Anatomy of the Ride: Stretching for Cyclists

Even though we spend time stretching after every ride at Revolve, it’s important to stretch regularly on your own to avoid injury and keep your muscles loose! Here are six easy stretches that will help prolong your love for cycling.

Calf Stretch


Your calves deserve a break after all of the walking and riding you do. Thank your calves by doing this quick and simple stretch:

Stand about two feet away from a wall with your feet facing straight ahead. Step forward with your right leg and bend your knee while keeping your left foot firmly planted on the ground. Use the wall in front of you to support your body weight.

Keep your hips forward until you feel the stretch in your calf. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch legs.

Quad Stretch

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Our quads do a lot of the work in an indoor cycling class, so it’s important to give them a moment to unwind and relax. You can simply do a standing quad stretch by reaching back with your right hand and grabbing your right foot at the top of the ankle, and pulling towards your rear while keeping your knees together and pelvis tucked under. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides.

If you want a deeper stretch, kneel down on to your right knee. Keep both knees at 90 degree angle and your hips facing forward as you gently tilt your pelvis upwards. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides. This will not only deepen your quad stretch, but also loosens up your hip flexors.

Loosen Up That IT Band


Your IT (Iliotibial) Band is a tendon that runs along the side of your leg and carries most of your body weight when you are standing. Phew! That poor IT Band must be exhausted after standing AND cycling.

For this one, you’ll need a towel or a Thera-Band. Begin by lying down on the ground and lifting your right leg. Wrap your towel or Thera-Band around the ball of your foot. Turn your right foot towards your right shoulder and keep your hips on the ground. Gently lean your leg towards your left shoulder. You should feel the stretch running along the outside of your leg. Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat on the other side.

Stretching Those Hammies

When your quads are lengthened, your hamstring is engaged. Having tight hamstrings is just as problematic as having tight quads.

Give your hammies some lovin’ by sitting on the floor with your hips facing forward and your legs out in front of you. Plant your left foot on the ground and bend forward to reach towards your toes. If you have tighter hamstrings, you can use your towel or Thera-Band to help you reach your toes. Both sitz bones should remain on the floor. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides.

Booty Stretch


We work our butts off climbing those heavy hills. Since the gluteal muscles are one of the most powerful muscles in your body, it’s important to loosen up that booty and give them a break.

Lie on your back with both knees pointing towards the ceiling. Cross your right ankle onto your left quad. Interlace your fingers behind your left thigh and bring your left thigh towards your chest until you feel a stretch. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides.

Stretch Your Core


We spend so much time hunched over on our bikes, so it’s important to reset your posture and stretch your core.

You can do a simple cobra stretch by lying on the ground facing down. Place both palms on the side of your chest and push up. Keep your shoulders down and away from your ears. Feel free to keep your elbows slightly bent or coming down on your forearms if you find that it’s straining your back.

What’s your favorite way to stretch after a ride? Tell us in the comments or tweet us @RevolveNYC and @RevolveDC!

Anatomy of the Ride: Real Ride

Our Riders know we like to keep it real. Revolve Senior Master Instructor Kristin Kenney keeps it so real that her Real Rides are actually outdoor routes adapted to the indoor cycling experience. Kristin gave us the inside scoop on the Real Ride and how our Riders (like Mara Berde, featured below) can use it to improve their ride indoors AND outdoors.

Revolve Senior Master Instructor Kristin Kenney

Revolve NYC Senior Master Instructor Kristin Kenney

Q: How has your experience as a competitive road cyclist helped shape Revolve’s Real Ride?

KK: Training for competition involves countless hours on different types of road. I always bring my riding experience into the studio, with the route, terrain, length of hills, flats and so on.

I’ve learned from years of bad mistakes and races gone awry. Great form, being relaxed and focused, and the willingness to let everything that doesn’t matter, GO, are all crucial. Winning is not always the goal, but doing your best is important to the whole group!

Q: How is Revolve’s Real Ride different from other indoor cycling classes?

KK: We communicate a clear, focused ride plan in each class by drawing the route on our wall of mirrors to demonstrate terrain and engage our Riders in a deeply compelling way. Our instructors coach Riders one-on-one and as a group, and motivate the entire “team” to stay together as a pack and slay every part of it. We invite you to be a part of the team atmosphere and put what doesn’t matter aside.

Q: How should Riders approach body awareness and form during the Real Ride?

KK: Relax on the bike, keep movement out of the upper body and torso, and simply ride with what cyclists call a “fluid” pedal stroke. There is no “push” or “pull”. Rather, the pedal stroke is executed by the gluteal muscles, quadriceps and hamstrings. There is no bend in the wrists and the elbows are soft. The whole body works only on pedal stroke and that moment’s goal.

Q: What are your tips for improving our Real Ride? What mistakes do you often see Riders make?

KKWorking out with friends makes the experience great. Everyone who comes to Revolve is welcoming and warm, so it’s also easy to make friends in class.

As far as mistakes go: making up your own positions on the bike, especially with your grip on the handlebars, is a common slip-up and easily corrected. Not letting us set up the bike or not listening to coaching would be a mistake, but very few of our Riders do that! :)

Q: How does the indoor Real Ride translate to the outdoor cycling experience?
KK: Our Riders are often suprised at how strong they are when they return to the outdoor road experience. Don’t forget, I’m delivering a REAL outdoor ride that cyclists around the world repeat again and again for its challenges and rewards, so Riders get incredible workouts curated for them multiple times a day at Revolve. Our Riders are therefore strong, confident and great when they ride outdoors.

But you don’t have to just take Kristin’s word for it. We asked Mara, a Revolve Rider and competitive cyclist, how Revolve’s Real Ride has improved her performance outdoors.

MB: As an avid outdoor cyclist looking to take my cycling to the next level, I started riding at Revolve last winter. Craving the intensity of a day-long road biking adventure, I took one of Kristin’s Real Rides and knew instantly that riding at Revolve would improve my conditioning for the upcoming spring season. When I got back on my bike and started training for my first century (100 mile ride), I was in better shape for riding than I’d ever been.

All of Revolve’s rides offer a perfect combination of hills and intervals that enabled me to reach a level of fitness and strength that I never thought possible from an indoor cycling class. Revolve classes mimic outdoor riding in terms of cadence (RPMs), but actually allow you to push yourself further than training outdoors because there are distractions.  The intervals and intensity of Revolve rides offer something unparalleled and I urge every outdoor cyclist to try a Revolve class.

KK: We have many Riders, like Mara, who race in cycling, many who have started cycling outdoors because they love the Real Ride and still others who use the Real Ride as cross-training for their existing sports. So much of the Real Ride is about letting go of everything in an all-out effort to do your best, and that translates to nearly everyone’s lifestyle.

Ready for a Real Ride? Book your bike now in DC and NYC.  And if you’re ready to take your Real Ride outdoors, Kristin is hosting our first Real Riding 101 Workshop at Revolve NYC this Saturday, July 20 at 2PM.


Anatomy of the Ride: Barre Ride

Curious about Revolve’s Barre Ride? Created by Christianne Phillips, the Barre Ride is a revolutionary hybrid workout that’s gained popularity in DC and was recently featured on ABC7.

Dorothy Beatty, Francina Segbefia and Grant Hill are DC’s Barre Ride experts. Christianne, Dorothy and Francina gave us the inside scoop on the Barre Ride and why this unique combination benefits our Riders.

Dorothy Beatty, Revolve DC Instructor Francina Segbefia, Revolve DC Instructor

Barre Ride Instructors: Dorothy Beatty and Francina Segbefia

Q: Where did the idea of creating a hybrid barre/cycle class come from? Why do these workouts go together? 

CP: While creating classes for the DC studio, I wanted one of the rides to uniquely combine cardio and strength in one hour. As a former dancer and avid cyclist, I realized that fusing cycling and barre into one class would be a home run.

Barre is full body: your body is constantly working and engaging in multi-muscle movement. Our barre movements also incorporate a lot of stretching, and allow you to reset your posture.

FS: If a rider cycles for hours and hours, week after week, year after year, their muscles get very accustomed to the riding position. A rider needs cross-training exercises, and the barre exercises do a great job of creating muscle balance.

Q: What was the Barre Ride designed to do for Riders? What impact does it have on their bodies and how is that different from other cycling classes?

DB: Barre Ride strengthens our cardiovascular system and improves our body’s ability to effectively use oxygen and fuel. Our barre work strengthens muscles that assist cycling, and lengthen muscles that get overworked while riding.

FS: Think about the cycling posture. Most riders get tired after time, which often sacrifices cycling form. Barre exercises open up your chest, back and hip muscles that have been in a contracted position during cycling, and activate different muscle fibers that are not necessarily used in the same way while riding.


Christianne teaching Barre Ride at Revolve DC

Q: What are your best tips for improving our Barre Ride?

DB: On the bike, Barre Ride is a great opportunity to push to new levels. It’s a shorter ride, so go for a bit more intensity – add more resistance than you normally would!

Off the bike, think big and full ranges of motion. Challenge yourself to go a little deeper or lower than last time; your body will adapt. PLEASE ask us questions, and watch your form in the mirror.

FS: If it’s your first Barre Ride, take frequent breaks and stretch. Most first-time Barre Riders have a difficult time completing every repetition. Be patient with yourself. Strength comes with time.

Attending Barre Ride regularly will strengthen the muscles we use in class. As your muscles get stronger and the exercises become easier, a Rider should focus more on form, contracting and flexing muscles a little tighter to continue to strengthen the muscles.

Q: What habits should we create and maintain to continue our lean muscle build once we leave the studio?

DB: The best thing you can do off the bike is eat a clean, balanced diet and drink a TON of water. Fuel your body with protein, veggies, and some fruit, as well as some smartly selected grains/carbs on our very intense workout days (e.g. brown rice or sweet potatoes). And, obviously, eat lots of kale to get Kira’s Kale Abs… 😉

FS: Refueling with the right combination of lean protein and carbohydrates post-workout is critical to building muscle. I teach Barre Ride in the morning, so my regular breakfast is usually egg whites, fruit and oatmeal. Eat protein throughout the entire day because your body is constantly rebuilding muscle. Finally, stretch and strength-train outside of the studio!

For more fitness and cycling tips, follow Dorothy and Francina on Twitter and like them on Facebook: Dorothy B Fit and Cycling with Francina.

Ready for a Barre Ride? Reserve your bike now and then mark your calendars for April 18: Dorothy’s teaching a special Beach Booty Barre Ride to get Riders ready for summer!

Anatomy of the Ride: RIP Ride

Addicted to Revolve’s RIP Ride, or curious to try it?  It’s one or the other, trust us.  The ride was co-created by Christianne Phillips and Kira Stokes.  Kira gave us the inside scoop on the RIP Ride in our new blog series, Anatomy of the Ride.

Christianne Phillips, Senior Master Instructor         Kira Stokes, Master Instructor

RIP Ride Co-creators: Christianne Phillips (Senior Master Instructor) and Kira Stokes (Master Instructor)

Q: People are used to a mix of hills, intervals and sprints in class, but the RIP Ride focuses on intervals.  Why is that?

KS: The RIP Ride stands for “Resistance, Interval, Performance”, so it’s obvious from the name you are going to experience a unique form of interval training.  We wanted to make sure Revolvers would get the most out of the 60-minute class.  Interval training is proven to be one of the most effective ways to burn fat and improve speed, endurance and strength.

Q: What was the Rip Ride designed to do for riders?  How is it different from other indoor cycling classes?

KS: The RIP Ride combines cycling and upper-body strength work in a way that encourages body awareness, fatigues the body and keeps the integrity of the “form focused” studio Revolve is determined to be. Unique to the RIP Ride are two upper-body weight segments. Each segment is comprised of three exercises done three times through, circuit style.  We work in terms of progression each time through, adding slight variations to keep it fresh. The upper-body work begins and ends with upper-body back work to reset posture.

Riders admit they work harder during the cycling portions as opposed to a straight cycle class because they know there’s a short “active recovery” during the weight sections.

Q: Upper body is an integral part of the RIP ride and emphasizes posture.  What results should riders expect, and how can we get the most out of it?

KS: The upper-body work during the RIP Ride is no joke, no gimmicks, just work.  The weight segments are designed to reset posture after being forward on the bike, give riders a full-body workout, and create strong, lean upper bodies.

We recommend riders stop their legs during upper-body work to prioritize safety and body awareness.  Stopping the legs allows riders to focus 100% in order to work effectively and fatigue properly.

Q: What should we eat before and after a RIP Ride to get the most out of it?

KS: You never want to eat something too heavy pre-RIP Ride. Fruit, such as an apple, is a good choice. It provides a bit of sugar (natural energy) and hydrates at the same time. Throw in a handful of almonds for a little protein and you’re good to go!

Post-RIP Ride I love downing a protein shake with plant based protein powder with frozen fruit, water and ice (perhaps a little almond milk). This provides protein to rebuild fatigued muscles.

Ready for a RIP Ride? Reserve your bike now.

Photos: by Rachel Neville, (c) Revolve