We stretch before we run, we stretch before we lift weights, Rossi stretches before he rides, as does every professional motorcyclist. So why don’t you? It doesn’t matter if you’re touring, doing a track day, or riding single-track, stretching can benefit everyone by helping to give you full range of motion while also getting your muscles warmed up to work more effectively. If you’re sore after a long day of riding, stretching can help if done immediately afterwards as well as the next morning before saddling back up. You want to keep those muscles from becoming short and tight, which causes them to function less efficiently and can lead to injury. Another tip to help with muscle soreness: drink more water. Like two times more. Sore in the morning? You should have drank more water.
Necessary disclaimer: Motorcycle.com is not your mom, doctor, yoga instructor, etc. Consult a physician before doing these stretches. If your erection lasts longer than 12 hours… wait, why do you have an erection?!
We put together a list of 10 stretches that can help limber you up in all the right places before, during, or after riding your motorcycle. Okay, maybe not during. Get your yoga pants on, because it’s time to stretch!
This stretch will loosen the upper part of the forearm which can help keep your forearms loosened up after long rides and alleviate issues with arm pump. You can perform this stretch by extending your arm straight out while pointing your fingers down and with your opposite hand, put your thumb at the inside of your wrist and wrap your fingers around the front of your outstretched hand. Then apply firm, gentle pressure, pushing toward your body. You can also extend your arm out, fingers pointed down, and push the back of your hand against a wall. You should feel this stretch across the extensor muscles located on the top of your forearm. Hold for 30 seconds per arm, 2-3 times.
Similar to the extensor stretch, this will loosen the muscles in your forearm and help with arm pump sufferers. However, now we will focus on the flexor muscles on the inside of your forearm. To perform this stretch, extend one arm out, forearm facing up, and with your opposite hand, place your thumb under your outstretched wrist, wrap your fingers around your palm, and pull toward your body. You can also use a wall by pushing your outstretched arm, fingers up, against a wall. You should feel this stretch across your entire inner forearm. Hold for 30 seconds per arm.
Standing with your arms down at your side, point your thumbs out to the front and make a fist. Slowly rotate your arms so your thumbs are pointing out to your sides while pushing out your chest. Then, rotate back past the original position so your thumbs are pointing backward. You should feel this across your chest and in your shoulders. Being in the riding position for long periods of time can leave us tightened up into a position with our shoulders pressed inward. This stretch can feel great after a long day of touring.
This can done while standing or lying down. While standing, bring your knee up and with both hands, grab just under the knee cap and pull your leg toward your body with both arms. Hold for 30 seconds and alternate to the other leg. Do this stretch 2-3 times per leg.
This your standard quad stretch, however, focusing on correct technique will help you get a much better stretch. While standing, bring your foot up behind you and with the arm on the same side, grab from the outer side of your foot and pull up gently. Focus on keeping your knees together, your legs in line with one another, and pull your stomach in to maintain straight posture. Focusing on these steps will help you get a better stretch across the top of your leg.
For this stretch you will want a wide stance. Wide enough that when your arms are outstretched to the sides, your ankles are below your wrists. You will then point one foot out to the side and, while facing forward, bend at the knee of the foot facing sideways until your thigh is parallel with the ground. Be sure your stance is wide enough that your knee does not go past your ankle. Now bring yourself back up and repeat five to seven times. Then switch to the other side.
For this your stance, you will want your feet pointed out about 45 degrees, not as wide as the previous slide but a bit further than shoulder width. Squat down until your thighs are parallel with the ground. With your hands on your legs just above your knees, bring your shoulder forward and across then alternate shoulders. I really enjoy this one, as it stretches your inner thighs, lower back, and mid-back all in the same stretch.
You can do this standing or lying down but to change things up, we will focus on executing this one lying down. Lay down on your back, put your ankle on top of your opposite thigh, reach under said thigh with both hands, interlocking your fingers and pull toward your body. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat with the opposite leg. Perform this stretch 2-3 times per leg. This exercise will also stretch your glutes and hips which will keep you limber while moving around on the motorcycle.
Sit on the floor with your legs in the widest “V” as possible without causing pain. Keep your head, neck, and back straight with your hands on the floor in front of you, slowly slide your hands as far forward as possible while keeping your back straight and without causing pain. Hold for 30 seconds repeat two or three times.
This stretch will really loosen your hip flexors, which are the inner muscles of the hips allowing for better knee-to-the-ground flexibility. Basically, a lunge where you bring your knee to the ground and lean forward. You should feel this stretch through your inner hip, down through your quad.
If you have other suggestions for additional stretching that has worked well for your motorcycling flexibility, feel free to share them in the comments below.