Tips for Cycling the Camino – Stretches Part 2

cycling-the-camino-de-santiago-advice-caminowaysWhile most Camino de Santiago pilgrims follow the routes to Santiago de Compostela on foot, over 10% of pilgrims arriving in Santiago each year do so by bike. They are called ‘bicigrinos’ (bike pilgrims). If you are preparing to be a bicigrino in 2015, Peter Duffy from D-Pete Health and Fitness Clinic in Dublin has prepared two handy articles to help you get ready. On the second part of his Cycling the Camino advice post, he shares four important stretches for cyclists (make sure you print and take with you on the Camino):

Calf Stretch
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1. Get into the above position either leaning against a wall, pole etc

2. Bring the leg you want to stretch behind you and have the heel firmly on the ground
3. Have both feet pointing straight ahead towards the wall
4. Have your hands leaning against the wall for support
5. Once you have acquired this position, it’s time to stretch
6. Keeping the heel of the leg to be stretched firmly on the ground, slowly lean forward towards the wall until a stretch can be felt along the lower part of the leg (the opposite leg is bending slightly forward during this movement)
7. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times on each leg do this 2 times daily
8. STOP if there is PAIN – only go to the point of tension (a stretch discomfort)

Thigh Stretch
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1. Standing or Lying on your side: Get into the position as demonstrated above by bending one knee bringing the heel to the buttocks with the aid of the hand

2. Ensure the knees are in alignment (the knee been stretched is not in front the standing leg)and back is straight
3. Hold position for 20 seconds and repeat 3 times each side
To encourage an extra stretch:
4. Keeping you back straight, bring the knee of the leg been stretched behind the opposite knee slowly until an extra stretch can be felt
5. Hold for 20 seconds and repeat 3 times.
Lying down:
6. This stretch can also be done lying down on your side
7. Lie down on your side and simply grab your ankle and bring the heel close to the buttocks until you can feel a stretch along the front of the thigh muscle
8. STOP if there is an PAIN, all exercises should be pain free

Hamstring Stretch
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1. Get into the position as demonstrated above by straightening out the leg to be stretched and by sticking out the buttocks as if to sit on an imaginary chair (This can also be done leaning against wall, bed, chair etc)
2. Ensure back is straight
3. If standing you can lead on the opposite leg for support
4. To emphasis the stretch, reach forward to touch your toes
5. To get a stretch form your calf, bring your toes towards your body (this will increase the stretch behind your knee)
6. Hold for 12 seconds and repeat 3 times
7. Always to the point of tension & STOP if there is PAIN!!!

Chest Stretch

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1. Using the frame of a door or edge of a wall, bring your arm and elbow to 90 ̊ as shown in the above diagram
2. Have the elbow rest near the edge of the door or wall
3. Place the opposite leg in front of the other (as if you are getting ready to lunge forward)
4. Lunge forward (leaving the arm behind) until a stretch can be felt along the chest.
5. To obtain a maximum stretch, turn your neck and shoulder SLIGHTLY & GENTLY away from the stretched arm until a further stretch can be felt along the chest.
6. Repeat this exercise with the arm over at 120 ̊ (i.e. raise arm up slightly), to stretch other fibres of the muscle
7. Hold for 20 seconds and repeat 3 times
8. Always to the point of tension & STOP if there is PAIN!!!

To get in touch with Pete about his health and fitness services: https://www.facebook.com/DpeteHealth.

To read Tips for Cycling the Camino – Part 1 and more Camino fitness and training articles to prepare for the Camino de Santiag.

For more information about cycling the Camino or to book your Camino de Santiago holiday, contact our travel specialists

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