Featured Post by Erik Moen PT

Hamstrings and the gluteals: one must-stretch muscle group

Flexibility has gotten a few knocks in the common press as of late. The knocks have come in relationship to the use of stretching before an event to prevent injury during that event, but the numbers don’t lie. While it’s true that stretching just prior to an event alone will not “save your bacon” with regards to injury prevention, typical road bicycling position requires reasonable flexibility of the hamstrings and the gluteals.

An easy stretch for the hamstring is achieved in a standing position. Stand in front of a chair-height object (see bench below) with feet hip width apart. Lift one foot/leg onto the chair. Maintain feet hip-width apart and feet straight forward/up. You should keep your pelvis square to your legs and your back flat. The stretched/forward leg should have a slightly flexed knee.

The stretch is actuated by rolling forward through the axis of the hip. The cue of “stick out your butt and chest” is frequently given to help ensure proper rotation through the hip and a straight back.

Normal range of motion for assuming aero positions is at least 90 degrees of straight leg hip flexion relative to a straight torso.

Stretches should be held for a combined period of two minutes. You might consider doing 3 stretches of 40 seconds each.