In California, we are about 8 weeks into the "new" normal of our lives revolving around our homes. For someone like me, this doesn't mean too much of a difference to their normal cadence as I work remotely full time but for many, it's a new and challenging world. As we're all adjusting to this one thing is for certain, many of us are sitting in front of our laptops, TVs, and phones more often. Having felt a few aches and new pains arise from just the countless hours sitting, I thought I'd ask one of our athletes, Samantha Bosco, and her husband Andrew for their help.
For those who don't know Sam, she's a highly decorated Paralympic athlete who at her debut at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games secured a bronze in both the road time trial & track pursuit. Although we can go on about her accolades, in summary, she's quite the accomplished athlete who is just beginning her career. Together with her husband Andrew Bosco, they run Bosco Bike Fits out of Claremont, California focusing on delivering comprehensive bicycle fittings with the use of cutting-edge techniques and technologies. Who better to speak to stretches and exercises to help counteract the effects of sitting all day! Below are Sam & Andrew's top three exercises to open up those hips and increase strength to take a break from sitting!
1. Frog Stretch
One of my favorite stretches for opening up my hips is the frog stretch. I take this a little further and rotate my body underneath me so that my right-hand touches my left knee, and left hand to the right knee. This helps mobilize the lower back a little bit more, enhancing both the stretch to the hip flexors and the TT effort afterward.
2. Resistance Band Clam Shells
This, done after hip stretching and mobilizing, is an absolute must for me to have the most effective workout and time trial. I make sure to do both as close to my ride as possible to really get the full benefit of the mobilization and activation of key muscles used in riding. Activating my glutes as also been really key for day-to-day life, from walking my dog in the morning to after sitting for long periods of time.
I use these resistance bands and would recommend getting the four (one of each color). Start with the yellow band and hold for 30 seconds on each side. Then do a set of five reps with five-second holds at the top. Make sure you’re using your glutes to do this and not your back! Sometimes the easiest way to make sure that’s happening is to poke at your glute muscle to give it a friendly reminder to turn on. Once the yellow band becomes easy, move to the green and then the blue. Once you reach the blue increase the hold to one minute.
Plain and simple, planks should be one of your best friends if you want to time trial well. Work your way up to five-minute holds, ideally mimicking your time trial position with your arms (i.e. if your arm pads are closer together, put your elbows closer together, as if you were on your TT bike). This helps make you even more effective on the bike because your core will already be used to stabilizing in the position, giving you a more effective power transfer!