Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 27
  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    2,325
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    How flexible are you?

    I imagine that cycling benefits from flexibility somewhat and also that it impedes flexibility by tightening muscles (similar to sprinting).

    I have very bad flexibility and it is something I want to work on for my health as I think it is important, and because I want to be more flexible!

    So:

    1) How flexible are you? (I.e. can you touch your toes?)

    2) How do I get more flexible? (Any particularly good stretches etc?)

    If it helps I am a 22 year old male.

    Thanks

    Daven

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Haunchyville
    Posts
    6,342
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I am a 37yo mail, and yes, I can touch my toes. If I work at it, I can go flat palmed, so I would consider myself pretty flexible. I upped my cycling quite a bit about 3 years ago and it does not seem to have affected anything. I do stretch out twice day whether I've worked out or not. I have routine that starts with neck rolls and ends at my ankle that takes about 10 minutes. I consider it the most important physical activity I do.

    The simple answer to get more flexible is to stretch out more often.

    There are lots of websites and books you can look at for routines, so I will give just a couple pointers that work well for me.

    1. Starting warm helps. If I'm not stretching post work out I will either do it after a hot shower or after a quick dog walk.

    2. Don't bounce. It may seem like you stretch farther, but it will make you tighten up later. Stretch with relaxed movements and let gravity pull you when possible.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    UK
    My Bikes
    Kona Cinder Cone 09
    Posts
    334
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Always been very inflexible, especially in the hamstrings. The physio said they were unusually tight. Probably due to playing lots of sports in my teens and not doing any stretching.

    They're getting better now, I'm 10-15cm away from my toes when I stretch down, as opposed to 30cm one month ago. not exaggerating.

    My physio gave me a bunch of stretches to do.. I can't describe them all on here, it'd take me ages to write up just a few. The sheet they're on has diagrams though. Try and find a website with some pictures and explanations of a few stretches.

    I've started stretching daily. I stretch each group of muscles 4 times, holding for 20-30 seconds. seeing good results already.

  4. #4
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    I ride where the thylacine roamed!
    My Bikes
    Lots
    Posts
    39,820
    Mentioned
    41 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Imagine a 2x4. It's more flexible than I am. I can touch my knees!! Apparently cycling tends to tighten everything up.

    However, I have taken a few yoga classes and they do help ... I should probably attend them year round.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    2,325
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks. I do stretches as part of P90x however that isn't every day. I guess I will try to find a short routine that I can do every day.

    Thanks

  6. #6
    grilled cheesus aham23's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    8675309
    My Bikes
    2010 CAAD9 Custom, 06 Giant TCR C2 & 05 Specialized Hardrock Sport
    Posts
    6,933
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    i am not and can not. despite being a post workout stretcher for several years now. i am what i thought i was, in flexible. later.

  7. #7
    It's ALL base... DScott's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    6,717
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Funny, I've become more flexible with riding, and I don't do any stretching before or after riding. When I first started riding again 3 yrs ago, I couldn't reach the floor with fingertips. Now, I can always touch the floor with fingertips, and can go even further after a ride.

    I suspect it has to do with the positions I'm in when riding. Specifically, using back and leg muscles while in a more aero/tucked position has led to greater flexibility and range of those muscles than before.

    Doesn't make a whole of sense at first, huh!

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    76
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    way too flexible. My knees swivel in their sockets--no exaggeration. The PT's call me Gumby. This has caused knee issues that I treat with a lot of strength training. There is no way to get rid of flexibility once you have it unfortunately.

  9. #9
    Faster than yesterday
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Evanston, IL
    Posts
    1,503
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I am actually very flexible across my hips and back, but my hamstrings are pretty stiff. I'm working on that one.

  10. #10
    noooooooooooooooooooob! adacas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Fresno, Ca.
    My Bikes
    Schwinn Fastback Sport
    Posts
    261
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'm quite flexible and was once able to do the splits before getting sidelined with a rib injury a couple years ago. It's been hard gettin back on the wagon but I'm still more flexible than most. I stretch everything starting with the calves and working my way up taking my time. Even my wrists are quite flexible in case someone tries to put a wristlock on me during training.

  11. #11
    Just ride. roadbuzz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    C-ville, Va
    Posts
    3,244
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I think a lot of flexibility is genetic. I've been cycling for years and remained pretty flexible. A few years ago I took up yoga and have gotten more flexible. IMO, yoga is good because it's essentially focused, total body stretching, and it has a core strength component.

  12. #12
    noooooooooooooooooooob! adacas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Fresno, Ca.
    My Bikes
    Schwinn Fastback Sport
    Posts
    261
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by roadbuzz View Post
    I think a lot of flexibility is genetic. I've been cycling for years and remained pretty flexible. A few years ago I took up yoga and have gotten more flexible. IMO, yoga is good because it's essentially focused, total body stretching, and it has a core strength component.
    I second the yoga claim as I took it as an elective a while back. Really tones you up and it didn't hurt that I was one of only 2 guys in a class full of women in tights and shorty shorts. Downward facing dog is the best part especially when you're in the back

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    2,325
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Ye I am trying to get into yoga but I find it quite difficult as the lack of flexibility means I get tired quite quickly as I have to use strength alone to hold me up!

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    172
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I can touch my toes, and on a good day can almost get my palms flat on the ground. But I am very inflexible side to side (i.e. trying to do a split). That's probably because I rarely if ever stretch that way.

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    582
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I recommend doing yoga. It will get you flexible in ways you did not think you could. If you want to go more aggressive, go for an astanga or power yoga. Even a vinyasa yoga will be a bit more aggressive. If you're looking for something that starts out a bit less aggressively and more gentle, consider hatha yoga or kripalu yoga. Both of them are more easygoing and slower than the other three.

    You can also get the book called "Stretching" by Bob Anderson. It is BY FAR the best book on stretching I've ever come across. I just can't recommend it enough. I'll even go as far as saying that it should be a book that any person, whether recreational athlete or professional, should have at home, reading regularly, and using to its fullest extent.

    koffee
    i'm koffee brown, dammit!
    one of my new faves: http://streetknocknetwork.com

  16. #16
    Senior Member stevnim's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    St Louis Park, MN
    My Bikes
    2009 Surly Long Haul Trucker & 2014 Brompton M6R
    Posts
    91
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'd like to be flexible enough to pick up a girl's notebook on the ground while riding like in the movie "Breaking Away". But I can't touch the floor without some effort.
    Last edited by stevnim; 11-22-09 at 11:14 PM.

  17. #17
    Senior Member jdon's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    SW GTA
    Posts
    4,206
    Mentioned
    5 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    My Doc calls me Gumby. Proper warm up's, lots of post ride stretching, hot morning shower with a 20 minute post shower stretch. I was always very tight and was prone to injury. Not any more.

  18. #18
    Senior Member ericm979's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Santa Cruz Mountains
    Posts
    6,170
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'm almost 50 and I can get my palms flat on the floor with ease. Some of that is genetic but I also have done a lot of stretching, especially when I was a runner.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Jim from Boston's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    3,218
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    Imagine a 2x4. It's more flexible than I am. I can touch my knees!! Apparently cycling tends to tighten everything up.

    However, I have taken a few yoga classes and they do help ... I should probably attend them year round.
    I do yoga, trying to do it every day. I can do a headstand, and almost touch my palms to the floor with knees straight when I’m at my best. There are some poses that I use as an index of my flexibility, most notably the Plough.

    I find though that cycling helps my yoga more than vice versa. When I’m cycling a lot I’m more flexible. Yoga’s contribution to my cycling, IMO is besides flexibility, breathing, balance and what I consider “energy flow”; directing energy output for efficient cycling—it’s a head thing.

  20. #20
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    582
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    Imagine a 2x4. It's more flexible than I am. I can touch my knees!! Apparently cycling tends to tighten everything up.

    However, I have taken a few yoga classes and they do help ... I should probably attend them year round.
    Actually, lack of stretching tends to tighten everything up in general, not just cycling. Hormonal decreases over the years also can lead to tightness. But yes, yoga will help tons. Even going once per week is better than not going at all!

    koffee
    i'm koffee brown, dammit!
    one of my new faves: http://streetknocknetwork.com

  21. #21
    Senior Member aeiadart's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    135
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by daven1986 View Post
    Thanks. I do stretches as part of P90x however that isn't every day. I guess I will try to find a short routine that I can do every day.

    Thanks
    Im getting ready to start P90X, how do you like it so far? Ive done abb ripper x, kenpo x and some Stretch x and it seems to kick ass.
    Artistic evolution is a dying Art.

  22. #22
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    2,325
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by aeiadart View Post
    Im getting ready to start P90X, how do you like it so far? Ive done abb ripper x, kenpo x and some Stretch x and it seems to kick ass.
    It is brilliant. Try cardio X as it does a bit of everything. I like the core video too. Basically it is just what I need to motivate me as if I was left to my own devices I'd probably not do a whole hour and wouldn't work as hard.

  23. #23
    Senior Member aeiadart's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    135
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by daven1986 View Post
    It is brilliant. Try cardio X as it does a bit of everything. I like the core video too. Basically it is just what I need to motivate me as if I was left to my own devices I'd probably not do a whole hour and wouldn't work as hard.
    Sweet, i will check it out. Im going be doing the workouts every other day or so for the first month so i can keep biking as my primary form of cardio until winter hits where ill have to train inside and ill be doing the workouts every day. How do you like your results so far?
    Artistic evolution is a dying Art.

  24. #24
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Flagstaff, AZ
    My Bikes
    Marin Pt. Reyes, Gary Fisher HiFi Pro, Easy Racers Gold Rush recumbent, Cannondale F600
    Posts
    976
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Been pretty flexible most of my life, even now, well into my 6th decade (decayed?). I attribute it partly to genetics and partly to being a lifelong runner. Wrestling with my teenage cousins helps too, they always find creative ways to flex me. .
    Last edited by rnorris; 11-30-09 at 05:24 PM.

  25. #25
    Dammit!
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    231
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I was not very flexible. And I have an on-again, off-again love affair with stretching, it's just one of those things that I always procrastinate on. When I did stretch regularly (like 3 sets of 20 sec each), I can touch the floor with fingertips. But now that I've added a foam roller to my routine and following up with only 1 set of stretching each body part, (every night for 2 months now), I can almost flat palm the floor. The foam roller is almost magical, it's also eased away most of my aches and pains from riding, allowing me to go longer.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •