Rider Q&A: How soon do you stretch after a mountain bike ride?

Wow, what a long week that was. I left my house around 9 am last Wednesday morning and made it back last night around midnight. Drove 14 hours straight from Valencia, CA to my home in Fruita. I have some great stuff to share with you guys about some of the training tools and supplements I saw at Interbike but I’m getting caught up on some stuff today so I wanted to share this rider e-mail from last week…

Q: Just wanted to say I love your blog and it has really helped improve my mountain bike riding in many ways.

I have a question regarding a warm down routine after a long ride or an endurance race. I just completed an endurance event on the weekend and I found myself wondering when the optimum time to stretch and start a warm down routine is. Do I do it as soon as possible, 30 minutes or even longer? Also, what stretches should always be apart of any warm down routine.

Keep up the great work…..

A: Thanks for the feedback, I’m glad you like the blog and info.

I would stretch your quads, hip flexors and chest out as soon as possible after a ride. Your muscles will not start full recovery until they return to full length and the sooner you can stretch and get them there the faster you will start full recovery. Adding in the hamstrings, glutes and lats would be great as well but those three areas are the “must stretch” areas ASAP after a ride.

BTW, don’t forget to foam roll as well!

-James Wilson-

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James Wilson
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Mountain Bike Coach
James Wilson