So now you have a stage or two of the ToS 2021 under your belt and your legs are probably feeling a little toasted. Whether you are getting ready to get (Nine) Hammered tomorrow or headed out to a Fight (Club) here are a few tips to get yourself firing on all cylinders.
First of all, a little extra warm up can go a long way. Giving yourself a few extra minutes of gentle movement can go a long way to making your next stage less painful and more playful. Depending on your level of soreness an extra 5-15 minutes of prep and gentle movement is all you need.
Here are three simple ways to get the lead out and help you get ready to crush your next ride.
First, a little love for the legs. Get out the foam roller and get the blood moving. It only takes a few easy passes to help get your circulation going. Keep it gentle and keep it moving slowly. We are not talking about a full massage here. A few passes up and down the quads, shins, hamstrings and calves will help increase circulation and gliding of tissue. All you need is 2-3 minutes. If you don’t have a foam roller a massage stick is a similar tool that can give you some of the same benefits. If you don’t have one of those, a rolling pin from the kitchen can do the same. But you may want to keep this under the radar.
Second, add a little muscular activation. After three long slogs on the cobbles, things may be a touch off. What we really want to do is make sure that all the muscles are firing properly so that you have good load distribution and normal range of motion (ROM). There are many ways to get things firing. Here are five simple exercises to put yourself into optimal readiness for your next ride.
Marching Bridges-Lay on your back, with your knees bent at 90 degrees, and feet flat. Raise your hips until your knees and shoulders are in a straight line. Gently lift one foot while keeping your hips level, put it down and alternate sides. 10 lifts on each side should do the trick. This move will help activate your abdominal muscles, glutes and your add and abductors.
Single leg Hip Flexion-Stand on one leg, raise your opposite knee up just above your pelvis, put your hand on your knee and do an isometric contraction between your hands and knee. This will engage your deep abdominal muscles and hip flexors in the front and get your glutes firing in the back. Hold 10 seconds and switch. 1-2 sets should be all you need.
Overhead squat- arms up, head neutral and feet flat on the floor. Sink as low as you can go with your heels down. Stand back up and do it again. See if you can go a little lower on each one. This move is amazing to get your upper body working with your lower body. It engages almost all of the muscles in your body and helps bring your coordination and timing on-line. One set of ~10 should be plenty.
Hip Hinges- Or Good Mornings- Simply stand with your knees soft, put your hands behind your head and tip your chest forward to hinge at your hip. Come all the way back up and do it again for 10.
Skip in place- You don’t need a rope but you can pretend you have one. Just a light skip will get your timing going and ramp up your sympathetic nervous system. This motion will get your ankles and calves firing and get your timing and coordination going. 15 seconds should do the trick.
This short prep will take about 3-5 minutes at most but will get you ready for battle. If you feel really sticky hit another set of those squats.
Lastly, a little extra warm up, and a few cadence builds will put you right. If you are really smoked, and you will be by the end of this madness, pop in open 15 on level mode, and get things moving easy. Add 2-3 x 30-45 sec cadence builds to your prep then head on over to the start gate and let’s go hammer!