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  1. #1
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    Suggest Stretching Exercise for...

    I am having a problem trying to dismount my bike...

    I guess my 70 year joints are not quite as flexible as
    they used to be.

    I don't seem to be able to lift my right leg as high as
    I would like to make a clean dismount from my bike.

    Even mounting the bike I have to tilt the bike a good
    bit to get the old leg over the saddle.

    Does anyone know of any exercises/stretches that
    could make my hips a bit more flexible?

    Thanks,

    Jerry

  2. #2
    Senior Member Terex's Avatar
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    At 70, tilting your bike is no big deal. Just do it. As for stretching, that is a bit complicated. There are books on stretching for cyclists and some info on the web. If I were you, I'd join a gym/health club with stretching/Pilates/yoga classes, and take about 3 classes a week. At your age, a regular regimen of stretching, balance and resistance training would be very useful - for the rest of your life. I'm in my 50's, and take these classes, and need to start a more active program of resistance training. I plan to do these things the rest of my life.

    I ride with a guy who is 82, and I think all he does is ride - a lot. But he is exceptional.

    Back to putting a leg over your bike... This is actually a fairly complicated process. It involves balance and hip and leg flexibility. Pretty cool stuff to be good at as we get older. As I think about it, a ballet class would probably work pretty well too. I've never looked for ballet classes for older people like us, but the concept of training for controlled, fluid movement makes a lot of sense.
    "It could be anything. Scrap booking, high-stakes poker, or the Santa Fe lifestyle. Just pick a dead-end and chill out 'till you die."

  3. #3
    Senior Member dorosz's Avatar
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    A lot of yoga is aimed at hip opening and increased flexibility all around, specific exerecises for the hips are easy to find on any site dedicated to yoga that lists Asanas, but its always a lot easier to learn proper technique with a good teacher, the local YMCA or senior center may have classes available and Yoga finder on the web can help you find techers and classes near where you live.

  4. #4
    Senior Member DnvrFox's Avatar
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    I stretch daily (or more). You need several stretches to increase your lower body flexibility.

    I always stretch after warming my muscles up a bit. I generally do it while swimming or walking a bit. Also, at the end of each spinning class. It is not recommended to stretch cold muscles.

    I generally do each stretch 30 seconds.

    Lower body

    1. Calf stretch - one leg behind you, foot on floor, depress heel and feel the stretch in your calf. Do other leg.

    2. Hip flexor. Right foot crossed over left leg, while you lower your body forming a right angle. Bring foot up to pelvis as close as possible while lowering your body. Lean your upper body forward. Feel the stretch in your hips and piriformis. Do other side

    3. Quad stretch. Standing on one leg, reach behind you and bring other leg, bending at knee, as close to you butt as possible. Do other side

    4. Hamstring stretch - One foot on ground, other leg out in front of you resting on a chair seat or similar. Keep knee slightly flexed. Move same hand out towards foot, bringing toes back. Do other foot/leg.

    5. Spread legs far apart as possible doing the "splits."

    Never hurt yourself. Stretch gently. Don't push too hard or your stretching will have an automatic opposite effect.

    I am 69yo.

    I also do a lot of resistance exercises for strengthening my entire body.
    Last edited by DnvrFox; 11-29-08 at 06:47 PM.

  5. #5
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    Leaning your bike over to get your leg over is no big deal. I'm coming up on 64 soon and I've been leaning my bike for a few years. Doesn't bother me.
    My bikes: 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---2015 Cannondale Supersix EVO carbon

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  6. #6
    Senior Member vger285's Avatar
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    http://www.fitnessanywhere.com/index.php keep everything loose and tighten up what should be....works for me.

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    Thanks for the replies...

    I sorta like the yoga idea, the bad news is that I live
    in a small town in central kentucky...

    I think there is a small 'Y' in town, I will
    give them a call Monday.

    Thanks

    Jerry

  8. #8
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Tilting the bike is no great deal. You have 10 years on me and I still tilt the bike.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  9. #9
    Ride Daddy Ride Jet Travis's Avatar
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    Here are some free yoga videos. I checked one of them out, and it actually seemed pretty good.

    http://www.yogatoday.com/
    "Light it up, Popo." --Levi Leipheimer

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    For me it is all in the technique. Try leaning forward at the waist almost like you are trying to put your chest on the handle bars then see how the leg will clear the bike.

    If you have a high speed connection and want to try yoga, then take a look at yogatoday.com. I have heard that they have a different yoga lesson for free on their site each day. With yoga it is very important to only do what you can. For example if they say to bend over and touch your toes and you can only touch your knees this is ok. Don't pull muscles and such just to do what the instructor is doing. I have been doing yoga for about a year and I know that it has helped me with balance and flexibility and core strength.

  11. #11
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    I think there are several things that will help. The first is hip flexor exercises.
    http://www.abc-of-fitness.com/leg-st...or-stretch.asp

    The second is a lateral hip stretching exercise.
    http://www.expertvillage.com/video/8...teral-hips.htm

    Finally, core strength exercises. Your stomach muscles (and lower back muscles to a lesser extent) are the foundation of any lateral movements with you legs, especially the higher you try to move your leg in a lateral position.
    http://exercise.about.com/cs/abs.--0v/l/blhips.htm
    (For this one you don't really need the ball pictured; anything that elevates your feet/legs will work fine.)

    There are lots of other exercises that will work, bu these three will get you started and should make an improvement pretty quickly.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright
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  12. #12
    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    Tilting the bike starts with the mount. The more tilt, the easier. The dismount tilt is more difficult for two reasons.

    If you have been riding for say an hour, that repetitive motion puts your body in a fixed mode. You actually lose flexibility and all that stuff about stretching is more than less, thrown out the window.

    After riding when you come to a stop, you unclip one foot, your favorite foot. The other foot becomes the sole support. Negotiating the tilt angle becomes a juggling act. So you gotta unclip both feet, one at a time. Then you can arrange the tilt angle easier.

  13. #13
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    During my 15 years as an active member of the local club, I never stretched before a club ride - we just rode slowly the first few miles until we were warmed up (muscle-wise)...

    However, I should have stretched this morning - apparently I pulled a muscle in my left leg...

    Oh, well...

    But, I have heard that over-stretching can be just as bad as not stretching at all, so, moderation is the key...

  14. #14
    train safe buelito's Avatar
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    You might try flipping your leg over the handlebars instead of over the seat... often it is easier to raise your leg forwards than backwards. Also, tilting the bike is not a bad thing

    train safe-
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by buelito View Post
    You might try flipping your leg over the handlebars instead of over the seat... often it is easier to raise your leg forwards than backwards. Also, tilting the bike is not a bad thing

    train safe-
    Wow, are there any videos demonstrating the "over the handle bars" dismount

    Actually I did one once when I hit a curb ;(

    Jerry

  16. #16
    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
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    Are you riding a road bike? If not, you might think about getting a utility type frame for your next bike. I understand that they use them a lot in Europe. Here in the U.S. they are mostly called "women's" bikes. Just step through the frame and go.
    Silver Eagle Pilot

  17. #17
    MAK
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    Not a stretching exercise but a technique that seems to work. We have a number of 65 yo and up (3 in their 80s) cyclist in a group I ride with. Instead of swinging their leg to the back and over the saddle, they swing their leg forward, bending the knee and come over the top bar. With very little practice it works very well and you save lifting your leg the additional 6-8 inches or more with the traditional dismount. It actually looks pretty cool and whatever works...

  18. #18
    Senior Member DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAK View Post
    Not a stretching exercise but a technique that seems to work. We have a number of 65 yo and up (3 in their 80s) cyclist in a group I ride with. Instead of swinging their leg to the back and over the saddle, they swing their leg forward, bending the knee and come over the top bar. With very little practice it works very well and you save lifting your leg the additional 6-8 inches or more with the traditional dismount. It actually looks pretty cool and whatever works...
    OK, but there is no reason not to strengthen your hips and increase your flexibility so that you can do it just like you used to do it, unless there is some physical reason such as arthritis.

    Why modify things when a bit of stretching and strengthening keeeps things like new?

    I have more lfexibility and strength than a lot of 40 year olds.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by yrrej View Post
    I am having a problem trying to dismount my bike...

    I guess my 70 year joints are not quite as flexible as
    they used to be.

    I don't seem to be able to lift my right leg as high as
    I would like to make a clean dismount from my bike.

    Even mounting the bike I have to tilt the bike a good
    bit to get the old leg over the saddle.

    Does anyone know of any exercises/stretches that
    could make my hips a bit more flexible?

    Thanks,

    Jerry

    I'm 69 and never stretch. There is no scientific basis for static stretching. There was a good article on the subject in the NY Times a few weeks ago that drove home that point. Possibly a google search will recover it.

    I would suggest the best way to maintain flexibility and more importantly balance and reflexes/quick reaction time is weight training. Suggest you read Younger Next Year for an easy to read overview of the science and benefits.

    If you are not riding a compact frame, you might consider getting one. That lower top tube is really nice.

    Al

  20. #20
    Senior Member DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alcanoe View Post
    I'm 69 and never stretch. There is no scientific basis for static stretching. There was a good article on the subject in the NY Times a few weeks ago that drove home that point. Possibly a google search will recover it.

    I would suggest the best way to maintain flexibility and more importantly balance and reflexes/quick reaction time is weight training. Suggest you read Younger Next Year for an easy to read overview of the science and benefits.

    If you are not riding a compact frame, you might consider getting one. That lower top tube is really nice.

    Al
    Have to disagree. It has made a tremendous difference in a couple of ways in my life. Specifically the relief of some severe piriformis pain I was having, and in a great increase in flexibility.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
    Have to disagree. It has made a tremendous difference in a couple of ways in my life. Specifically the relief of some severe piriformis pain I was having, and in a great increase in flexibility.
    The thrust of the article was that static stretching does nothing to prevent injury. Nor does it enhance performance. In fact, researchers found that static stretching weakened the muscles. This is probably a different situation from yours.

  22. #22
    Senior Member DnvrFox's Avatar
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    From the Bicycling Magazine I got today:

    Page 33

    "Banish Lower Back Pain"

    Shows two stretches to stretch the psoas muscle (Deep hip flexor).

    Page 35

    "Balance Your Body"

    Shows stretches and exercises to correct for problems from hunching forward while riding, including tight quads and hip flexors and states:

    "Stretch you quads, hip flexors, chest and shoulders daily" and then shows exercises designed to strengthen.

    My DO recommended (and taught) me stretches. Every physical therapist I know teaches some sort of stretching, as did my chiropractor - even giving classes.

    One article stating otherwise just doesn't hack it.

    If you suffer from lower back pain, you are likely a believer in stretching.
    Last edited by DnvrFox; 12-01-08 at 05:16 PM.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cone Wrench View Post
    The thrust of the article was that static stretching does nothing to prevent injury. Nor does it enhance performance. In fact, researchers found that static stretching weakened the muscles. This is probably a different situation from yours.
    I would add that it weakens tendons as well as muscles. The result of these stretched components is that your joints are no longer held together as tightly as they should be. That increases the risk of joint damage.

    Al

  24. #24
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    I found this one on my pc;

    The Claim: Stretching Can Prevent Soreness and Injury
    THE FACTS
    Leif Parsons



    Stretching — long promoted as a way to prevent injury, to reduce soreness and to speed post-exercise recovery — may not fulfill its promise. Over the years, scientists have found that stretching before or after a workout has little effect on either risk of injury or what is commonly known as delayed onset of muscle soreness, the discomfort that comes a day or more after challenging physical activity.
    Numerous studies have reached this conclusion. One of the most recent and extensive reports was published in October in The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. The report reviewed 10 randomized studies, which over all looked at the impact of stretching before and after exercise, in repeated sessions and in intervals ranging from 40 seconds to 10 minutes. The authors concluded that stretching had little or no effect on post-exercise soreness.
    Another systematic review, by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, was published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise in 2004. It looked at multiple studies and found that stretching “was not significantly associated with a reduction in total injuries,” but also concluded that more research was needed.
    For now, many experts say that what may work is a quick warm-up, like low-impact aerobics or walking. It also helps to ease into an activity by starting off slow and then increasing speed, intensity or weight (for lifting).


  25. #25
    Senior Member DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alcanoe View Post
    I found this one on my pc;

    The Claim: Stretching Can Prevent Soreness and Injury
    THE FACTS
    Leif Parsons



    Stretching — long promoted as a way to prevent injury, to reduce soreness and to speed post-exercise recovery — may not fulfill its promise. Over the years, scientists have found that stretching before or after a workout has little effect on either risk of injury or what is commonly known as delayed onset of muscle soreness, the discomfort that comes a day or more after challenging physical activity.
    Numerous studies have reached this conclusion. One of the most recent and extensive reports was published in October in The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. The report reviewed 10 randomized studies, which over all looked at the impact of stretching before and after exercise, in repeated sessions and in intervals ranging from 40 seconds to 10 minutes. The authors concluded that stretching had little or no effect on post-exercise soreness.
    Another systematic review, by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, was published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise in 2004. It looked at multiple studies and found that stretching “was not significantly associated with a reduction in total injuries,” but also concluded that more research was needed.
    For now, many experts say that what may work is a quick warm-up, like low-impact aerobics or walking. It also helps to ease into an activity by starting off slow and then increasing speed, intensity or weight (for lifting).

    Tell that to my psoas and piriformis!

    I think we may be talking two different things here.

    I am trying to correct a known problem, GREATLY affecting my lifestyle. I am not trying to prevent injuries, I am trying to solve one.

    I agree with the warmup protocol, which is what I do.

    I have seen that article before.

    Thanks for your input.

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