The 10 Dynamic Stretches Ellen Foster Does Before a Ride

Warm-up routines - including dynamic stretches - are key if you want to hit the startline ready to rock 'n' roll. Here are ten steps you can take.


By Ellen Foster |

  • Earlier this month, Ellen Foster—a physical therapist, USA Cycling level 3 coach, and cyclist for Race Hungry—took to Instagram to demonstrate a short preride warmup that she does before getting on her bike.
  • These dynamic stretches, which prep your muscles for action, can help prevent injury, and can even boost your performance.

While the jury has been out on dynamic stretches for a while, we all know the importance of a good preride warmup (and the difference it can make in your performance) but we don’t always do one. We get it. Doing a warmup can make you feel like a racehorse stuck in the gate just before the Kentucky Derby—they just want to get to the main event, and so do you.

READ MORE Perfect Your Warm-Up Routine

But a proper warmup really gets your muscles ready for the stress of a workout once you get going on the bike. Another benefit? You can prevent injuries from sidelining you in the future. You don’t even need to spend a ton of time warming up either.

Foster’s dynamic stretches are a series of exercises that can be done in a couple of minutes before any ride—no matter how easy you’re taking it.


Foster performs a few reps of the following 10 moves before she gets on her bike to get the blood flowing in all the muscles that are used for powering up hills, sprinting, and even easy-cadence pedaling:

  1. Standing quad stretch
  2. Standing figure-4 stretch
  3. Windmill twist and stretch
  4. Air squat
  5. Lunge with twist
  6. Standing fire hydrant kick
  7. Overhead reach side-to-side stretch
  8. Bent-over thoracic extension stretch
  9. Standing hamstring stretch
  10. Standing calf stretch with foot pedal

Research shows that adding dynamic stretches like these to your pre-ride routine has been found to boost your power output and overall performance—who doesn’t want that?

READ MORE ON: dynamic stretches health and fitness race preparation warm-up

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