A warming up for cycling? Is that necessary? The simple answer is: yes. At least: if you are going to cycle fast or far. Sport cycling is different from ‘normal cycling’: after all, you don’t just go cycling to the bakery around the corner. The speed and distance is greater and you run your engine at full throttle. Because you make a great effort, the chance of damage to your engine – or your muscles – is also greater, so it is important to prepare yourself well for the action that comes. Read on to find out how to do the best warming up for cyclists.
Why do I need to warm up before cycling?
There are several reasons for a cycling warming up. First, you increase your strength and speed by literally warming up your muscles and stimulating their blood flow. This is how you perform optimally! Fast cycling is fun, of course, but the improved circulation of a warm-up also has another important function: limiting the risk of injuries and muscle soreness. This is especially important when it’s cold outside and your muscles need more time to get going. If you want to cycle too quick too fast, you run the risk of overloading your muscles. The positive effect of a warm-up on oxygen transport and the removal of waste also reduces the risk of pain and discomfort.
What is the best warm-up for cycling?
The best warm-up before cycling depends on several things. Firstly, the intensity of your effort is decisive: if you start cycling at a leisurely pace, a warm-up does not have to be very extensive. But if you want to go next level, you also must give your muscles time to speed up! Depending on the difficulty of your tour, we recommend that you spend between 15 and 30 minutes warming up. Start your warm-up by cycling slowly, gradually increasing the pace. You should be up and running after 10 to 15 minutes. You can also calmly check your body in that first phase: do you feel pain somewhere? Once your muscles are warm and well supplied with blood, perform an interval workout, such as a series of 15-second sprints at maximum speed. Then continue cycling at a slower pace.
Duration of a warming up
How long your warm-up before cycling ideally lasts depends on how long you want to perform. It may not sound immediately logical, but the preparation for a short bike ride, such as the warm-up for a time trial, should be more intensive than the warm-up for a long ride. This is because your body must be in full readiness when you start your real effort: your heart rate must be high, and your muscles have good blood circulation. That is why the warm-up during a time trial is already a major factor in how well you will perform. For a ride that calls for a power explosion, plan on warming up for about half an hour. Twenty minutes is often sufficient for a long trip.
Which products help with a cycling warm-up?
If you want to go as fast as possible, every detail matters. Your tire pressure, your clothes, how you slept, but of course also: how well you have warmed up. To optimally prepare your muscles for maximum performance, it helps to use a good sports gel from the Sportsbalm Warming series. These warming balms ensure that your muscles warm up better and your circulation improves. This allows more oxygen to reach your muscles and you become more flexible and faster. You also reduce the risk of injuries because your muscles are ready for action. Sportsbalm Warming products are ideal on cool days. Is it hot summer weather? Then use our Muscle Oils, which provide perfect muscle support in mild and warm weather conditions.