A good way to warm up is to march on the spot for five minutes. By doing so you will warm up your whole body. Remember to dynamically move the arms as well as the legs: swing them forwards and backwards as if you are sprinting.
For the calves
Stand up in a relaxed position with your feet roughly shoulder-width apart. Your toes should be facing forwards. Now go up onto your tip-toes. Stay in this position for a while before you carefully return back to standing on your feet normally. We recommend that you repeat this exercise 20 times.
Mobilise your neck muscles
On long bike rides your neck stays in the same position for a long time. This means that it needs to be prepared for this. The best way to do so is to stand in a relaxed position, keep your back flat and to drop your chin to your chest. Once in that position roll your head from left to right. We advise against spinning your head in circles because it is bad for the spine.
Prepare your legs and your bum
It is also wise to prepare your legs and your bum for your upcoming bike tour. Lunges are perfect for this. Do a lunge making sure that you keep your upper body straight. A right-angle should form between your upper body and your leg. Remain in this position for a few seconds before you slowly return to a standing position. We recommend that you do this exercise 15 times on each leg.
Training up the stomach muscles
Air-cycling: a yoga mat or similar is useful for this exercise. Lie on your back and bend your knees. Now put the soles of your feet flat onto the floor and place your hands behind your head. Let’s go: lift up your shoulder blades and your head from the floor and lift up your legs. Make sure that your knees are bent at 90 degrees and pretend that you are riding a bike in the air.
Avoid tensing up through back exercises
Whilst cycling your back often stays in a slightly curved position. Therefore it is a good idea to prepare your back for the bike tour with some gentle muscle training. Strengthened muscles can prevent tension building up and also mean that you get a more stable riding position. The best way to do this exercise is to get down on the floor on your hands and knees looking down at the ground. Lift up your right leg and stretch it out horizontally. Now lift up your left arm and stretch it out horizontally too. Hold this position for 10 seconds and then switch side. You will be able to feel the strain in your back muscles.
Yoga for mental fitness
Those who stick to these training tips and who eat lots of carbohydrates and less fat before for their cycle tour are best prepared. But it is not only important to have a strong body but also to be mentally fit. Surely you have an individual program that motivates you? Yoga is generally a good way to find one’s inner center. Everyone feels their best when their body, mind and soul are in balance.
For those of you who are already planning to do their first bike tour at the start of spring, it is time to prepare now! That is because with strong muscles, mental balance and a goal in mind - it is much easier to cycle!
Have fun doing the training and preparing for your tour! We certainly enjoyed preparing the exercises for you. We are looking forward to welcoming you on one of our bike tours tour this season!