Hip Openers for the Cyclist

A few weeks ago we talked about why cyclists need to practice yoga. This week we are taking you a bit further, and actually getting you on the mat; we’re talking all about hip openers!

Tight hips and cycling go hand in hand, and unfortunately perpetuate each other. When you are crouched into a forward position and pedaling for long periods of time,  your hips, while consistently moving, never actually go into a full extension. What happens, is your hip flexors hit a point of being over worked, which leads them to tighten up and shorten. 

Like a perfect domino effect, having tight and shortened hip flexors will ultimately lead to other issues while cycling (or really, just going about your average day), such as putting you at risk for knee and back pain, as well as compromising your glutes. Compromising your glutes means you can’t put as much force into your pedal strokes. Let’s not forget that this will all affect your posture off the saddle, leading us full circle into having poor posture on the saddle. 

Borrowing the examples from Yoga By Candace, we’re sharing our favorite...

Hip Openers for the Cyclist!

Hip Openers for the Cyclist

1 | Supta baddakonasana

You can modify this pose by placing yoga blocks or a rolled up towel under your knees to support the legs. Breathe here for 5-7 breaths. Make your inhales and exhales match in length.

2 | Fire log pose

This is a fantastic pose for the hips. Don't worry if you can't stack your knee perfectly on top your foot and vice versa - just do the best you can. Tip: flex the feet to protect your ankles. 

3 |  Fire log pose extension

From fire log pose, spider your fingers out in front of you, keeping your shoulder blades drawn toward one another. Breathe length and space into any areas of tension. Then switch legs, and start in fire log pose again before coming back into the extension.

4 |  Single leg happy baby pose

 Grab the outside edge of the foot and make sure your low back is glued to the mat. Invite your toes back toward your face and breathe 5 - 7 breaths here before switching sides.

5 | Garland pose

This can be done on flat feet or to modify, come up onto the toes. Press your elbows into your legs to open up the legs a bit more. Tip: keep your collar bones broad by drawing your shoulder blades toward one another.

6 | Pigeon pose

This works the hip flexors and also the chest which will do wonders for your posture. Puff the chest out a bit and breathe 5 - 7 breaths before taking it to the other side.

If you prefer to follow along to a video, check out her 15 Minute Hip Opening Sequence! This video is not the same as the poses above, but another great way to stretch.

7 Reasons why Every Cyclist Needs to Practice Yoga

It’s no secret that what you do off the bike will greatly affect how you perform on your bike; no matter what your cycling discipline is. So it will come as no shock that the argument in favor of yoga is a simple one. However, in case you need a little more convincing as to why and how it will benefit you…..

7 Reasons Why Every Cyclist Needs to Practice Yoga

1 | Flexibility:

Yoga will increase your ease of motion, and therefore your range of motion. Flexibility will also aid in preventing injury, as well as speed up your recovery time in between rides.

2 | Strength:

Yoga allows you to work on full body strength training. Sure, weights will allow you to target specific areas, however, consistency is key and that is exactly what you get when you are relying on nothing but your own body weight. 

3 | Endurance:

Yoga is all about pacing yourself. Learning how to balance mind and body, you can turn long rides, even the hard ones, into a form of meditation; committing for the long haul.

4 | Balance:

Regularly practicing balancing poses will aide in your overall sense of balance in everyday life as well as on the saddle. Naturally this will aide in preventing falls and injury.

5 | Core Strength:

Nearly every pose in yoga will work your core. Having a strong core equals a strong, supported, and healthy back. Not to mention, more strength and alignment in your whole body. 

6 | Stability:

When practicing yoga, you are working all of the little stabilizing muscles that go untouched in other physical workouts. Working with and strengthening these muscles are vital in protecting your joints and spine.

7 | Recovery:

Cyclists spend a lot of time contracting their muscles, and yoga is the perfect counter action to elongate those muscles. Whether you are coming to yoga after an actual injury or simply as an injury prevention, regular practice will only speed up your recovery time.

In short, yoga will allow you to move, bend, and perform with ease, all the while giving you strength and flexibility. Again, the perfect counter action to hours on the saddle.

We’ve got more yoga tips and suggestions coming your way. In the meantime, if you have any questions or would like to add anything, feel free to comment below or shoot us message!

Winter Work :: The Bringheli Project

It's not every day someone walks a handmade frame through your front door let alone one made in Cleveland. When Craig called and told me he had his eyes on a Bringheli frame a buddy of his once owned I got excited. I'd come across frames made in Joe Brignheli's shop before - our former crew member Sean built his beautiful road machine with Joe and one of our favorite customers, Bonnie, owns one as well. But I never had a chance to do extensive work with one. And, after some serious back and forth, Craig decided he had to have this bike. I think the final results speak for themselves but let me walk you through some of the slicker features of this beautiful machine. 

When Craig purchased the frame it was orange (I should've taken a photo). It was pretty much striped of badging but the lug work was impeccable. After some thought (and some negative reinforcement from us) Craig decided to powder coat the frame a beautiful robin egg blue. Then came the assembly. First we had to tap into Craig's extensive Campy collection, choosing a beautifully ridden in Record group he had chillin' in his closet. Then we went to the catalogs and picked some classic cockpit pieces from Nitto and Velo Orange to maintain that classic aesthetic. To top it off, add some Brooks bits where the body contact and voila - you have a piece of machinery that would make any bike lover drool for days.  

Oh, and the cherry on top is the custom head badge made by Craig's buddy Mike. He'd kept it all these years and was kind enough to dedicate it to the project. In my opinion it completes the bike. Huge props to Craig for allowing us to be apart of his bicycle obsession - the man has taste and always builds up trick rides

Stay classy folks. 

Updated 25 January 2018 : Craig was kind enough to supply us with a photo of the frame prior to the project.