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Thread: Do you stretch?

  1. #1
    two wheeled accomplice
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    Do you stretch?

    I know I should, but I don't.
    Do you?
    If so, what stretches do you do?

    Kaz

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    nothing: lasts forever ink1373's Avatar
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    yes.

    anything that feels like it needs to be stretched. eventually you'll get hurt if you don't.

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    Senior Member jamey's Avatar
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    stretching will change your life.

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    Senior Member skydive69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ink1373
    yes.

    anything that feels like it needs to be stretched. eventually you'll get hurt if you don't.
    That is controversial. According to Dr. Arnie Baker, prolific cycling author, and champion cyclist, there is no proof that stretching enhances one's cycling ability. Having said that, my answer is "yes" - I personally stretch. I stretch after I warm up - it is dangerous to stretch when cold. I stretch my quads, hamstrings, and calves. I personally believe that a stretched muscle is a more efficient muscle, and less likely to be injured, but again, I have read in numerous books that there is no proof that stretching helps cyclists. Some of the best cyclists I know who are very successful competitors do zero stretching. I personally will continue to stretch.
    www.brokennecktobrokenrecords.com

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    likes avocadoes
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    my partner is a stretching freak and she forces me to stretch (thankfully.) I never used to...then I would end up being laid up for days at a time with muscle pulls and tendonitis and such...not since I met her! (and I ride 40-80 miles/day).

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    hateful little monkey jim-bob's Avatar
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    I keep meaning to, but forget just about every time.

    Go me.

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    Sheldon Certified Jaminsky's Avatar
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    I know for a fact that stretching for over thirty seconds in any one position (like yoga people do) has no effect on that muscle, but it is definitely helpful as far as recovery time goes. I dont know about performance benefits, but I'd like to think it does help though.

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    NEVER!

    (Rare exception, IF I'm extra tight from strange strenuous exercise . . . like two straight matches of soccer in the over 30 league with lots of beer during and after , , , then the next day I HAVE to stretch if I want to avoid a day of pain.)

    Tyson

  9. #9
    King of the Hipsters
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    Actually, muscles and tendons don't stretch.
    When we perform the movements we think of as stretching, our muscles communicate to us the amount of residual tension our nervous system has placed in our muscles.
    The message we receive from our muscles when we stretch helps us to "let go" but the stretching itself doesn't stretch anything.
    A dead person has no brain activity sending residual tension to his muscles and so a dead person has remarkable, even grotesque range of motion.

    Stretch pleasantly, about 80% of maximum, and hold for only two seconds.

    Lay on your back with your knees up and your feet shoulder width apart.
    Keep your feet in place and gently rock your knees, slowly, left and then right until the rocking of the knees begins to roll the pelvis.
    Increase the range of rocking left and right but keep it slow.
    Let the pelvis follow the knees more and more, so that the left and right rolling of the pelvis gently turns the lower back, just as rolling the head left and right turns the vertebrae in the neck and the upper back.
    In fact, with your knees and your pelvis rocked to one side as far as comfort allows, roll your head left and right, slowly, and see how far down your spine you can turn your neck without really trying.

    As you roll our pelvis to one side by rocking your knees, think about pushing the upper knee away from you, towards the far wall; and at the same time, think about pulling the lower knee up towards your shoulders, but only think it and keep your feet on the floor.
    Leave the shoulders and your feet flat on the floor and see how far up your back, or how many vertebrae up your back you can turn without discomfort or effort, by rocking and thinking the top knee away from you without pushing.

    Still laying on your back, with your knees up and your feet shoulder width apart, push down with your feet into the floor using your buttock muscles.
    By using your buttock muscles and by pushing down into the floor with your feet, do a pelvic thrust without using any stomach muscles.
    If you can do a pelvic thrust using only your buttock muscles and no stomach muscles, you can increase the range of the pelvic thrust by visualizing your knees going towards the far wall, in the direction your feet point.
    If you can do the above (and not many people can the first time), rock your knees gently and slowly left and right, just enough to rock the pelvis a little.
    If you can do the above, the thrust and the rock, get ready for something weird.

    Put your fingers behind your head as if to lift your head up off the floor in the cradle of your fingers.
    Almost lift your head.
    Lift your head just enough so that it almost breaks ground, so that someone might slip a piece of paper under your head.
    Do the pelvic thrust and continue to lift your pelvis with your buttock muscles and your knees pointing towards the far wall, and lift your vertebrae one at a time, off of the floor, like the links in a chain, until you get almost up to your shoulders; and, if you can do all that while almost lifting your head, you will find your back growing much longer than you ever thought possible.

    If anyone can do the exploration of the back described above by following my written instructions, please let me know.
    Some dancers can do this the first time.

    I have a really bizarre one, a sitting one that everyone can do the first time, but I'll wait to see if anyone has any interest.

  10. #10
    Senior Member juf2m's Avatar
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    As a long-time ballet student, I have spent most of my life doing pretzelesque stretches. Cycling and age have both put a dent in my flexibility! Still, I love stretching and find that my legs may be tired the day after a long ride, but never sore. I attribute this in part to the thorough stretching I do.

    I start by stretching my quads, then do a kind of "side splits" ie, legs in a wide V and body on the ground, then I stretch my gludes, and hamstrings. I follow up with the forward splits (but that's just so I can continue being flexible for dance). I also like to stretch my back and sides, which get kind of sore from leaning down on the bike.

    I do all of this immediately upon getting home after the ride when I am good and warm. I do not bounce, I hold each stretch for at least 20 seconds by just grabbing a foot and pulling! It makes for a nice cool down and a certain closure to day's workout.

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    Retrogrouch in Training bostontrevor's Avatar
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    Not usually though if I'm going for a long ride, I will. Otherwise I'm prone to cramping in the legs.

    The one exception is that any ride over a couple of miles at more than a leisurely pace requires that I do some twisting stretches or I will get a side ache without fail.

  12. #12
    Positio, ergo sum! Bécane's Avatar
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    No. I know that I should. I'm too lazy.

    One day, I'll probably regret it.

  13. #13
    Theodore Roosevelt's idol TheKillerPenguin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bécane
    No. I know that I should. I'm too lazy.

    One day, I'll probably regret it.
    word.
    Masochism is a training adaptation.

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    2-Cyl, 1/2 HP @ 90 RPM slvoid's Avatar
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    I stretch afterwords otherwise I can feel my muscles tightening up. Other than that, not much.

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    nothing: lasts forever ink1373's Avatar
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    i would just like to state that it is my opinion that given the distinct difference between fixed and geared riding, this thread should have remained in the fixed forum...

  16. #16
    King of the Hipsters
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    Yes, I thought it seemed at home in the fixed gear forum.
    Oh well.

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    Lurker for Life yonderboy's Avatar
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    I wrote this about some yoga stretches. I tried to aim them at fixed gear riding, but they'll tie into any type of cycling.

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    I personally don't think stretching has all that much to do with preventing soreness. Once I've become accustomed to a training regiment, my muscles only feel tired, not sore after a workout.

    I stretch to increase my overall flexibility. I find the looser I am, the less likely I am to get back pain, and other pains associated with a limited range of motion.

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    Sprockette wabbit's Avatar
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    Apparently doing 'warmup' stretches doesn't make much difference. But I definitely stretch after, especially my back, quads,hamstrings and hip. Not stretching your hip will tighten the IT band and cause knee problems.

    One stretch I also like is for the neck. Lock your fingers together with your palms out and stretch your arms over your head and back a little bit. THen tilt your head foreward, pressing your chin toward your chest. It feels great! I find it's really good after long rides or even when you stop during a ride.
    You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. That's great...if you want to attract vermin.

  20. #20
    Huachuca Rider webist's Avatar
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    I do my stretching after riding. I have subscribed to the notion that a careful warm-up is more important than cold stretching. Seems to work for this fat old man anyway.
    Just Peddlin' Around

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    Name's Ash ...housewares Doctor Morbius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skydive69
    That is controversial. According to Dr. Arnie Baker, prolific cycling author, and champion cyclist, there is no proof that stretching enhances one's cycling ability. Having said that, my answer is "yes" - I personally stretch. I stretch after I warm up - it is dangerous to stretch when cold. I stretch my quads, hamstrings, and calves. I personally believe that a stretched muscle is a more efficient muscle, and less likely to be injured, but again, I have read in numerous books that there is no proof that stretching helps cyclists. Some of the best cyclists I know who are very successful competitors do zero stretching. I personally will continue to stretch.
    I find myself in agreement with you yet AGAIN, Skydive. When given the option of opinion vs. science, I'll go with science every time - that is unless the girl giving the opinion is extremely cute and I have a chance to score!

    I want to give credit where credit is due so below is a copy and past from a poster named Biker-Linz on another cycling forum.

    There is no compelling evidence that stretching prevents injury at all. I'm a bit surprised to see a pro-stretcher quoting the Honolulu study. The one being referred to (Lally 1994) found a 35% greater injury rate in people who *do* stretch, not the other way round. See:

    http://www-rohan.sdsu.edu/dept/coac...vol44/lally.htm

    Equally, studies into distance runners show that flexibility negatively correlates with performance. See Jones 2002 and Craib et al. 1996.

    The idea that hamstring tightness causes a loss in power is derived from a lack of understanding of cycling biomechanics. The knee flexor is actuallly *engaged* during the downstroke, although this seems counterintuitive to some. Just try holding your hamstring while you ride and you'll see what I mean.

    Stretching before exercise causes an acute loss in muscle strength. Although this shouldn't bother endurance cyclists it's worth bearing in mind if you're a trackie. See:
    http://jap.physiology.org/cgi/conte...tract/89/3/1179
    At the moment just about the only positive evidence for stretching is that it might increase strength a little if done regularly, but again this is of little consequence to endurance riders.
    As far as improved (at least acute) recovery is concerned see:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/...t_uids=15199225
    These comments are in no way intended to knock stretching if someone is suffering from limited mobility, just that there is no evidence that it will help you go quicker if you're a fit competitive cyclist.
    Hope this helps; if anyone's interested in the article I wrote earlier in the year you can find it on my website: www.science4sport.com


    Here's the thread in it's entirity...

    http://www.cyclingforums.com/showthr...8&page=1&pp=15
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  22. #22
    Now with racer-boy font! Moonshot's Avatar
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    I stretch my hamstrings. That's it.

  23. #23
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    I have a book " Bicycle Road Racing, complete program for training and competition"
    by Eddie B. an Olympic coach from 1980-84. It has a few pages of cycling specific stretches, and even off the bike warm ups that allow you to get on the bike and go all out.. One year I did the stretching every day. I have no idea if I was faster, but I felt much, much better. It's in most libraries. One can just photo copy the stretching part.
    I do some on the bike stretching on long rides. It makes me feel better.

  24. #24
    Just ride. roadbuzz's Avatar
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    I'm a believer, but don't do it enough.

    Here's why... ever notice how much even a little resistance takes off your top end? Like a moderate headwind, or a long gradual incline, or even just not lifting your leg on the upstroke? Why would resistance due to tight muscles be any different? Just that much more effort you're having to work through.

    An experiment you can try for yourself... sometime when your legs are tired, climb a full set of steps (to the next story, not like two steps to the front door ). Stretch gently and properly while watching TV for 15-30 minutes. Now go climb the steps again. If your muscles were tight at all, you'll definitely notice the difference.

  25. #25
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    I started 2 days ago. Had been off my bike for 4 days, & really noticed my calf & hamstring of 1 leg getting really sore & tight. I guess it was having withdrawels.

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