Yes, you should stretch before biking to prevent injury, promote flexibility, reduce soreness, and enhance range of motion. Approximately 30% of sports injuries involve damage to the skeletal muscle and you can reduce risk of injury by stretching 15 minutes before biking [1,2].
Cyclists should focus on dynamic stretching and warm-ups, including movement-based stretching like lunges or squats . These types of movements can help build muscle strength, enhance muscle force and power, improve range of motion, and increase blood flow, all of which can lead to improved performance and reduced injury rate [4, 5].
Static stretching before cycling is not recommended. A study published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that static stretching before cycling may reduce acute cycling economy and inhibit power, strength and performance [3, 4].
2. Shellock, F. G., & Prentice, W. E. (1985). Warming-up and stretching for improved physical performance and prevention of sports-related injuries. Sports medicine (Auckland, N.Z.), 2(4), 267–278.https://doi.org/10.2165/00007256-198502040-00004
3. Wolfe, A. E., Brown, L. E., Coburn, J. W., Kersey, R. D., & Bottaro, M. (2011). Time course of the effects of static stretching on cycling economy. Journal of strength and conditioning research, 25(11), 2980–2984. https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0b013e318234e55f
4. Opplert, J., & Babault, N. (2018). Acute Effects of Dynamic Stretching on Muscle Flexibility and Performance: An Analysis of the Current Literature. Sports medicine (Auckland, N.Z.), 48(2), 299–325. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40279-017-0797-9