Stretching....

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by g8000, Jun 25, 2004.

  1. g8000

    g8000 New Member

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    How do you stretch before and after riding? I've never done any stretching whatsoever for any sport and would appreciate some tips/examples
     
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  2. nutbag

    nutbag New Member

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    You've gotta be warm when you stretch, so unless you're prepared to stop 15 (or so) minutes into your ride to stretch for 15 minutes, do what most do, and stretch after your ride. I've read some data that suggests that it's not "when" you stretch that is important, but "how often". I think you'll find that stretching feels much more effective when your muscles are really warm.

    If I'm feeling lazy I'll just stretch the "big three": hamstrings, quads and calves. If I have more time I'll progress to stretching my glutes, groins (adductors), IT bands, and occasionally my lower back. Do a google search on "stretching" and you'll get a trillion results with diagrams, etc.

    This is a good tip: many fitness fanatics, when they start stretching, have a tendency to over stretch (therefore risking injury) because they think they have to "really fee it", like a workout. When I started stretching I made this mistake, and did more harm than good.

    You should feel the muscle stretching, but it should never hurt.
     
  3. zperrys

    zperrys New Member

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    I totally agree with you, nutbag, about the muscles to stretch.

    g8000, I stretch AFTER my ride. I always try to stretch the big 4: hams, quads, calves (don't forget the Achilles tendon) and glutes. Stretching glutes: Sit down with one leg bent, put the other over and lean forward. Repeat on the other side. Once you're limber enough, and can lean forward to where your upper body is nearly parallel with your legs, it stretches your lower back too. Feels great.

    Be careful streching the groin. You can pull things in directions they're not meant to go. The safest way for me to stretch the groin is to sit down, put my feet together an pull them in as closely to my groin as is comfortable, and then lean forward, then side to side. Move slowly. Stop if it hurts.

    Good luck!
     
  4. Postie

    Postie New Member

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    There are a lot of camps that say stretching before exercise not only doesn't help, but can be harmful. Personally I'm not convinced I believe this, but the odd book will claim so.
     
  5. zperrys

    zperrys New Member

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    I've been riding for a few years, and I can tell you that streching a cold muscle has led me to more post-ride pain than I care to admit. I've found that streching a warmed up muscle (even with a good bit of lactic acid in it) is better.
     
  6. Powerful Pete

    Powerful Pete New Member

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    Is strectching after a ride that much more effective than 20 minutes spinning on the way home with a really light gear?

    Whenever I end my ride with a nice spin I have virtually no soreness, if on the other hand, I run into someone else in the last 5 km and decide to 'race' I risk hobbling around the rest of the day (I ride most mornings before work).

    Would stretching help me, given that I then sit most of the day behind a desk?
     
  7. nutbag

    nutbag New Member

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    Yes, in my opinion, definitely. Stretching and cooling down serve separate purposes.

    Stretching is more about injury prevention and increasing flexiblity, not reducing general soreness. Spinning, or 'cooling down' is mostly done for the purpose of removing lactic acid and other waste products, therefore (as you've found) reducing post-ride discomfort.


    If do a Google search on "benefits of stretching", you'll get 21 trillion hits:)
     
  8. dennis dee

    dennis dee New Member

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    A revolutionary study actually confirms that stretching when the muscles are cold or haven't warmed up is harmful and is risking muscle injury. Tennis coaches have known this for years and it's adoption is now getting widespread. For example, Jennifer Capriati does some warm-up by jogging in place before doing her stretching exercises. I can quote the study, the possible injuries and risks, and the benefits mentioned in the study but that will have to wait till I find the article(s).
     
  9. nutbag

    nutbag New Member

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    Yeah, stretching when cold never made sense to me, so I never did it.

    I'm one of those "nutbags" that thinks cycling is the answer to everything, so I don't understand why every sports person on the planet doesn't warm up their legs on a stationary bike. In my opinion, nothing warms up your legs quicker, safer and more thoroughly than 10 minutes on an exercise bike, indoors, with no fans.

    Even if there are 30 gridiron players in a team, I'd have 30 stationary bikes in the change rooms.
     
  10. wyllisx2

    wyllisx2 New Member

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    I always lightly stretch my hamstrings & quads before I go.

    When I'm done I stretch for a few minutes.

    If I feel really energetic I pop in a yoga tape & do that for 30-40 minutes. The next day after that no pain at all.
     
  11. Aztec

    Aztec New Member

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    I never have any pain or soreness the next day, regardless of the effort. I might be tired, or have heavy legs, but that's it.

    I stretch for 5 mins or so after rides.
     
  12. tanggoman

    tanggoman New Member

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    Based on my experience, lightly stretch just to loosen your body esp. the legs before a ride. After the ride is when you do the actual 'stretching'. I never had any kind of soreness even if I do a very hard ride.
     
  13. Duckwah

    Duckwah New Member

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    Isometric stretching before physical activity is detrimental to your performance and can lead to injury.

    Warm up and if you want to stretch then do some dynamic stretching. This means move into the stretch position but don't hold it for any time. Simply stretch - release and move on.

    Do your stretching for flexibility after riding or in seperate sessions

    I reccomend books and DVDs by a guy called Pavel Tsatsouline, you can get them at www.dragondoor.com

    Get "superjoints" for before exercise and "relax into stretch" for flexibility
     
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