Yoga for cyclists with Karen - EP05

Words & video: Charlie Coquillard / Yoga teacher: Karen Norris 


In this weeks episode of Yoga for Cyclists Karen focuses on 6 exercises that build flexibility and movement through your side body to avoid damage from cycling.

By keeping flexibility and movement along your side muscles you help your body to avoid lasting injuries.

Having greater mobility and movement throughout your body is important especially for cyclists who spend extended periods in one position.

Any time you stay in one position for too long you risk shortening important muscles groups that don’t need to be used in those movements.

These techniques from Karen will allow your body to maintain it’s full range of motion and avoid long term back or neck injuries from cycling.

How can I build flexibility in my side body and avoid damage from cycling?

By following Karen’s instruction and exercises consistently you can help to avoid long term damage from cycling.

By building flexibility in your side muscles you have an extra barrier of defence that will also help you to feel more comfortable on your bike for longer.

Karen takes us through 6 poses to help build movement in side muscles after cycling and avoid long term back damage.

Kneeling Pose Yoga Cycling

Kneeling Pose

Starting on your knees we begin by locking your arms above the head as you start to unwind your side muscles.

Alternate sides by lengthening the muscles along your left and right side, maintaining steady breathing throughout.

Chair Pose Yoga Cycling

Chair Pose

Enter a chair pose and put your hands in front of you, palm together.

Twist to your right while holding your chair pose and with your left elbow just above your right knee use the slight leverage to twist and release your sides muscles.

Repeat on your left side.

Low Lunge Yoga Cycling

Low Lunge Position

Move from Chair position into your Low Lunge. Turn your body so your front face to the side to twist and unlock your side muscles.

Repeat on your other side, for an additional stretch through your legs lift you extended leg up from the ground towards your glutes.

Half Kingfish Yoga Cycling

Half Kingfish Pose

Starting on your right side lift your right leg and place your foot flat on the ground across your other leg.

With your left arm grab your right knee and continue to the side stretch by twisting your body across your leg.

Repeat with your left leg and feel your body continue to release along your sides.

Gate Pose Yoga Cycling

Gate Pose

Resting on your extended right arm and keep your left leg extended you can reach across your body with the left hand for a full body side stretch.

Try to maintain a strong balance, you can use your bent leg as a brace. Maintain an even and constant breathing pattern as well and feel the full stretch along your side.

Extend Kneeling Yoga Cycling

Extended Kneeling Pose with Side Arch

Extending from your gate pose to your kneeling pose, but keeping one leg extended to your side.

Continue to alternate between your two legs and arching your sides to stretch.


It’s important to make maintenance and recovery of your body a priority if you cycle regularly.

Make sure you complete these exercises regularly to see results when you ride.

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Checkout Episode 6: Building a strong core to avoid injuries from cycling in under 10 minutes

Or Checkout the Full Yoga for Cyclists series here

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