riding in this weather since it hard on the joints but I have clothes that help.

Bill Grandi

Dear Bill,

I'm so happy to hear someone ask for warm-up exercises! I believe that without a gentle enough warm-up, that's when we do the most damage to our bodies. Cold muscles are less flexible, tear more easily, and leave you with more Delayed Onset Muscles Soreness. Don't forget the heart is a muscle too and it needs warm-up. Lungs also benefit from a easing in.

Bill, I don't think you can go wrong doing any type of warm-up exercises, however the most ideal thing you could do at this time, is to have an assessment done to identify the imbalances in your body. A good physiotherapist or massage therapist can help you with this. Then you can warm up using strengthening and stretching exercises that correct the imbalances. By firing up underused muscles, you'll remind them to do their share of the work when you climb onto the bike too. My guess would be that like most cyclists, you have quads proportionally stronger than hamstrings, tight gluts, and your shoulders roll forward. There's always core strengthening to do and lateral movement to balance all the in-line motion we do while pedaling. With all that to work on, you will have no shortage of movements to select from and you'll be ready and warmed-up when you head out.

Here are some exercises you could try:

  • Wall Angels - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfcvMXuT8ac
  • Heel drops – lying on your back with knees bent 90 degrees, slowly drop one heel at a time towards the floor. This uses core and Transverse Abdominis muscles. Drop heels on the exhale. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oO7PLBdaRsk
  • Side lunges – slowly move side to side, keeping the bent knee over top your toes. You can add arms to include your torso and upper body.
  • "Monster Walk", using an inner tube for resistance www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVS0JWAkV1U (starts at 2:26)
  • Forward Straight Leg Raise From www.beginnertriathlete.com - Lay down on your side with your bottom leg (the one on the floor) bent, and your top leg extended out at a 90 degree angle to the rest of the body. Keep a slight bend in the top knee. Now raise the top leg from the floor to about twelve inches off the floor. Try and keep your heel higher than the toe on this top leg in order to maximally recruit the gluteus medius.

Any stretches you do as warm-up should avoid strain and be held approx. 20 seconds. You can do repeats of these short stretches too.

It's exciting that you are willing to take more time to warm-up. You can double the benefits by addressing inherent muscle imbalances. Cheers to a new routine!


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