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Stretching actually made a difference (thanks DannoXYZ)

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Stretching actually made a difference (thanks DannoXYZ)

Old 07-24-07, 08:23 AM
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Stretching actually made a difference (thanks DannoXYZ)

I've tried stretching before for different activities, but I've never seen any benefit to the greater flexibility. Danno's stretch pictures from a few months back have been in my mind as a potential fix for my TT position.

My legs have always fallen asleep during TTs after 10-20 minutes. The harder I go, the sooner they fall asleep. I've tried changing my position all over the place, and it's had no impact (right now, my saddle tip is 2cm behind my BB spindle).

Well, I did a TT last week without aero bars in my normal road position, concentrating on staying in the drops. My legs fell asleep, and I realized I could feel a lot of strain in my glutes across the bottom of my hips (like I could feel the tendons stretching out).

So, Sunday night, I decided to commit to just one stretching exercise. So, every 6 hours or so, I just stand, cross my legs at the ankle, and bend down as far as I can, gently hold it for 15s, then switch legs. In two days, I can get 2" lower during the stretch.

This morning I did the local ~8-mile TT at an "easy" pace (below LTHR until the last 2 minutes). My legs didn't fall asleep, and I got my 2nd best time ever (19:04), in spite of being 30s behind schedule at the turnaround. Previously, my increasing effort has always been hampered by the falling asleep -- but today I was able to ramp it up all the way to the finish.

I'll keep stretching, and next Tuesday, I'll hit the RunFar TT all-out and see how it goes. I feel like getting that 13s to beat my PR will be a cakewalk.
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Old 07-24-07, 08:32 AM
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Can you link to said pictures?
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Old 07-24-07, 08:36 AM
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Hooray! Congrats!
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Old 07-24-07, 09:06 AM
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Stretching is good. I try to stretch my hamstrings and calves in the shower every morning.
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Old 07-24-07, 09:11 AM
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Any value to the thought that stretching "cold" muscles is bad?
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Old 07-24-07, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by bdcheung View Post
Any value to the thought that stretching "cold" muscles is bad?
I would think not, as long as you do it right (slow and easy). I'm trying to get better about stretching as part of my warm up.

WR, you also might want to look into a foam roller, they are awesome for recovery (especially at stage races) and getting tight spots out of the muscles. There are several websites that show you how to use them for self massage.
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Old 07-24-07, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Vinokurtov View Post
foam roller
I use a rolling pin with a towel layered and sewn around it. Feels oh so good after hard riding.
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Old 07-24-07, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by waterrockets View Post
So, Sunday night, I decided to commit to just one stretching exercise. So, every 6 hours or so, I just stand, cross my legs at the ankle, and bend down as far as I can, gently hold it for 15s, then switch legs. In two days, I can get 2" lower during the stretch.

This morning I did the local ~8-mile TT at an "easy" pace (below LTHR until the last 2 minutes). My legs didn't fall asleep, and I got my 2nd best time ever (19:04), in spite of being 30s behind schedule at the turnaround. Previously, my increasing effort has always been hampered by the falling asleep -- but today I was able to ramp it up all the way to the finish.
Hey good job!!! Yeah, aero positions require flexible hamstrings and glutes since you're doubled over almost completely.




There's no problem with stretching cold as long as you hold steady tension without bouncing. Then gradually increase the stretch. Takes about 15-20 minutes and most people rush and force things and get injured. I prefer to stretch on the ground so that my body-weight doesn't force the stretch or cause bouncing. Also easier to steady yourself to hold a steady stretch.

I prefer to stretch the hamstrings one at a time. You can also do the calves by pulling back on your toes:


And splits are good for the glutes and lower back:

Last edited by DannoXYZ; 01-03-17 at 06:24 PM. Reason: fixed photo links.
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Old 07-24-07, 09:41 AM
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I agree with the benefits of stretching. For me loosening up the hamstrings and hip flexors reduced my knee pain. A key thing to remember is that the best time for static stretching is post activity when the muscles are warm. Static stretching during a hot shower will also work. Many "experts" say to avoid static stretching before an activity because you can cause micro tears in the muscle and reduce the power output of the muscle. Instead of static stretching before an activity, a dynamic warmup is recommended. A dynamic warmup is a series of movement based exercises designed to loosen the body prior to an activity. Athletes in track/field, football, tennis, and other sports are now using this warmup method.
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Old 07-24-07, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by DannoXYZ View Post
Hey good job!!! Yeah, aero positions require flexible hamstrings and glutes since you're doubled over almost completely.
My nephew is going to give me a few tips.

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Old 07-24-07, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by bdcheung View Post
Can you link to said pictures?
Danno's got my back -- he posted the same pictures above.

Originally Posted by botto View Post
My nephew is going to give me a few tips.
Dude, babies are super flexible. They can also lick their elbows because of the freakishly large heads. When my kids are in school and someone says "you can't lick your elbow," they'll all be able to truthfully say they have, because their dad is a goofball
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