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Old 09-27-06, 10:11 AM   #1
bfloyd
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Stretching facts

I have been told that it is not good for the muscles to be stretched "cold" before going on your ride. Then, I have also heard that after a hard ride, of course streching after the ride, that you should also stretch 24 hours after to help with the usual recovery soreness. Wouldn't this 24 hour later stretch be the same as stretching a cold muscle? (I usual don't ride but every other day so I wouldn't be riding during that 24 hour after period). Thanks.
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Old 09-27-06, 11:44 AM   #2
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Stretching a cold muscle before exercise has been shown to increase the likelyhood of pulls and strains during training/sport participation.

I like to treat my stretching as a completely seperate activity from my cycling training. A couple of hours after my ride, I'll do my Yoga for 15 minutes or so to relax, aid recovery, and stretch. If you don't just jump right into your maximum stretch, but gradually progress to deeper levels of stretching, you essentially warm the muscles up while you stretch.
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Old 09-27-06, 01:44 PM   #3
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Ride around the block and then stretch then ride. It makes a huge difference.
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Old 09-27-06, 02:35 PM   #4
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Always stretch warm. After a workout, or after a warmup. I like to treat stretching as a workout.

Anecdotaly, I've never been injured because I didn't stretch before exercising.
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Old 09-27-06, 05:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bfloyd
I have been told that it is not good for the muscles to be stretched "cold" before going on your ride. Then, I have also heard that after a hard ride, of course streching after the ride, that you should also stretch 24 hours after to help with the usual recovery soreness. Wouldn't this 24 hour later stretch be the same as stretching a cold muscle? (I usual don't ride but every other day so I wouldn't be riding during that 24 hour after period). Thanks.
It is better to stretch when warm, and cycling isn't a sport where you're likely to get many overstretch injuries (unless you're a sprinter and/or track cyclist).

If I stretch 24 hours after, I try to get a little heat into my muscles before I stretch.
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Old 09-28-06, 10:06 AM   #6
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Thanks all!
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Old 09-28-06, 11:47 AM   #7
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Stretching does not help on delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). The soreness is due to some micro traumas in the muscle fibres, which are not repaired through stretching. If you like the feeling of stretching your legs after a workout, go ahead. Just remember that stretching cannot prevent that you get sore legs.
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Old 09-28-06, 10:58 PM   #8
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great thread

i don't know proper yoga, but when I finish a long ride I like to use a doorframe to help me stretch... the progress I've made is encouraging
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Old 09-29-06, 06:51 PM   #9
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It's not good to stretch a cold muscle 'cuz it doesn't stretch. Like trying to stretch a rope. You can exercise, ride bike, do very gentle stretches, or whatever to warm up the muscle so it can respond to stretching. Personally, I don't think stretching is so important before riding. Pedalling will warm up the muscle and it will become more elastic. If you're riding particularly long or hard, the muscle will start to tense up and it feels good to pause and stretch. After riding is when the muscle will tend to contract and stay tense, that's why it's important to stretch after. The muscles are completely warm and often tired, so the stretching can be more effective, but you need to use care not to over-do it. Stretching a couple of times a day helps keep the length.
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