You already have all the equipment you need. I usually put mine on my top-tube rather than seat, and then grab my toe.
Start slowly, breath deeply, and try to relax the pain/tension away.
You can usually get the most gains by doing this after your rides, while your muscles are warm & pliable. If you really want to go nuts, you can spin easy for 15 minutes to warm up, then stretch before your rides.
If you have an old belt lying around, you can also do this one:
And for added fun, you can pull each leg to the extreme left and right. For example, keeping your right foot in the strap, grab the strap with your LEFT hand and pull your leg across to the far left (which is good for stretching your IT band) and then return the strap (with foot still in it) to your right hand, and extend your right left upward and outward to stretch your groin, thus:
Last edited by calamarichris; 06-24-10 at 02:19 PM.
The lady seated flat on her back is holding the leg at about 90 degrees. This is similar to what I do but standing up. Most doorways are about 3 feet wide. But some entrance ways are a bit wider. So I stand at one end of the entrance way and prop the other leg up against the opposite side. That gives me more than a 90 degree angle.
If I keep that position for about 5 seconds, it starts to burn. I switch legs and repeat. Immediately you will notice that you can now do toe touches easily. The rope thing is ok but the standing thing is way harder. I do this a few times, alternating the legs. At times, I try to get the angle really high and for a prolonged time.
To measure the benefit, just try the toe touches before and after. Now, if you're six feet tall, there aren't many entrance ways that will accommodate your leg length.
The problem with stooping over to touch your toes after a ride is the occasional head-rush.
Sure they're great fun, until your housemate wakes you up on the kitchen floor lying in a pool of chocolate milk, which has begun to saturate the chamois of your riding shorts.
Also elevating the legs while stretching after a ride is good for flushing & circulating the metabolites & other junk out of there.
I've been doing the splits for years and I find it to be a good hammie stretch. If you've never done the splits it might take 12 months for you to get to the floor. I usually measure by easing down until my nuts rest on the floor.
from my cross country days i figured out the best way to stretch my hamstring.
sit down, extend right leg, fold your left foot so the bottom touches the inside of your right thigh.
make a fist with your right hand and set it under your right knee in a vertical position (like you're holding a coffee cup).
reach over with your left hand and try to touch your toes. switch hands (while putting the other fist under your knee), then switch legs and repeat.
the fist under the knee keeps your knee from overextending, and gives a better stretch on the hamstring instead of the tendons on the back of your knee.
also, hold in the same position for at least 30 seconds and RELAX! after 30 seconds, move further and hold again. if you are only reaching for 5 seconds, you are doing nothing but tensing your muscles up.