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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 06-01-11, 06:01 PM   #1
MLKATO
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Stretching....how do you do it,and what parts to stretch?

I know it's important to stretch and to warm up before sporting events. What I don't know is what major muscle group to stretch. I know the quads are the biggest muscles used.What other muscle group do I need to stretch? And how often do you all stretch?
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Old 06-01-11, 06:16 PM   #2
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While stretching before a ride can help, I find it is more important to stretch after the ride. I stretch all the big leg groups, calfs, hams, quads and glutes as well as my back after every ride. If you do stretch before a ride, you may want to do 5-10 mins of warm up (jog on the spot, jumping jacks etc) prior to stretching to avoid injury
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Old 06-01-11, 06:44 PM   #3
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Only stretch muscles that are warmed up.
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Old 06-01-11, 07:27 PM   #4
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Only stretch muscles that are warmed up.
This
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I find it is more important to stretch after the ride.
The way I stretch is taking it easy the first 1/2 mile to 1 mile before my ride. Actual stretching before I go out just takes to much time.
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Old 06-02-11, 06:46 AM   #5
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Stretching? Never heard of it. Is that some new german band or something?
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Old 06-03-11, 02:12 AM   #6
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A buddy back in college was a semi pro rider. He would warm up with setting up exercises before the ride then stretch afterwards. He would also complain about falling asleep while massaging his hams, calves, and quads after stretching them. I never understood this until getting on the bike. Now I wish I had someone to massage my legs after a ride.

So for what its worth (though its been 20 years) I do what he did minus the massaging and adding back and neck to the equation. Warm up with light activity to get the muscles warm then do your ride then stretch afterwards.

Also, and many people find this really surprising, when I was playing rugby at Uni we never fought over the whirlpool after a match. We fought over the ice tubs. Ice is your best friend. Got pain and swelling? Especially in the joints? Ice it. Makes a world of difference. I realize it is a bit off topic but I thought I should point it out since allot of folks miss it. They think heat not ice.
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Old 06-03-11, 08:55 AM   #7
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For bike riding, you're best off to easily spin the first mile rather than stretch out. Stretch afterward!
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Old 06-03-11, 09:49 AM   #8
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Excuse the ignorance, what benefits does one see from stretching after the ride?
I know how important it is and used to know the reason but can't articulate it now. Thanks!
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Old 06-03-11, 12:40 PM   #9
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Stretching before can cause micro-tears, inflammation, and ultimately pain and dysfunction in the muscles, tendons, and ligaments because the muscle/tendon/ligament is 'cold'. That's why its important to 'warm' the muscle et al. up first.

Most aerobic and strength training programs inherently cause your muscles to contract and flex. Stretching after exercise can help to relax and balance tension on muscles that have just been exercised.
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Old 06-03-11, 01:45 PM   #10
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Excuse the ignorance, what benefits does one see from stretching after the ride?
I know how important it is and used to know the reason but can't articulate it now. Thanks!
Cool Down

Cooling down should consist of the following:
  • 5 to 10 minutes jogging/walking - decrease body temperature and remove waste products from the working muscles
  • 5 to 10 minutes static stretching exercises
Static stretches are more appropriate to the cool down as they help muscles to relax, realign muscle fibres and re-establish their normal range of movement. These stretches should be held for approximately 10 seconds.

What are the benefits of a cool down?

An appropriate cool down will:
  • aid in the dissipation of waste products - including lactic acid
  • reduce the potential for DOMS
  • reduce the chances of dizziness or fainting caused by the pooling of venous blood at the extremities
  • reduce the level of adrenaline in the blood
  • allows the heart rate to return to its resting rate

http://www.brianmac.co.uk/warmup.htm

"Studies have shown that an athlete is more likely to benefit from stretching after exercise if stretching is performed on a regular basis." ....... "By stretching afterwards the athlete gains flexibility without compromising power and strength."
http://www.brianmac.co.uk/articles/article027.htm
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Old 06-04-11, 12:26 AM   #11
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To put it simply: stretching before you work out doesn't prevent injury during the workout, but streching after a ride will help prevent chronic injury resulting from tight muscles.

Last edited by clink83; 06-04-11 at 12:32 AM.
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Old 06-04-11, 07:27 AM   #12
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Only stretch muscles that are warmed up.
Completely agree. Cold muscle stretching is asking for trouble. Many, many online resources for viewing proper stretching techniques.
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Old 06-04-11, 01:04 PM   #13
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Only stretch muscles that are warmed up.
Good thread. I may have just verified this the hard way. Docs still aren't sure whats going on.
Rain spell was starting to end and got bike ready for next day then calf started hurting at work. Couple days later, major bruising, extreme pain, some swelling. Finally went to urgent care who said to go to ER and make sure it wasn't a blood clot. Doppler and blood work came back OK. After resting, putting weight on it caused extreme pain for the 1st minute. The more I walked the less it hurt. Sit or lay down for 20 minutes and it would hurt like hell when getting back in motion. Its been 2 weeks and I 'm finally feeling human again. Still some tightness and pain at max joint flex straight or bent. Most of the pain and bruising gone though. Will do one more followup if not 95% better after 3rd week.
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