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Thread: Stretching?

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    Riding the bike I love. sstang13's Avatar
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    Stretching?

    Hey everyone, I am getting my first road bike on saturday. I am new to biking and pretty much know nothing in depth about it.

    I am 5' 11" and 15 years old, my legs about 99% of the time I spend doing physical activities will always injure (pulled muscles/hurting bones)

    I was wondering why type of stretches I should do before going for rides and how long/ how many repeats of that stretch and when (before, during, after, all 3) ?

    Thank you.

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    Senior Member zkgiant's Avatar
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    Largely a personal thing but I try and focus on stretching the hamstrings before a ride. Various ways to do that but I hold a stretch for 10 count or so and repeat 3 x's per leg usually. I stretch a ton on the ride but again you gotta just figure that out for yourself. I hardly ever stretch after a ride but I probably should...
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    Senior Member slims_s's Avatar
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    I find that calves and hamstrings are where i need to focus my post-ride stretches. But i also stretch the IT band, quads and glutes, it feels great.

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    Riding the bike I love. sstang13's Avatar
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    Thanks guys!

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    Senior Member sggoodri's Avatar
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    I've read that stretching is unlikely to reduce your risk of injury, but can improve your flexibility and performance. I also believe that cycling has a pretty low risk of related injury compared to other sports. At 41, I don't bother stretching, but back in my late teens and twenties when I was doing martial arts in addition to cycling I needed to stretch often in order to keep my legs flexible.

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    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    I never stretch. It's actually not good for cyclists, especially not good before riding, where it definitely increases injury rate.

    What it is, is that you are 15. You are still growing. And I'll bet you try really hard to do everything well. So what you do is back off. You'll see that your bike has two or three rings in front. Don't ride in the big ring for at least a year.

    Don't ride particularly hard this year at all. Just cover distance and take it kind of easy. Start with maybe 5 miles, see how that goes. Concentrate on spinning your legs faster than you might think is a good idea. Keep the force on the pedals down.

    Don't climb hills to start with if you can avoid it. Gradually increase the distance and frequency of rides. After a couple of months, try some hills. Gear way down for them. Keep your legs moving fairly quickly, though not as fast as you do on the flat. Try to ride 5 days/week if you can. If your butt hurts or your privates go numb, come back and talk to us about that. Those are frequent complaints of beginning riders, and they don't need to be.

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    Senior Member Northwestrider's Avatar
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    For your calf muscles and Achilles tendon. Stand a couple of feet from a wall, keeping your feet where they are, lean forward with your body and due a push up off of the wall, holding the stretch. After time you may wish to increase the distance your feet are from the wall. Or stand with your feet in a pigeon toed fashion while doing the push up.

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    Riding the bike I love. sstang13's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone, that's some great great help/advice there^, and my area has little rolling hills, I live just outside of Toronto so there's no mountains or giant climbs hills, just rolling hills.

    I'll be sure to get back to you guys if I remember (bad memory :-D )

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    Senior Member ericm979's Avatar
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    Stretching is a good idea, but not to warm up for a ride. Warm up by going easy for a while. Experiment, you will find out what you need.
    I stretch in the evening when my muscles are loose. I work on my IT bands and hamstrings. Stretching the hamstrings has allowed me to lower my bars and still be comfortable.

    You may have different problem spots than I do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    I never stretch. It's actually not good for cyclists, especially not good before riding, where it definitely increases injury rate.
    Source? This seems incredibly counter intuitive to me.

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    Riding Off to the Next Adventure, RIP hooligancyclist's Avatar
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    Seconded. I've heard otherwise, that it is good to stretch, but not too intensely before a ride. Think light stretching to avoid injury, and often. When I developed tendonitis, my sports doc had me doing stretches and some plyometrics in addition to ice and advil. He was a sports doc for the cyclists during the olympics not too far back, and has recent, not antiquated knowledge.
    Quote Originally Posted by arbysovenmitt View Post
    Source? This seems incredibly counter intuitive to me.
    "Well, folks, here's the deal: I'm the best there is, plain and simple. I mean, I wake up in the morning and I piss excellence. You know, nobody can hang with my stuff. I'm just a....just a lean, shaven, American winning machine."

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    Riding Off to the Next Adventure, RIP hooligancyclist's Avatar
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    One thing that Carbonfiberboy does touch on is very important, is that you might be tempted to try to do your best right from the time you start. That does not exist! It is very easy to injure yourself and burn out by trying to do too much too soon. I've seen a lot of talented junior racers your age burn out because things do not go their way, they had high expectations and they end up quitting the sport forever. Cycling is a sport that rewards patience. I've done this myself, and the only thing that kept me on the bike is that I had no car and HAD to ride my bike to school. I did not ride on the weekends for six months because I was so burned out.
    So, sometimes you can go hard, it is a good idea to go easy, and be open to advice from others. Sometimes people give advice that works for them and it will not work for you. It is a good idea to ride with people who have been riding for many years that aren't very fast because they can pass on some very helpful advice to you. If you get to a day and feel like you HAVE to train but do not want to, it is best to rest until you want to ride again. Feeling an unwanted obligation to ride is a symptom of future burnout. Most of all, HAVE FUN!!!

    Rome was not built in a day.
    Quote Originally Posted by hooligancyclist View Post
    Seconded. I've heard otherwise, that it is good to stretch, but not too intensely before a ride. Think light stretching to avoid injury, and often. When I developed tendonitis, my sports doc had me doing stretches and some plyometrics in addition to ice and advil. He was a sports doc for the cyclists during the olympics not too far back, and has recent, not antiquated knowledge.
    "Well, folks, here's the deal: I'm the best there is, plain and simple. I mean, I wake up in the morning and I piss excellence. You know, nobody can hang with my stuff. I'm just a....just a lean, shaven, American winning machine."

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    Riding the bike I love. sstang13's Avatar
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    True true stuff! And I've been to Rome!^ lmao but ya it's wierd cause I've ridden yesterday at about noon, and this morning at 8 for the first 2 times in my life on an actual road bike, and I went 24 km (15 mi) yesterday and 41 km (25.5 mi) today for a total of 65 km (40.5 mi) and it only hurts my ass obviously! I felt a little of
    my legs and triceps during riding only a couple times throughout the ride, but now, I can feel my tri's a tiny bit, but my legs are 100% perfect!

    Is this normal for a rookie like me in this situation like me?

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    Faster than yesterday
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    For stretching hamstrings: tennis ball to apply pressure to arch of foot, to gastroc and soleus stretch, to hamstring. Each stretch for 30s. You may be very surprised how much of a difference following this pattern makes.

    For cyclists, it also makes sense to stretch the hip flexors and quads.
    Last edited by tadawdy; 07-10-11 at 02:30 PM.

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    White Bags + Red eggs Gorden Gekko's Avatar
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    I stopped stretching 2 months ago ,feel great every ride

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/02/sp...112pewarm.html

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    Single-serving poster electrik's Avatar
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    There should be no pain. Young riders who put in too many hours in bad form can develop biiig back problems since their spine is still changing. Take up yoga or something to maintain your flexibility and keep on top of any mobility problems arising.

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    after having numerous non-stretching injuries to my legs, i'd say stretching is very important. i'm actually back in the PT again for tendonitis in my knee and elbow. if you just take 10 minutes to stretch out you can avoid weeks in physical therapy.

    so if you ever find yourself stuck on a desert island and want to stretch before cycling, you can follow these tips in this video.


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    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arbysovenmitt View Post
    Source? This seems incredibly counter intuitive to me.
    You can find your own sources, just like I did. The problem with stretching is that you are moving a joint far beyond the range of motion needed during cycling. This actually makes the joint and its supporting structure weaker when you load it in the reduced range of motion. This makes sense when you think about it, and is what's behind the statistical evidence the people who stretch more have more injuries.

    Now if you were doing ballet or kickboxing or figure skating, stretching makes a lot of sense. Cycling, not so much.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    You can find your own sources, just like I did.
    .
    Sounds like an easy cop out but Ok

    http://www.livestrong.com/article/54...efore-cycling/

    http://www.bicyclekingdom.com/health..._Stretches.htm

    There's a couple. I did a pretty simple search on this aggregator called The Google Box entitled "should I stretc before cycling" and it retrieved a lot of helpful information.

    Some say you shouldn't stretch but that pertains to cold muscles. You should always warm up to get the heart rate up before cycling. The heart rate provides more oxygen enriched blood to be moved to muscles.

    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    what's behind the statistical evidence the people who stretch more have more injuries.
    WHAT?? What evidence? Maybe this is because peope who stretch are actually doing work and actually fettin sports injuries which do actually happen... actually. I hear that statistically speaking people who get in a car are more likely to get in a car accident than those who don't.

    Also, if you don't stretch after a workout of any kind you need to stretch to release the lactic acid within the muscle. If you don't you can get DOMS which is delayed onset muscle soreness. It comes a out 24 hours aftr a workout and can be prevented with proper stretching.

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    Riding the bike I love. sstang13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfreitas323 View Post
    Sounds like an easy cop out but Ok

    http://www.livestrong.com/article/54...efore-cycling/

    http://www.bicyclekingdom.com/health..._Stretches.htm

    There's a couple. I did a pretty simple search on this aggregator called The Google Box entitled "should I stretc before cycling" and it retrieved a lot of helpful information.

    Some say you shouldn't stretch but that pertains to cold muscles. You should always warm up to get the heart rate up before cycling. The heart rate provides more oxygen enriched blood to be moved to muscles.



    WHAT?? What evidence? Maybe this is because peope who stretch are actually doing work and actually fettin sports injuries which do actually happen... actually. I hear that statistically speaking people who get in a car are more likely to get in a car accident than those who don't.

    Also, if you don't stretch after a workout of any kind you need to stretch to release the lactic acid within the muscle. If you don't you can get DOMS which is delayed onset muscle soreness. It comes a out 24 hours aftr a workout and can be prevented with proper stretching.
    thanks for the info!

    oh and.. HAHAHAHAHA that was hilarious! lmfao!

  21. #21
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfreitas323 View Post
    Sounds like an easy cop out but Ok

    http://www.livestrong.com/article/54...efore-cycling/

    http://www.bicyclekingdom.com/health..._Stretches.htm

    There's a couple. I did a pretty simple search on this aggregator called The Google Box entitled "should I stretc before cycling" and it retrieved a lot of helpful information.

    Some say you shouldn't stretch but that pertains to cold muscles. You should always warm up to get the heart rate up before cycling. The heart rate provides more oxygen enriched blood to be moved to muscles.



    WHAT?? What evidence? Maybe this is because peope who stretch are actually doing work and actually fettin sports injuries which do actually happen... actually. I hear that statistically speaking people who get in a car are more likely to get in a car accident than those who don't.

    Also, if you don't stretch after a workout of any kind you need to stretch to release the lactic acid within the muscle. If you don't you can get DOMS which is delayed onset muscle soreness. It comes a out 24 hours aftr a workout and can be prevented with proper stretching.
    Oy. Firstly, it's not lactic acid, it's lactate. Secondly, lactate has nothing do to with DOMS:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lactic_...se_and_lactate
    nor will stretching prevent DOMS. Nothing to do with it.

    Thirdly:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15495679
    http://cycling.lohudblogs.com/2010/0...ke-you-slower/
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/02/sp...warm.html?_r=1

    You might want to do a little more research before posting. My high school coach wouldn't let us drink water before or during a game. Gives you stomach cramps, do you know? My 3 year-older brother had a high school physics text which said, "Light is a wave motion in the postulated ether." Conventional wisdom is slow to catch up with science.

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    Single-serving poster electrik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    You can find your own sources, just like I did. The problem with stretching is that you are moving a joint far beyond the range of motion needed during cycling. This actually makes the joint and its supporting structure weaker when you load it in the reduced range of motion. This makes sense when you think about it, and is what's behind the statistical evidence the people who stretch more have more injuries.

    Now if you were doing ballet or kickboxing or figure skating, stretching makes a lot of sense. Cycling, not so much.
    Yeah, do all your stretching during the day not right before a ride... your muscles are like elastics do not stretch them right before exercise bad things could happen.

    For some trivia... Ever wonder why the luggage carousel is so far from the international arrival area? Picking up a 60lb suitcase after your lower back has been stretched out for 12hrs straight in a chair is going to really up your risk of paaain. The airports learned by forcing people to walk for 5-10 minutes it gives passenger's muscles time to un-stretch so they don't end up in a stretcher.

    If you're in canada you can watch this lecture.

    Anyways, stretching does have benefits for cyclists such as fighting off lower-back pain due to tight hip flexors, hamstrings and the psoas muscle... but it takes a lot of consistent work to get anywhere.
    Last edited by electrik; 07-12-11 at 04:23 PM.

  23. #23
    Riding the bike I love. sstang13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by electrik View Post
    Yeah, do all your stretching during the day not right before a ride... your muscles are like elastics do not stretch them right before exercise bad things could happen.

    For some trivia... Ever wonder why the luggage carousel is so far from the international arrival area? Picking up a 60lb suitcase after your lower back has been stretched out for 12hrs straight in a chair is going to really up your risk of paaain. The airports learned by forcing people to walk for 5-10 minutes it gives passenger's muscles time to un-stretch so they don't end up in a stretcher.

    If you're in canada you can watch this lecture.

    Anyways, stretching does have benefits for cyclists such as fighting off lower-back pain due to tight hip flexors, hamstrings and the psoas muscle... but it takes a lot of consistent work to get anywhere.
    Wow that's so true! I've always wondered why in the airport try make you walk soo far just for your luggage now it all makes sence!

    Thanks for the great info!

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    For what it's worth, I injured myself by overstretching years ago, so stopped.

    Then when I started doing significant bicycle mileage recently, I started getting pretty bad overuse injuries.

    I went to a massage therapist who evaluated my range of motion (poor) and found that I had adhesions in my hips and knees. She broke a lot of those loose and gave me a set of stretches to do.

    Within two weeks I went from maybe being able to do 10 miles a day at low speed with lots of knee pain back up to almost full power: 45 miles a day 5 days a week at around 20 mph average speed with a load commuting.

    So . . . I am sure you can overdo stretching, but if your flexibility sucks because you don't stretch at all that can cause huge problems.

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    Senior Member Chaco's Avatar
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    Here's another take on stretching. I've never found much benefit from it, so this resonated with me.

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