An Indispensable Guide to an Oft-Neglected Essential

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Anatomy, Stretching & Training for Cyclists: A Step-by-Step Guide to Getting the Most from Your Bicycle Workouts by Lisa Purcell

5/5

On our first tour, after about two months of riding, I started getting a feeling in one of my legs that the muscle/exercise balance was out of sync and I was heading down an injury trail, so I started looking into a few exercises to work out/stretch the affected areas.

This lead me onto thinking about: not neglecting other areas of the body; retaining and developing flexibility and overall movement; and maintaining and building strength in other core and important areas.

In the course of doing some research in another area, I came across a recommendation for this book, which I ended up buying and downloading onto the device I carry with me when touring. It has proved to be a great go-to guide for developing and incorporating a mixture of stretching, core, balance and strength work into my daily routine, when stationary as well as when touring.

As with anything, it’s not perfect, all the exercises will not be for you and some will be unnecessary. But I carefully introduced one at a time, and discovered which ones I liked and which ones I felt were beneficial. Over time and with developing awareness, I’ve ended up with some ever-evolving routines that have become part of my daily ritual, and which have been, I feel, a great introduction to my life, especially as, with time, the importance of overall body maintenance keeps increasing (though, with hindsight, I think it’s an issue many active people should pay a little more attention to at an earlier age 😉).

As I say, this book doesn’t have all the answers, but I found it a great way into learning about the body, and stretching, core, balance and strength; and it has helped me to become more self-sufficient at developing programmes that I feel work for me, both with exercises followed or adapted from this book, or from a completely different source altogether now that my competence in this area is a little higher than it was. So it was a great way in for me, and I still have occasion to refer to it.