How To Stretch For Downhill With Parker Schmidt

Mahalo, my dudes! With the 2017 race season on the horizon I thought it’d be an appropriate time to provide a warm up stretch guide for racers and whomever else would want to take advantage of this tutorial!

Are you skeptical on the concept and importance of stretching prior to racing? Consider the position that a rider takes during a race, which is a very cramped and unnatural position that the body isn’t necessarily use to. The rider’s position prevents proper circulation and clogs lactic acids in the joints and throughout the whole body. The hips, groin, and upper legs are susceptible to cramps that can occur while racing, and these muscle groups will be my focus in this routine.

The following positions will be very yoga (vinyasa) based movements that I found to be the most useful. When taking these positions, make sure to check in with yourself and to be conscience of your breathing. Being mindful of continuously optimizing your asana (position) and control your movements to reduce your chance of injury.

Cow / Cat Tilt
Spine, Shoulders

Begin on your hands and knees “table top position”.
Keep your shoulders directly above your wrists and hips above your knees and eyes looking down.
As you inhale, lift your chest and your sitting bones toward the ceiling. Allowing your belly to sink to the floor and lifting your head to look forward.
As you exhale, begin to round your spine towards the ceiling and let your head fall towards the floor.
Repeat 3-5 times.

(Essential) Downward Dog
Resting pose / median

From hands and knees (tabletop) with your fingers spread wide, thrust your top thighs back and stretch your heels towards the floor.
Push your hips up and back keeping a cow tilt in your lower back.

Low Lunge
Hip, Quad, Groin

Beginning in downward dog, exhale and step your right foot forward between your hands aligning the right knee over the heel. Place your left knee on the floor and turn the top of your left foot to the floor.
Inhale and lift yourself up by bringing your hands above you or to your hips.
Draw your tailbone down and push your hips up and forward feeling your left hip and quad open up, making sure to keep your hips parallel.
(Bonus back stretch) raise your hands above your head and lean back into your spine feeling your back open up.
Repeat on other side.

Downward Facing Dog with Stacked Hips
Shoulders, Hips, Quad

Begin in downward dog.
Inhale and extend your right leg high and back, if your left foot has lifted make sure to drop it back to the floor.
Bend your knee and drop it to the left side of your hip towards the floor feeling you hip open up and stretch keeping equal weight in both hands.
Hold for at least 3 breaths.
Repeat on other side.

Child’s Pose
Hips, Thighs, Ankles

Kneel on the floor with big toes touching and knees separated wide.
Exhale and drop your torso to the floor with hands stretching above head.
If you’d like a bit more stretch, sway your hips from side to side stretch the groin.

Warrior 1
Lower Back, Quad, Hamstring, Hips

Begin in downward dog, exhale and send your left foot between your hands, angling your back right foot at a 45 degrees.
Lift yourself up by pushing up and swinging your hands above your head leaning back keeping your back foot straight and engaged.
Keeping your hips parallel, lean forward while arching your back as if in cow tilt.

Ankles, Hips, Thighs, Groin

Begin by laying on your belly, arms at your side with palms up.
Exhale and bend your knees bringing your heels as close as you can to your buttocks.
Reach your hands back to grab onto your ankles.
Inhale and push your heels away while lifting your thighs from the floor while lifting your head and torso upwards.
Hold for 5 to 10 breaths.

Hips, Back, Groin, Hamstring

Begin standing up straight and step or jump your feet 3 to 4 feet apart, holding your arms parallel out to your sides.
Turn your right foot out to 90 degrees with a soft bend in your right knee with both thighs and calves engaged.
Push your hips back towards your left knee while exhaling and bending at the hips towards your right ankle.
Turn your sternum upwards while reaching your hand vertical as you pull your shoulder blades down your spine.
Hold for 30 seconds to a minute, repeat on other side.

Thank you for checking out my instructional tutorial. In my experience, stretching and warming up my body before racing or riding has paid off. I’m able to hold my tuck for that much longer and able to grab onto those few inches of lean that I’ve been striving for.

Big thanks to Mark, Majia, and Jaime for being such amazing yoga instructors. And to Johnnie Shaver for the extra support. Take care, my dudes, and I’ll be seeing you sometime this racing season!

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Disclaimer: All previously discussed stretches and movements are what I have found to most effective for my riding. It’s always a smart decision to speak with your doctor before beginning any new workout routine.