Yoga for Cyclists: Loosen up your tight hips


Ahhh, what a great ride!  But ouch, my hips are so tight.  What can I do to stretch my hips?

Believe it or not, cycling and yoga go very nicely hand in hand.  I’m excited to have Grace Wathen guest posting today with some great information for cyclists.  Being a cyclist herself, Grace knows exactly how to loosen up your tight hips.  These suggestions might look strange to some of you macho cyclists out there….but believe me, they work. – Darryl

The repetitive motion of cycling makes our femurs move closer together within the hip socket.  While typical hip stretches may give slight relief, they’re not attacking the issue at hand.  We need to move the femurs back to where they should be, and then create more range of motion and flexibility.  Try the yoga exercises below and you’ll soon have looser hips and better rides.

Block between thighs

Place a yoga block in-between the thighs, as high up as you can go.  Next try to bring the feet closer together.  Try not to press your inner thighs into the block, let them relax and allow the block to assist you in moving the femurs.  Hold for 3 minutes.  Take the block out and walk around.  Feel your new hips!  You’re ready to dance!  Repeat twice for a total of 3 sets.


Hip rotation on block

Lie down on your back 2-3 feet away from the wall, with a yoga block handy.  Press your feet into the wall to lift your tailbone up off the floor.  Now place your block under the tailbone and allow the tailbone to come down and rest on the block.  Keep the left foot on the wall and move the right foot slightly away from the wall.  Rotate the femur within the socket clockwise a few times, and then counter clockwise.  Repeat on the left side.  Repeat for a total of 3 sets on each side.



Loving the Bike Note: If you don’t have a yoga block use something else of similar size and design to the block in the picture up top.

Additional Considerations:

It is an eastern belief that our hips lodge unresolved emotions and experiences.  So ask yourself, what are you hanging on to?  Is there someone you need to forgive?  In late winter, just as everything has completely died off, the first sign of spring comes and life begins to come back around us.  Take this as a chance to learn and let go of the past and prepare for a new beginning.  You’ll have a weight lifted off your shoulders and light in your hips.



Grace Wathen is owner of Grace Yoga in Salt Lake City where she teaches her unique method (inspired by her Guru, Bekir Algan, PhD.), “Yoga for the Seasons”.  In addition to her apprenticeship with her Guru, Grace has trained with Dharma Mittra, Bikram Choudhury, and Baron Baptiste.  A yogini for 11 years and counting, Grace is also an avid cyclist and has been a 100% bicycle commuter for over 2 years now. She offers free yoga weekly to recovering addicts and is a volunteer for the Salt Lake County Bicycle Advisory.  Visit her website at

Enjoy Your Ride

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8 Responses to “ Yoga for Cyclists: Loosen up your tight hips ”

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  4. Pillow on November 22, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    Excellent …. Tried every hip strech on the Internet, with limited luck. This worked in 2 mins.
    Look silly will pillow between my legs but who care, I will sleep better tonight.


  5. holbrob on December 2, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    Would you care to help me out by completing a survey for school?
    We’re trying to study ways to improve the yoga experience,
    Please and thanks

  6. Tony on December 2, 2010 at 9:39 am

    Looks great. I’ve been incorporating Yoga into my fitness routine ever since starting P90X. The Yoga X workout is intense. I never thought I could like yoga but love the feeling I get afterwards and it’s definitely helped my on my bike. I feel that I recover from long rides quicker now, kudos on the post about yoga 🙂

    • Darryl on December 2, 2010 at 5:14 pm

      Thanks Tony…I didn’t know that there was a yoga component to P90X. Good stretching and/or yoga is definitely something to do to help out the cycling legs and hips.

  7. Tim on December 2, 2010 at 6:25 am

    awesome…I’m going to try this


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