Are there any specific stretches you can do before riding?

The title says it all! When I used the search engine and found these two threads with…not exactly the information I needed.

Thread #1, about knee hyperextention

Thread #2, about Muni warm-ups for going uphill. In short, most unicyclist’s stretches are going uphill.

Also, MSN Live Search(default on my computer) didn’t help much. I’m not sure Google will either. Which of these stretches should I use, and which ones do I avoid doing(even if because of lazyness–the ones that are OK to skip)? Or if I missed something on the billionth page of the engine that was helpful? Any advice(besides trying again on the search engine) is welcome.

Just Do It

Stretch it all! It’s always a good discipline. Stay limber and use unicycle for strength. It’s a balance workout regiment.
I recommend one hour of stretching or yoga thoughout the day.

But to answer your question, Most unicyclist say no and I agree. You can get out of bed and go straight to a ride.

Before riding I always stretch my legs and back. Then I do a vigorous 15 min 29er ride to warm up. Then i’ll switch to my 20 inch, unless i’m riding distance.

How do you stretch your back and legs though.

Rubber Bands and Zip ties.

A lot of those also stretch the legs.

the touch-your-toes and the grab-your-food-with-the-opposing-hand are both great stretches. I do both as soon as I wake up, and I feel better throughout the day. My mother was a physical therapist and a masseuse about 20 years ago, so she kills killer backrubs and excellenent massages.

Which stretches you most need depends in part on your body. Some people need to focus on different areas due to previous injury or just being naturally tight in that area.

I need to focus on iliotibial band stretches because that area has given me problems. But that’s just me. Here’s some IT band stretches: IT stretch 1 IT stretch 2

That link you have from the roadcycling site lists some of those stretches.

I also do the leg cross-over (Piriformis) stretch.

Again, that’s just where I focus because I’ve had previous IT band problems.

Here’s a cool video that gives some cycling related stretches.

The Internet is a horrible place to look for stretching information. There is lots and lots of info out there, but very little good info with good pictures and good descriptions. A better source would be to look in a running book at the local library or at your school library. Running books typically have a good section on stretching with pictures and a good description. Running magazines also regularly run sections on stretching. Most of the running stretches are just as good for unicycling. Unicycling is like running on pedals. Mix that with some of the cycling specific stretches from that Google video and you’ll be good.

I follow my own self-directed warm-up stretch plan. You have to keep time to your favorite tune. It goes like this…

Bend and lift and select and close.
pop and lift and sip and relax.
sip and relax,
sip and relax.

But seriously, strecth your knees, legs and back as much as possible. You will miss both of them when they are gone . They deserve special attention. Your local physiotherapist will probably help you find lots of information for free in the hopes that when you wreck yourself, you will go to him to get fixed

That was some good advice! Thank you! Just what I was looking for.

IME, John Foss said the most important thing–Don’t try and excessively stretch cold muscles.

Josh, Morgan and I often drive 90 minutes to go Muniing in Santa Barbara and I’ve gotta stretch my back after that drive, but that’s just getting loose. Half the time we hike up and ride down and the hike takes the place of stretching, getting us well warmed up and so forth. On the shuttle/descents from the top of the mountain, we pretty much just bomb them cold. I feel stretching is important AFTER the shuttle rides, which can take up to three hours.

If you felt more stretching was in order at the start, perhaps hike or ride for ten or fifteen minutes, stop, and bust out an assortment of standard quad, calf, and lower back stretches.

If you ever get to attend an NBA game, notice how during pregame, the athletes shoot around and do various layup drills et al, THEN the trainer gives the boys a good stretch–after they’re warmed up. Also notice how viable yoga classes ease you into the session, getting you good and hot before moving into the pretzel moves.


Any one of the Running Websites will have lots of resouces for stretching. I have gotten my Marathon plans and all my warm-up exercises from Hal Higdon’s website for free.

Cool! That’s awesome! Thanks, though.


Your mother massages you.


That might explain something about you.


I roll my ankles aroun for a while then ride as far as I can in sif. This way i feel my lower back is streched and my ankles arn’t tight.

I just thought I’d share a piece of info that I learnt the other day, which is kinda related to this thread…

For strengthening your ankles, close your eyes and balance on one foot (without holding onto anything of course). Do this for say 30 seconds and repeat in sets of 10. Maybe do 3 sets each day on each foot.
I have been doing this to help recover from a rolled ankle, and strengthen it for the future.