Cycling power starts in your gluteal region, a collection of muscles in your upper thighs and butt. Taxing these muscles through frequent or intense cycling can cause pain deep in the muscle, since myofibrils in your muscle are naturally torn during exercise. This tearing eventually heals to build stronger muscle, but the process can be slow. Exercises that target key areas for strength training and stretching before your next big ride will give you a strong base, potentially alleviating the soreness you feel after a ride. These exercises will pre-emptively strengthen the gluteal region, leaving it more able to cope with the intensity of your cycling workout.
Perform a basic hamstring stretch. Start in a standing position, with your feet placed shoulder-width apart. Clasp your elbows with your hands over your head. Relax your legs, bend your knees and lean forward until your stomach and thighs connect. Then, slowly straighten your knees until you feel a deep stretch. Your neck should be relaxed, with your head and arms pointed towards the floor. Hold this pose for 20 to 30 seconds and then repeat.
Do a single leg stability curl using a stability ball. Lie down flat on the floor with your ankles resting on a stability ball. While raising one foot off the ball, pull the ball towards you with your other leg as you raise your hips off the floor. Return to the starting position and alternate legs. Complete 10 repetitions on each leg.
Do a single-leg box jump. This exercise consists of a one-legged jump, so perform it carefully. Start on one leg in front of a sturdy, immovable box or ledge about 12- inches high. Then, jump using the leg you're balancing on and land on the same foot on top of the box. Repeat ten times on each leg.
Perform a suitcase deadlift. Start with your arms at your sides and your feet apart in a lifting stance. Holding a dumbbell in each hand, slowly bend your knees and stick your hips back while keeping your torso straight. Lower the dumbbells on either side until your torso starts to bend. The closer you can get to the ground before you have to bend your torso, the better. Complete 10 repetitions and then rest.
Muscles require a few days to recover from an intense exercise session. Eat plenty of protein as part of a well-rounded diet and make sure to take rest days to give your muscles the chance to rebuild after a workout. Rest days should be a key part of any exercise routine and should help ease most of your soreness.
Prolonged pain could indicate a muscle tear or other serious issue. Don't perform any exercise that results in pain and consult a physician or sports clinic if you cannot alleviate the soreness through rest and stretching.