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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 08-27-13, 05:14 PM   #1
JoeGrizzly
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Stretching

Can anyone recommend some cycling specific stretches I can do before and after a ride? Thanks.
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Old 08-27-13, 05:21 PM   #2
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When I used to run, I'd always do a series of stretches first, but cycling doesn't seem to call for them. Rather than stretching, I generally just start off riding gently for the first couple miles, slowly building up my cadence and effort. That warms the muscles up nicely and gets me comfortable in the saddle, lets me adjust my shoes, etc.

Others may have differing opinions, of course.

EDIT: A couple hours after a long ride, go for a walk, just a block or two. I find my muscles have started to tighten up by then, and that loosens them up nicely.
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Old 08-27-13, 05:49 PM   #3
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I have experienced improve cycling workouts in the past, if I stopped and stretched after the first 5-10 minutes. But, I rarely do that anymore. (shoulder shrug) Don't know why I don't.

After rides both Mrs. Fred and I try to go through the basic schedule of calf, quad, hamstring and whatever else feels tight or like it could benefit from some attention. Since we also both suffer from lumbar issues we have a schedule of back stretches and poses that we participate in on a daily basis.

With regard to any of the stretches being "cycling specific", they aren't. They're the same stretches for each muscle that we would use for other activities. There are often times multiple ways to stretch the same muscle or muscle group. For instance, stretching quads while standing vs on the trainer. There are a ton of different hamstring stretches. Determine which work best for you and your circumstances.

And, by the way, there is no shortage of information that either challenges or affirms the usefullness of stretching as it relates to sporting performance. But, both the Mrs. and I feel better when we do, so we do.
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Old 08-27-13, 06:59 PM   #4
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I have noticed recently that the more I stretch after a ride the better I feel the next day. Not just not being sore but stronger and ready to go again. I have taken to a pretty elaborate stretching routine but laying on my back and stretching my hips by crossing a knee over seems to make the biggest difference.
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Old 08-27-13, 09:20 PM   #5
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Look at some of the videos from the GNC guys on YouTube. I like this one particularly and use the stretches quite often:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LvtOxWXskcg


I will also say find a position that you can feel the muscle being stretched, sometimes I get a tightness that most "normal" stretches won't relieve and I have to make one up. Especially with inner thigh muscles like the abductors and adductors.

Also, and I meant to post a thread on this, but getting a 4 or 6" PVC pipe, wrap it in a towel (like I did) or foam and using it as a foam roller is heavenly! It hurts but MAN it gets in the leg and back muscles really deep. I never liked real foam rollers since they always seemed to soft, so I did the PVC roller and use it several times a week.
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Old 08-28-13, 09:02 AM   #6
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I don't stretch before getting on the bike, probably because I don't know of any good stretches. I usually just take the first 3 miles of my ride at a very easy pace to warm up before pushing myself to ride faster.
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Old 08-28-13, 11:13 AM   #7
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I hate stretching but I like hot showers so I usually do my leg stretches in the shower! Charlie
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Old 08-28-13, 11:33 AM   #8
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Skip the stretching before you exercise. Instead, start by riding a bit slower to warm up your muscles.
This article explains some of the research behind this.
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Old 08-28-13, 07:40 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the helpful replies guys.
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