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Essential Yoga Poses To Do After Cycling

Updated: Apr 12, 2023

Learn the most effective yoga poses to incorporate into your post-ride routine to release tension, realign posture, prevent injuries and recover faster after cycling.

I hopped on the Peloton bike trend during the pandemic — and I never looked back. Cycling has always been one of my favorite forms of cardio exercise, especially when it is paired with upbeat music and entertaining instructors. Having a bike at home allows me to be more flexible with my workout schedule, especially on days when I am tight on time.

While I love the rush of endorphins from pushing my body up an (imaginary) hill, I notice my hips, hamstrings, quads and calves get tight from the use of my muscles in a seated position. If you ride a stationary bike or hit the open road, you may also experience tightness in these areas. It’s important to take the time to stretch after your workout to release tension, realign your posture and recover faster. Stretching also reduces the risk of injury and helps improve performance for your next ride.

I filmed a video with my favorite yoga poses to do after getting off the bike. With approval from your doctor, give these stretches a try after your next ride.

Here are more details on each of the poses from the video to incorporate into your day.

Cat/Cow (Marjariasana/Bitilasana)

  • Begin on all fours in a table top position (bharmanasana) with your shoulders over your wrists and your hips over your knees

  • As you inhale, drop your belly, open up through your chest and reach the crown of your head up to extend your spine for cow pose (bitilasana)

  • As you exhale, round your spine and gently let your chin come toward your chest (marjariasana)

  • Repeat several times

Table Top (Bharmanasana) With Extended Leg

  • From table top position (bharmanasana), extend your right leg behind you and tuck your toes

  • Gently rock forward and back several times to stretch the back of your leg

  • Return to all fours in a table top position (bharmanasana)

  • Repeat on the other side

Forearm Plank (Phalakasana II)

  • From a high plank on your wrists, lower each forearm to the mat

  • Align your shoulders over your elbows

  • Place your hands shoulder width apart with your forearms parallel to each other

  • Keep your torso parallel to the floor

  • Engage your core by hugging your belly button in and up

  • Stay in the pose for 3-5 breaths

Sphinx Pose (Salamba Bhujangasana)

  • From a forearm plank (phalakasana II), lower your belly down to the mat

  • Plant the tops of your feet on the mat, hip distance apart

  • Lift the chest and let your shoulders melt down your back and away from your ears

  • Make sure your neck is in a neutral position

  • Stay in the pose for 3-5 breaths

Down Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

  • From sphinx pose (salamba bhujangasana), walk your palms near your chest and spread your fingers wide, making an “L shape” with your thumb and index finger

  • Tuck your toes and lift your hips toward the ceiling. You can keep your knees slightly bent to avoid straining your hamstrings. It’s okay if your heels do not touch the mat

  • Lengthen your spine and release tension in your neck

  • You can bend one knee at a time, lengthening the other leg for a deeper stretch

  • Stay in the pose for 3-5 breaths

Revolved Runner’s Lunge (Parivrtta Utthita Ashwa Sanchalanasana)

  • From downward facing dog (adho mukha svanasana), lift your right leg up, bend your right knee, shift forward, round your spine and step your right foot in between your hands

  • Keep your back knee lifted off the mat and align your back heel over your ankle

  • Plant your left hand on the inside of your right foot

  • As you exhale, begin twisting open to the right from the mid part of your spine

  • Reach your right arm up in line with your bottom arm

  • Broaden through your chest and gaze to the side or up toward your top arm

  • Squeeze your inner thighs together to engage your legs

  • Stay in the pose for 3-5 breaths

  • Return to downward facing dog (adho mukha svanasana)

  • Repeat on the second side

Low Lunge (Anjaneyasana)

  • Begin in runner’s lunge with the right leg in front (utthita ashwa sanchalanasana)

  • Lower your back knee down and press your shin into the mat. You can fold over the side of your mat or use a towel underneath your knee for extra padding

  • Inhale and lift your torso up

  • Reach your arms up over your head. Slide your shoulders down your back

  • Hug your ribs in

  • Stay in the pose for 3-5 breaths

  • Repeat on the second side

Half Splits (Ardha Hanumanasana)

  • From a low lunge position (anjaneyasana), place your finger tips on blocks or on the mat framing your foot

  • Shift your weight back and begin straightening your front leg

  • Hinge forward from your hip to deepen the stretch

  • Flex your front foot and point your toes toward the ceiling

  • Align your neck with the rest of your spine

  • Stay in the pose for 3-5 breaths

  • Re-bend your front knee returning to a low lunge position (anjaneyasana)

  • Switch legs and repeat on the other side

Low Lunge (Anjaneyasana) With Quad Stretch

  • From low lunge (anjaneyasana) with the right leg in front, move near a wall or couch

  • Bend your left knee and gently rest the left foot or shin against a wall or couch to stretch the left quad. You can place a blanket or towel underneath the left knee for cushion and support

  • Lift the torso up and place your hands on your right thigh

  • Stay in the pose for 5-10 breaths

  • Repeat on the second side

Bound Angle Pose (Baddha Konasana)

  • Take a seat on a blanket or cushion to elevate your hips and maintain the natural curve of your spine

  • Touch the soles of your feet together

  • Open your knees to the sides

  • You can hinge forward, walking your hands to your feet for a deeper stretch

  • Stay in the pose for 3-5 breaths

Seated Forward Bend (Pashchimottanasana)

  • Take a seat on a blanket or cushion to elevate your hips and maintain the natural curve of your spine. Extend both legs out in front

  • Ground your sits bones down and lengthen your spine

  • Flex your feet. Spread your toes wide

  • Inhale and reach your arms up over head, lengthening your spine

  • As you exhale, fold forward until you feel your hamstrings stretch, initiating the movement from your hips for a seated forward bend

  • You can keep a slight bend in your knees to avoid straining your hamstrings

  • You can gently hold your calves, ankles or feet

  • Align your neck with the rest of your spine

  • Stay in the pose for 3-5 breaths

Bridge Pose Variations (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)

  • Transition onto your back

  • Bend your knees and plant your feet on the mat hip distance apart

  • Reach your arms toward your feet

  • Walk your feet close to your fingertips

  • Gaze up at the ceiling and rest the back of your head on the mat

  • Firmly press your feet into the mat as you lift your hips

  • Hold bridge pose for 3-5 breaths

  • See additional variations of bridge pose here

Reclined Figure 4/Reclined Pigeon Pose (Supta Kapotasana)

  • Lay on your back

  • Bend your knees and plant your feet on the mat hip distance apart

  • Cross your right leg over your left leg

  • Flex your right foot to protect your knee

  • If you want to deepen the stretch, pick your left foot up off the mat and thread your arms through the center of the “4” shape. Clasp your hands around the back of your thigh

  • Stay in the pose for 3-5 breaths

  • Release the clasp of your hands and uncross your legs

  • Repeat on the left side

Supine Spinal Twist (Supta Matsyendrasana)

  • From reclined figure 4 (supta kapotasana) with the right leg crossed over your left leg, release the clasp of your hands and cross your legs a little more

  • Reach your arms to the sides

  • Lower your legs twisting to the left. Allow the twist to come from the mid-region of your spine

  • You can gaze up to the ceiling or to the right for a deeper twist

  • Stay in the pose for 3-5 breaths

  • Bring the legs back to center. Uncross the legs. Then come into reclined figure 4 (supta kapotasana) on the other side and repeat the twist

If you are experiencing sharp pain, burning or a tearing sensation in your hips, hamstrings or lower back, I recommend seeing a doctor or physical therapist before trying these yoga poses. The most important thing you can do is listen to your body to prevent injuries and recover from a workout.

If you found these poses helpful, share this post with your fellow riders. You can send me a message in the contact form on the home page if you’d like to do yoga together virtually or in person after your next ride.

With gratitude,


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