Back to Biking

As much as I love all of the seasons, spring holds a special place in my heart. A time of year that signifies new growth, fresh starts and warmer days. The magical time of year when for many, spending longer durations outside becomes possible.

For me, I can’t help but smile thinking about getting back in the saddle of my bike. The intensity of the climb as my breath deepens and my heart beats faster. It’s the sound of tires on dirt, twigs snapping beneath as I take in the smell of the fresh air and trees that I’m surrounded by. Then comes the down, the freeing feeling of letting it all go as the wheels spin under you, so focused on what’s coming next that you don’t have time to think of anything else. A total rush of adrenaline that always leaves me wanting more. I am so ready for another bike season, anyone else?

Living in a town that is so active and fitness-based, it’s not uncommon to hear the chatter and excitement of folks looking to get in as much early-season riding as possible. While I am in full support of this, I am also a big advocate of more fun, less injury. Yes, I said the word that nobody wants to talk about, let alone have happen to them. I wonder, is it possible to prepare the body to a point where we might be able to prevent some injuries? Pre-season seems like a perfect opportunity to strengthen and mobilize the body allowing us a long fun-filled bike season ahead. Take a look at the movements below that can be done at home. No equipment? No problem. Grab a heavy home object such as a bag of dog food or flour.

Tempo Squat
            - Standing tall, inhale to fill the belly and engage the core.
            - Counting to three, slowly lower to the bottom of a squat.
            - Pause for three seconds.
            - Drive feet into the floor, quickly coming back up to starting position as you exhale.
            - Think 3s down, 3s pause, quick to stand.

Bent-Over Row:
            - Stand tall and squeeze shoulder blades down and together as you hold a heavy object.
            - Hinge at hips, keeping back flat with object out in front.
            - Bring heavy object towards the belly button, pausing at the top.
            - Exhale as you come back to starting position.

Bear Hug Hold
            - Stand tall wrapping arms around the heavy object.
            - Brace core and focus on breathing.
            - Squeeze shoulders together ensuring that you stay upright and the object doesn’t pull you forward.

Goblet Hold
            - Holding a heavy object out in front, just away from the body.
            - Brace core, shoulders down, squeeze glutes.

*bear hug hold tight to the body, goblet held slightly away.

Once these movements have been mastered try this:
            4 Rounds
            10 - 12 tempo squats *option to add a heavy object in front.
            10 - 12 bent over rows
            30s - 2 min bear hug hold *increase hold time as the body allows.