Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 35
  1. #1
    No matches Flatballer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    My Bikes
    two wheeled ones
    Posts
    10,182
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    The Good, the Bad, and the Unsure: Stretching

    Basically what the title says. I've read so many different things about stretching. It helps prevent injuries, it doesn't prevent injuries. Flexibility is good, flexibility can be bad. It helps performance, it hurts performance. It helps soreness, it doesn't. Etc.

    I stretch currently, but mostly out of habit and tradition. About 10 minutes after a ride. Hamstrings, quads, calves, feet, achilles, back, hip flexors, groin.

    Doing it mostly to increase flexibility and because I feel like it helps reduce my soreness (whether it does or not).

    Do you guys do it? Do you think it helps? Is it more superstition and tradition? When/what do you stretch and why?
    It's a bike race, not a tea party. - GirlAnachronism

  2. #2
    Legs of Steel chrisvu05's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    On my bike
    My Bikes
    Pegoretti Marcelo, Cannondale six13
    Posts
    1,826
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I think the current consensus is that stretching before exercise is unnecessary but after exercise can help keep injuries to a minimum. Basically you want to increase your flexibility in your everyday life. So stretching everyday helps limit your overall injury chances but stretching prior to exercise has no noticeable benefit to the ride you're about to go on.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Nick Bain's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    MINNESNOWTA!
    My Bikes
    raliegh pursuit, Caad8, Tarmac comp, Raleigh R700, Raliegh M80, Schwinn prostockIII, Sawnwa Mixte custom Chopper
    Posts
    1,663
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I find stretching to be most beneficial when its hard to move or feeling sore. + heat or man bath.
    Quote Originally Posted by toddles View Post
    Nick, I don't necessarily like agreeing with you -- but your spot on.

  4. #4
    ride lots be safe Creakyknees's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    4,968
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    It feels good, so I do it.
    "have fun and be kind"
    - an internet post

  5. #5
    Senior Member jsutkeepspining's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    ohioland/right near hicville farmtown
    Posts
    4,447
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    i just stretched. it hurt, but ill wake up tomorrow feeling nice!
    cat 1-o-meter: wtf am i doing??????
    Quote Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
    You're not dumb. You're just less smart.

  6. #6
    **** that mattm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    CALI
    Posts
    10,420
    Mentioned
    19 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Some pros, at least this one, seem to swear by it: http://manualforspeed.com/2012/07/stretching/

    I do a little, nothing involved or with devices.
    Cat 1 o-meter: 24/35 points

    Race Ready app | Race Results app | Steephill.ios app

    blog

  7. #7
    Senior Member grolby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    BOSTON BABY
    Posts
    6,428
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Bain View Post
    I find stretching to be most beneficial when its hard to move or feeling sore. + heat or man bath.
    Man bath? WTF?

  8. #8
    **** that mattm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    CALI
    Posts
    10,420
    Mentioned
    19 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by grolby View Post
    Man bath? WTF?
    Instead of candles, maybe you put a sheen of gas on the surface and light it on fire? Manly!
    Cat 1 o-meter: 24/35 points

    Race Ready app | Race Results app | Steephill.ios app

    blog

  9. #9
    Senior Member mazdaspeed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    WA state
    Posts
    4,818
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I've had a sports doctor tell me to stretch and it's made me feel a lot better. It's especially great for training rides when I'm already tired, I ride for like 30 mins then get off and stretch at least the quads, keep doing it every 30 mins or so until I feel good to go for the rest of the ride.

  10. #10
    Senior Member topflightpro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    2,619
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I stretch daily. It is part of my regimen to prevent back injuries, many of which can be caused or exacerbated by tight hamstrings.

  11. #11
    grilled cheesus aham23's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    8675309
    My Bikes
    2010 CAAD9 Custom, 06 Giant TCR C2 & 05 Specialized Hardrock Sport
    Posts
    6,933
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    post ride stretching and hitting the foam roller 2 x a week keeps me feeling good. when i dont do it i can feel the tightness and potential for muscle snapping at every turn. ymmv. later.

  12. #12
    You blink and it's gone. rbart4506's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Dundas, Ontario
    My Bikes
    Race bike, training bike, go fast bike and a trainer slave.
    Posts
    4,335
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Stretch after riding...Foam roller every morning...Keeps me going...
    "On the other hand riding down a hill at 55 MPH wearing (essentially) women's underwear and a Styrofoam cup on your head is the epitome of rational life-extending decisions." - RacerEx

  13. #13
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Tariffville, CT
    My Bikes
    Tsunami Bikes
    Posts
    11,790
    Mentioned
    9 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I lived with a physical/massage therapist for a couple years. She recommended stretching and I stretched for those years. The other 28 years I've been racing (evenly spread before and after the stretching) I didn't stretch. My best years weren't when I was stretching, but that's correlation, not causal.

    I view stretching as idling the car in the driveway to warm up. I can warm up the car in the driveway or I can drive it down the road just a bit slower than all out. I do many races with no warm up and the longest cool down I'll do is a minute or so (often I stop within 50-100m and get off my bike). Even when I train a lot, like a SoCal training camp, I don't stretch unless it feels good or I feel like I need to (like when my calf feels tight so I stretch it a bit). I don't consciously stretch.

    For my back I find that core work is critical. That or actual labor. I no longer move lots of weight around (lift 40-80 lbs bags, stack 1-10 at a time to move them manually, 1-5-10 times a day; high would be 5000-10,000 lbs in a day, low 500-1000 lbs) and I noticed my back is getting a bit more finicky.

  14. #14
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    25 miles northwest of Boston
    My Bikes
    Bottecchia Sprint
    Posts
    11,592
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    not another stretching thread ... does anyone tell you to breath? just stretch and be done with it.
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  15. #15
    Closet Fred CoyoteEatsGirl's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Vista, CA
    My Bikes
    Trek 5200 OCLV. Bianchi Pista
    Posts
    88
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'm a Holistic Health Practitioner (which is a fancy way of saying I took a crapton of massage certification classes and kind of makes me sound like a barefoot hippie.) This question comes up quite a bit at work.

    The general consensus is that stretching or massage directly before an activity-- i.e., less than an hour before an activity-- can negatively impact performance, but LIGHT stretching a little over an hour before is alright. A lot of people try and stretch too deeply and too quickly, which actually tears muscle fibers.

    As echoing a lot of earlier responses, stretching AFTER an activity is much more critical because you've accumulated lactic acid in your muscles which are then having a difficult time returning to a relaxed state after contraction. Stretching is basically akin to self massage, in that you're essentially releasing your own tension and working some of the lactic acid out, so best results generally come with staying hydrated/not drinking the entire pitcher later that night.

    I usually tell my athlete clients that flexibility can improve your performance significantly, but you have to work at it. A lot of people try and only stretch a little bit when they're sore/right before a big event/whenever they feel guilty about doing it, which is basically akin to only training hard the week before a race. Additionally, stretching for 5 seconds and then moving on to a new stretch is generally considered lip service; you're not really benefiting from a stretch until the around the 30 second mark.

    One last thing that may help: with cyclists, keep in mind we all spend our time hunched forward, shoulders rolled slightly forward with pour hands in the drops, and, over hours and hours and months our bodies shift so that our shoulders are protracted forward. It can affect the way you breath deeply and is just generally uncomfortable, but most of us never think to try and do some chest-opening stretches. It'll make life generally better. (Think the same about most of your muscles-- ex: our knees are usually up near our chests so our hip flexors end up really short, and doing some extension stretches can prevent you from feeling like an old man.)

    Sorry if that was a long response on a subject that has been beaten to death, but it's something I'm actually knowledgeable about for once, dammit.

  16. #16
    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Austin (near TX)
    My Bikes
    rkwaki's porn collection
    Posts
    25,599
    Mentioned
    13 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    FWIW, I remember seeing Ullrich stretch in a Tour TT start house just before he got on his rig. He was going deep enough on the hamstrings to put his face against his knees. That was a day that he beat Lance.

    I pretty much have to stretch before a TT or my legs will fall asleep after 15 minutes.

  17. #17
    Must Go Faster veloboy971's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Stopped at the bakery
    My Bikes
    Giant TCR Advanced, Trek Madone 5.2 Pro, BMC Road Racer SL01
    Posts
    931
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I always stretch before and after rides. I don't know if theres any benefit but I tend to feel better when I stretch and when you feel better I say you perform better.
    Pioneer Mortgage p/b Yourkey.com Cycling Team - https://www.facebook.com/pioneermortgagecyclingteam

  18. #18
    No matches Flatballer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    My Bikes
    two wheeled ones
    Posts
    10,182
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
    not another stretching thread ... does anyone tell you to breath? just stretch and be done with it.
    Thanks for the wisdom, but the research isn't quite that cut and dry.
    It's a bike race, not a tea party. - GirlAnachronism

  19. #19
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Let me check.
    My Bikes
    Of course.
    Posts
    10,977
    Mentioned
    12 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by CoyoteEatsGirl View Post
    stretching AFTER an activity is much more critical because you've accumulated lactic acid in your muscles which are then having a difficult time returning to a relaxed state after contraction.
    While the majority of your post is very good, the comments about lactic acid are not accurate. Lactic clears fairly quickly and is not responsible for muscle soreness or inability to return to a relaxed state.

    Good article here


    In fact, lactic is used as fuel.

    But again, much of what you posted is good and I'll both augment and add to your other points:

    We do a lot of repetitive motions in the same position. Stretching is both an exercise (see: yoga) and a recovery tool to recover range of motion that can be lost by cycling. For an overall health strategy, there are worse ideas to both prevent injury and to feel better.

    The addition I would make is that stretching can sometimes "cure" issues that western medicine is incline to throw knives and pills at. I suffered several back injuries over the years and the best relief I ever received form chronic pain was from stretching; my hypothesis is that it relieved muscle tension that was causing alignment issues and nerve pressure.

  20. #20
    Closet Fred CoyoteEatsGirl's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Vista, CA
    My Bikes
    Trek 5200 OCLV. Bianchi Pista
    Posts
    88
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
    While the majority of your post is very good, the comments about lactic acid are not accurate. Lactic clears fairly quickly and is not responsible for muscle soreness or inability to return to a relaxed state.

    Good article here


    In fact, lactic is used as fuel.

    But again, much of what you posted is good and I'll both augment and add to your other points:

    We do a lot of repetitive motions in the same position. Stretching is both an exercise (see: yoga) and a recovery tool to recover range of motion that can be lost by cycling. For an overall health strategy, there are worse ideas to both prevent injury and to feel better.

    The addition I would make is that stretching can sometimes "cure" issues that western medicine is incline to throw knives and pills at. I suffered several back injuries over the years and the best relief I ever received form chronic pain was from stretching; my hypothesis is that it relieved muscle tension that was causing alignment issues and nerve pressure.
    Holy crap, I stand corrected. I'm about to go blow someone's world apart at work with this. Every massage therapist I've worked with recite (as the article mentions people commonly do) that an accumulation of lactic acid is responsible for soreness and that you're "releasing" some of the lactic acid out of the muscles when you perform a circulatory massage. Which is apparently untrue.

    Gracias for the informative link.

  21. #21
    fuggitivo solitario echappist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Arlington, VA
    Posts
    7,659
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    for anyone else interested in fatigue and soreness, may i suggest this:

    https://www.cfa.harvard.edu/~jfliu/18573378.pdf

    lots of hypotheothis, but nothing definitive.

  22. #22
    Still spinnin'..... Stealthammer's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Whitestown, IN
    My Bikes
    Fisher Opie freeride/urban assault MTB, Redline Monocog 29er MTB, Serrota T-Max Commuter, Klein Rascal SS, Salsa Campion Road bike, Pake Rum Runner FG/SS Road bike, Cannondale Synapse Road bike, Santana Arriva Road Tandem, and others....
    Posts
    1,196
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I've been stretching and doing tai chi and yoga for over 30 years and so I really don't care about what the current "research" says, I enjoy it and feel that I am benefitted by it so I will just keep on doing what I am doing.
    Just your average 'high-functioning' lunatic, capable of passing as 'normal' for short periods of time.....

    “The difference between genius and stupidity is; genius has its limits.” - Albert Einstein

    “We all know that light travels faster than sound. That's why certain people appear bright until you hear them speak.” - Albert Einstein

  23. #23
    Senior Member agoodale's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Murrieta, CA
    Posts
    1,022
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I found that adding some specific stretches into my weekly routine has allowed me to ride comfortably in a more aero position. No point in doing all those intervals if you're going to give watts away to the wind.

  24. #24
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Saratoga, CA
    Posts
    11,496
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by CoyoteEatsGirl View Post
    Holy crap, I stand corrected. I'm about to go blow someone's world apart at work with this. Every massage therapist I've worked with recite (as the article mentions people commonly do) that an accumulation of lactic acid is responsible for soreness and that you're "releasing" some of the lactic acid out of the muscles when you perform a circulatory massage. Which is apparently untrue.

    Gracias for the informative link.
    That tightness in the muscles and knots are caused by a couple of things other than lactic acid. One source is bound-up Z-bands in the muscles. The fibres slide over each other and when pushed hard, they can rupture and the surfaces are no longer smooth. The muscle can't fully relax and stretch out to its original length. These tears also leak out cell-plasma fluids that trigger rebuilding. There's an optimum amount of muscle-damage that needs to be done for rebuilding that leads to the fastest improvements in strength, but beyond that, you slow down the strength-building because you have to use such extended recovery periods. You can track the degree of muscle-damage by measuring levels of creatine kinase and hydroxyproline.

    The role that stretching and massage plays is to provide an external source of stretching to relax the muscles and restore it to its original shape. The kneading also disperses the leaked out cell enzymes and triggers rebuilding faster.

    Note that this after-workout tightness is different than DOMS (typically shows up after 2-3 days), which is more severe and may be considered a borderline injury. That kind of soreness can be attributed to myofibrillar disruption, macrophage and fibroblast accumulation, and even some necrosis in the muscle.

    ------------------------------------------------
    references:

    Stone MB, Merrick MA, Ingersoll CD, et al. Preliminary Comparison of Bromelain and Ibuprofen for Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness Management. Clin J Sport Med. 2002;12:373–378.

    Rowbottom DG, Keast D, Morton AR, et al. The emerging role of glutamine as an indicator of exercise stress and overtraining. Sports Med. 1996;21:80–97.

    Smith, Lucille L., Causes of delayed onset muscle soreness and the impact on athletic performance: a review. Jn. Appl. Sport Sci. Res. 6(3): 135-141, 1992.

    Armstrong, R.B., G.L. Warren and J.A. Warren. Mechanisms of exercise-induced muscle fiber injury. Sports Med. 12(3): 184-207, 1991.
    Last edited by DannoXYZ; 09-12-12 at 04:13 AM.

  25. #25
    Fast for a sloth miwoodar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Denver-ish
    My Bikes
    Some
    Posts
    1,134
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I don't stretch. I did a bit when I was training for IM until I came across this article (http://www.runnersworld.com/article/...7001-0,00.html). I happen to be a pretty bendy guy. If you're not, you will have a different take home message. The logic resonated with me so I quit but for specific circumstances (when I'm tight or injured).

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •