Quick Stretch Routine

Whether you are a cyclist, triathlete, runner or simply someone looking to get fit, you will benefit from stretches to keep your body in balance. Here is a quick stretch routine that hits the most important muscles.

“A tree that is unbending is easily broken” -Lao Tzu

I was a ballet dancer and instructor, and have been practicing yoga for over 12 years. I use my experience and knowledge in these disciplines to guide athletes through stretches that are beneficial to endurance sports.

In the video below, I combine the most important stretches for athletes of all levels. The routine is only about 15 minutes long and should be done after a workout, ride or run. Not before.

The key with stretches is to be patient and hold the stretch just enough to cause you to feel the sensations of it without pain. This part is important, because if you feel pain, you are likely going too deep and can end up injured.

Another important thing to keep in mind is to not stretch muscles that are sore. If you are sore from workouts, let the affected muscles rest and wait until the pain goes away before stretching them. Stretching sore muscles can cause further damage and delay recovery.

Muscle groups included in the stretch routine:

  • Hamstrings
  • Psoas
  • Quadriceps
  • Hips
  • Knees
  • IT band
  • Shoulders
  • Calves

If you are a cyclist, you would also benefit from shoulder openers and chest openers. That is because cyclists spend a long time hunching forward when riding, so it is good to counter that position with stretches.

These are not included in the video, but can easily be done by clasping your hands behind your back and opening the chest to stretch those muscles. If you are not flexible enough, you may stretch one side at a time using a wall.

Do this quick stretch routine 2-3 times a week. Check also my daily core routine video.


Daily Core Workout Video

Fewer than 15 minutes of core a day and you will see improvements in your daily life. The sequence in this video has simple exercises that work the front, sides and back of your core. No crunches.

No more back pain!

I started suffering from low back pain in my mid 20s, and the pain was made much worse after 2 pregnancies. I saw two spine specialists in two occasions, did MRIs both times, and they both revealed degenerated discs in the lumbar spine. Fortunately the discs were not pinching any nerves.

For many years I did yoga and took anti-inflammatories not knowing that NSAIDs are bad for you (maybe that was the cause of my kidney stone?). Anyway, I thought I knew how to keep it in check because I did a lot of yoga.

As it turns out, the ONLY thing that keeps me pain-free is my 15 min of daily core workouts. It’s one of the things I do every day no matter where I am. It became a habit, just like flossing.

Avoid injuries as an athlete

Did you know that a weak core is often the root cause of hip, knee, back and other pains and injuries in athletes? “Core” muscles include the muscles in your pelvis, lower back, hips and abdomen.

Strengthening these muscles means better balance and stability in your sport, which in turn prevents injuries. Stretching is also helpful.

Improve your life

A strong core will keep your body stable and improve every-day activities such as carrying groceries, walking to work, standing on the bus/train, carrying a bag/backpack, cleaning the house, doing yard work, etc.

Many people mistakenly believe that they need strong arms or legs to perform certain activities, when in fact a strong core is the foundation of their strength.