Top 5 Stretches For Cyclists and Rowers

Milwaukee Rowing


At SPIRE, we want you to have the very best experience. Stretching is a key part to any workout. SPIRE’s Cycling, Rowing, and TRX classes offer warm up and cool down exercises during class; however, preparing your body for class is important. In order for you to increase mobility, flexibility and warm up your body, stretching before and after class on your own is a must!

SPIRE has found that these five stretches can be easily performed before or after any SPIRE class.  By using dynamic stretches, you can help to prevent injuries and increase your flexibility and range of motion.


1. Toe-Touches: Okay, okay… we get it, this sounds like a simple stretch. However, toe-touches are a great way to stretch your hamstrings (the back of your legs). During both cycling and rowing classes, your hamstrings are hyper-extended.

In order to preform Toe-Touches in the cycling studio, simply stand on the side of your bike, bend at the hip and reach for your toes. When in the rowing studio, perform the stretch standing up or even sit on the rower with your legs fully extended and reach for your toes. Try not to lock your knees, but keep them as straight as they can be, reach as far as you can towards your toes. Hold this for 15 seconds.

Toe-Touches on Rower

Toe-Touches on Rower

2. Leg Swings: Think about how important your hips are in order to execute exercises in a rowing or cycling class. Your hips are constantly engaged throughout class! So here’s the deal, your hip flexors need to be stretched and prepared for your workout, especially after a long day of immobility from sitting at the office or in class.

Simply stand parallel to a wall or your bike, hold the wall or seat for stability. Swing your outside leg forward and backwards with control. Keep your leg straight and extend your leg to length of the bike or three feet in front and behind you. Repeat this ten times. Then face the bike or wall and swing your leg side to side to work your thigh and groin muscles. Repeat this ten times and then repeat leg swings with the opposite leg.

3. Arm Extensions: This is a great stretch to get your arms and back ready for a workout. Lace your fingers together and turn your palms down towards the ground. Always keep your palms facing away from your body during this stretch.  Extend your arms downward for fifteen seconds. Next hold your arms at chest level, straight out with the palm of your hand still turned away from your body. Reach outwards for fifteen seconds. Repeat this once more, however this time extend your arms straight above your head. This stretch can be done standing, sitting on your rower or on your bike. Make sure to keep your body stable when on the machines.

4. High Knees: That’s right, a classic. High knees can help to simulate the movement of pedaling on a bike, help to prepare our legs for the rowing stroke, and engage our lower abdominal muscles. 

High Knees can be performed while standing next to a bike or rower or on the TRX straps. Bring your knees to chest level in front of your body and be sure to control your movement. If need be, only bring your knees to a hip level and slowly build up your range of motion. In the cycling studio, you can also clip into your bike and place your hands in first position. Stand tall and slowly cycle with the intention of bringing your knees as high as they can while on your bike.

5. Chest Expansion: Yes, your chest is an important part of cycling, rowing and TRX! Your entire body is constantly moving and getting stronger throughout SPIRE’s classes. According to studies performed, many cyclists and rowers do not take the necessary measures to prevent a tight chest after workouts.

Stand facing a wall and place your hands shoulder width apart at chest level. Your feet should be a foot in distance from the wall. While standing up, lean into the wall like you are doing a push-up. When leaning into the wall, pull your shoulders back, push your chest toward the wall and hold this stretch for thirty seconds. The chest will expand and stretch the necessary muscles used in a rowing or cycling classes.

Throughout your stretching routines, be aware of your surroundings and other clients. We encourage you to take time before and after class to prepare your body for the workout. For more tips or suggested stretches, ask any of our instructors! We are happy to help make your workout experience the best possible! We hope to see you stretching at SPIRE before your next class!

*Disclaimer: These stretches may not be for everyone. Know your limits and when to push yourself. SPIRE Fitness is not liable for injuries that may happen when performing our 5 Key Stretches.

*Disclaimer: These stretches may not be for everyone. Know your limits and when to push yourself. SPIRE Fitness is not liable for injuries that may happen when performing our 5 Key Stretches.