4 Best Peloton Stretch Classes (Explained)


Stretching helps to improve performance, restore movement patterns, and reduce muscular tension, especially after long-distance peloton rides. In this article, I will clarify what are the best peloton stretching classes and how to implement them in your workouts.

As a whole, the peloton has over 750 stretch classes available in the library that range between 5 to 20 minutes in duration. The classes are divided into 5 different categories like a full-body stretch, upper body stretch, and lower body stretch.

In addition to reading the list below, please read carefully the references to reading materials and recommendations.

Best Peloton Stretching Classes

What I like about the peloton stretching classes is they are all beginner-level. You don’t need to have any prior experience or knowledge about anatomy to get started.

That’s why I always recommend peloton stretching classes to all of my clients who are new to stretch.

How do I become more flexible with peloton? To become more flexible with the peloton you need to add stretching into your workout routine and stay consistent. Adding more stretching before and after your exercise reduces muscle tension, improves mobility in the joints and flexibility in the muscles.

How do you stretch on a peloton? In general, you stretch on the peloton before and after the class by performing single stretches that target quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves. You can do it on the floor or directly from your peloton bike (without shoes). Alternatively, you can join the 5 min guided stretch class from the peloton app.

Do stretches count for peloton? As a whole, the stretches count as a workout in the peloton, which means you do get achievement badges and milestones. Stretching also counts to your daily and weekly steaks, as well as it gets accounted for the total number of workouts you completed.

Do you get a peloton shirt after 100 stretch classes? As a whole, you do get a peloton century shirt after 100 stretch classes. Every class, as long as it’s done in the same category, counts towards the milestones.

#1 Full Body Stretch

Full body stretch is the most popular peloton stretching class. I like this class a lot, however, the only thing that is missing (and I think it would be a great value) are targeted foot stretches.

What is a full-body stretch peloton? As a whole, the full-body stretch peloton is a series of over 120 classes. The class duration range between 5 to 20 minutes and includes stretches that cover all major muscle groups like glutes, hamstrings, quads, lower back, chest, shoulders, and neck.

Why full-body stretch is good? In general, the full-body stretch peloton is good because it keeps the muscle flexible, strong, and healthy. It also helps to combat the postural adaptations, energize the body and facilitate muscle recovery better by improving blood circulation.

I recommend doing full-body stretch only after your main peloton workout because the muscles are warmed up. As much as stretching is important, doing it when the body is cold is gonna bring more harm than good.

Can I do peloton stretch without warming up? As a whole, you shouldn’t do peloton stretch without warming up because stretching cold muscles can lead to injury. The purpose of the warm-up is to increase muscle and tendon suppleness, stimulate blood flow to the muscles, and increase body temperature.

Plus, you get substantially better results when your muscles are more elastic and warm. Of course, there is time and place for pre-workout stretch, but it includes different methods and techniques (more on that later).

#2 Post-Ride Stretch

What I like about the peloton is that after every ride the instructors will point me out and remind me to join the 5 minute class of post-ride stretch. Here’s why.

What is a post-ride stretch peloton? As a whole, the post-ride stretch peloton is a collection of 5 to 10 minutes stretching classes that are specifically designed to be done after every peloton ride. In each class, you hold the stretches for 20 to 30 seconds before moving on to the next one.

Why post-ride stretch is good? In general, the post-ride stretch is good because it helps to immediately restore muscular range of motion and ease the tightness from the muscles that worked during the bike ride. It also helps to reduce muscle fatigue and recover faster before your next ride.

The difference between post-ride stretch and full body is that post-ride stretch targets specific muscle groups that have been used in the class. And cycling is notoriously known for developing muscle tension in the hamstrings, quads, and calves.

Stretching those muscles right after helps to prevent muscle soreness and injury. On the flip side, if you don’t spend extra 5 minutes after the ride, the length-tension relationship of the muscle won’t just miraculously restore by itself.

Is peloton bad for hamstrings? As a general rule, the peloton is bad for hamstrings because the body remains in one fixed position on the bike that leads to muscle fatigue. Constant hip flexion puts pressure on the hamstrings and over time leads to shortening of the muscle.

What happens if you never stretch? As a whole, if you never stretch the muscle fibers become short and can affect the posture and create inefficient movement patterns. People who never stretch are missing the basic range of motion. This leads to pattern adaptation and causes the body to compensate.

In other words, the body looks for new ways to maintain movement, with a minimum range of motion. Over time this can impact the gait and lead to muscle and joint pain (Khalil et al. 1992).

#3 Pre-Ride Warm Up

The difference between pre and post-ride classes is like with the light switch. When the switch is ON, you’re ready for the ride. When is OFF, you shut the door and relax till the next ride.

What is a pre-ride warm-up peloton? As a whole, the pre-ride warm-up is a series of 5-minute classes that combine dynamic stretching, mobility drills, and muscle activation exercises. This class is specifically designed to be done before the peloton rides to enhance firing on the muscle.

Why pre-ride warm-up is good? The pre-ride warm-up is good because it helps to engage the muscles that will be used in the class (glutes and core). It also helps to increase performance, prevent injury and allow to reach a full range of motion while on the bike.

Keep in mind that there are different types of stretches.

Static stretching elongates the muscle fibers, reduces tension, and stimulates parasympathetic activity. This impairs muscle performance by reducing the stiffness essential to generate power (Yamaguchi et al. 2006).

In other words, static stretching makes you more relaxed and calm, but also weaker and inhibits the cycling economy.

On the other hand, dynamic stretching helps to activate and perfuse the muscles, without lengthening the tissue. It stimulates sympathetic response, which is an essential component of the workout.

Not only that.

Studies have shown that dynamic stretching doesn’t interfere with power output, cycling economy and can be safely done before each ride (Zourdos et al. 2012)

Do you need to stretch before the peloton? As a whole, you should stretch before a peloton ride to improve your flexibility and prevent common cycling injuries. The class should include a sequence of dynamic stretches, as well as warm-up and mobility exercises to improve muscle suppleness.

#4 Post-Run Stretch

Post-run stretch is important, especially for people who are planning to do a lot of volume and mileage in the week. Here’s why.

What is a peloton post-run stretch? In general, the peloton post-run stretch is a stretching program that includes 5 to 10 minutes stretches designed to be done after the running classes. The stretches are hold between 30 to 60 seconds, depending on the muscle.

Why post-run stretch is good? As a whole, adding a post-run stretch after the peloton running class is good because it helps to significantly reduce muscle tightness and restore optimal range of motion. It also helps to reduce DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) and speed up recovery.

The post-workout stretch should be static and you can hold the stretch for much longer than in dynamic. I also like to do at least 5 minutes of mid-run mobility.

I find that adding 3-4 for stretches (especially for calves and quads) makes my legs feel lighter and I can add more distance with less amount of effort.

Does the peloton make your calves tight? In general, the peloton does make your calves tight because of incorrect pedaling technique, fixed position of the foot, or sudden increase in the training volume. Also, during the rides, the shoes are clipped into the pedals, which puts a lot of pressure on the gastrocnemius-soleus complex.

Should I stretch my calves after the peloton ride? As a whole, you should stretch your calves after peloton rides because it will help to reduce muscle tightness, improve muscle perfusion and help to eliminate lactate buildup. It also helps to maintain the ankle dorsiflexion range of motion.

And last but not the least, I also recommend spending around 10-15 minutes after each ride or run to make sure you don’t keep muscles tight. It does help with reducing muscle soreness, but it doesn’t prevent it completely.

However, there are several science-based methods that you can do to reduce muscle pain.

I’m not gonna be covering those techniques here. I’ve already covered them in my article “stop soreness after yoga“, which I recommend you read.

How do you stretch after peloton? In general, the easiest way to stretch after the peloton is to follow the post-ride or post-run stretch routine from the peloton library. The class takes 5 to 10 minutes and it focuses on the biggest muscles of the body like quads, hamstrings, arms, chest, and calves.

Peloton Stretching For Splits

Now let’s talk about the performance and increasing the range of motion. When it comes to doing stretching to reach a specific goal (like split) it’s more about consistency than intensity.

This means you will have better results from doing small and often (3 x day for 10 minutes), rather than once a week for a couple of hours.

What is the best peloton stretch class for the splits? In general, the best peloton stretch class for the splits is 10-minute hip stretch and 10-minute glutes and legs stretch. Those sessions consist of several hip openers, groin and forward folds that increase the hips and hamstrings range of motion.

How can I improve my flexibility for the splits? As a whole, to improve your flexibility for the splits you need to work on stretching and strengthening the muscles that play a role in hip flexion and extension. Those muscles include hamstrings, hip flexors, glutes, adductors, groin, and calves.

Here is a great tutorial of how to (realistically) do splits and which stretches you should look for.

Peloton Stretching vs Yoga

Now let’s discuss the difference between different stretching classes available in the peloton app, and specifically yoga and regular stretching.

What’s the difference between stretching and yoga? As a whole, the difference between stretching and yoga is that yoga is a separate workout that follows the asana sequence and includes sun salutation. Each yoga class starts from the sun salutation routine combined with breathing that helps to mobilize the spine but also works as a warmup.

On the other hand, stretching means lengthening, which relates to the ability of the muscle tissue to restore its range of motion. Every yoga asana works by stretching the muscles, but not every stretching is classified as yoga.

Is stretching or yoga better? As a whole, yoga is better than stretching because not only it helps to restore optimal range of motion, but also helps to increase mindfulness and body awareness. However, yoga practice is a skill that requires training and is more complex than stretching.

Another difference between peloton stretching and yoga is that in yoga you use multiple accessories like stretching blocks, yoga straps, and bolster. You also do the class bare feet.

On the flip side, the stretching class doesn’t require any extra equipment, and the class is done with the shoes on. Here are some of the main differences in how I feel after the peloton stretch vs yoga.

Peloton StretchingPeloton Yoga
Takes 5 to 15 minutes
Makes me feel energized
Takes 45 to 75 minutes
Makes me feel relaxed and calm
Peloton stretching vs yoga

As you can see, yoga takes more time and provides a completely different effect. Stretching after a workout energizes me for the day, where yoga helps me to relax, almost like after a massage.

I like peloton yoga classes because they offer some cool stretch routines like a desk, chair, or office stretch. Below you can see the link to my article where I explain in detail everything there is to know about peloton yoga.

Learn more: Click here to learn more about “peloton yoga for strength and recovery

Peloton Stretch Before Bed

Peloton stretch classes can also be done in the evening or before bedtime. However, you still need to apply some basic warmup sequences to make sure you’re not stretching cold muscles.

Is it good to stretch before bedtime? As a general rule, it is good to do peloton stretches before bedtime. Stretching helps to relax the body by stimulating parasympathetic response, reduce cortisol levels and increase melatonin levels, which helps with sleep. It also helps to reduce any muscle and joint pain.

Is it OK to stretch on the bed? As a whole, it is ok to stretch on the bed because many of the peloton stretches are done in the prone position. However, some stretches do require you to stand up straight and have some degree of balance, especially the classes that cover full-body stretching.

Is it better to stretch before bed or in the morning? As a whole, it is better to stretch in the morning because stretching helps to reduce cortisol levels. Most people have the highest cortisol levels in the morning after they wake up. Doing warm-up and 10 to 20 minutes of stretching helps to down-regulate fight or flight activity by stimulating parasympathetic response.

Learn more: Click here to read more about “does peloton help you lose weight?

What Happens If I Stretch Every Day?

In general, if you stretch every day, your body solidifies muscle adaptations and increases the maximum muscle elongation capacity. Over time, this increases the ability to tolerate higher stretch loads, which leads to an improved range of motion.

Is it bad to stretch every day? As a whole, it is not bad to stretch every day because regular stretching helps to solidify the optimal length-tension relationship in the muscles. It also helps to reduce muscle soreness after the peloton rides and improves muscle performance.

Is peloton stretching good for hips? As a whole, peloton stretching is good for the hips because it helps to restore the length-tension relationship in the muscles. Certain positions (e.g sitting) shortens the muscle around the hip area and creates tension. Stretching can not only reduce the tension but also restore its optimal range of motion.

Is peloton stretch good for plantar fasciitis? As a whole, the peloton stretch is good for plantar fasciitis because it contains several calf stretches that help to reduce muscle tension and soothe heel pain. The best stretches for plantar fasciitis include post-ride and pre-ride stretch classes.

Learn more: Click here to learn more about “best peloton foam rolling classes

Conclusion

As you can see, doing peloton stretch is multifunctional. This means it can be implemented either before, during, or after the workout.

However, if you’re short on time and you don’t have the luxury of doing 3 stretches within one training session, I always recommend to at least spend 5 minutes after your workout.

Michal Sieroslawski

Michal is an exercise physiologist (MSc), nutrition coach, Ashtanga teacher, and fitness blogger. He shares his successes and failures to help busy men and women squash down 20, 50, or even 100 pounds of fat without leaving their home.

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