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recommended stretching routine to increase aero?

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recommended stretching routine to increase aero?

Old 04-29-10, 09:55 AM
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recommended stretching routine to increase aero?

Pretty interesting recent thread with a smattering of good input.

Anyway, I was wondering if those of you who have succeeded in increasing your flexibility could recommend a handful of stretches and a basic routine that would help me progress from touching my toes to palms on the ground?

I really have no idea what exercises/reps/durations would provide the greatest gains.

TIA
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Old 04-29-10, 09:56 AM
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simple hatha yoga.
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Old 04-29-10, 10:03 AM
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Try to touch your toes. If you can't, grab your ankles and try to pull yourself down (slowly). Once you can touch them, try to put your palms on the ground (still working on that one myself).

Also, general core exercises are good here - you don't just need to be flexible, but also toned/strong enough to be able to hold such a position on the bike.

And yoga too, as Grumpy said.

Then again I don't have the most aero position...
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Old 04-29-10, 10:06 AM
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Mine was simple, 5 minutes/day.

Standing: cross legs with feet close together. Bend down to stretch the back leg, which is held straight by the other. Go down in surges -- slower than a bounce. Once the limit is reached, hold it for a few seconds and repeat.

Switch legs and repeat.

Then stand with straight legs, feet touching and bend down to stretch both at the same time. Same surge/hold pattern.

Once my flexibility got going I had to switch to the floor to let gravity help me stretch the hamstrings. My core was getting blown out trying to stretch those big muscles while standing, but seated I could leverage the weight of my torso.

That's it.
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Old 04-29-10, 10:06 AM
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Mine was simple, 5 minutes/day.

Standing: cross legs with feet close together. Bend down to stretch the back leg, which is held straight by the other. Go down in surges -- slower than a bounce. Once the limit is reached, hold it for a few seconds and repeat.

Switch legs and repeat.

Then stand with straight legs, feet touching and bend down to stretch both at the same time. Same surge/hold pattern.

Once my flexibility got going I had to switch to the floor to let gravity help me stretch the hamstrings. My core was getting blown out trying to stretch those big muscles while standing, but seated I could leverage the weight of my torso.

That's it.
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Old 04-29-10, 10:13 AM
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I've done yoga on and off since 88. That said, I am not the most flexible in terms of what we are discussing, although, to be honest, I spend a lot more time in the drops than most people I race with and my TT position is pretty aggressive.
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Old 04-29-10, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by aggro_jo View Post
Anyway, I was wondering if those of you who have succeeded in increasing your flexibility could recommend a handful of stretches and a basic routine that would help me progress from touching my toes to palms on the ground?
I stretched for years and could easily touch my palms to the ground... but this didn't allow me to get in the aero position without back pain. What *did* help was focusing on completely relaxing my core. Now I can get as low as I want. I quit stretching altogether.

If you want to stretch though I'd highly recommend isolated leg stretches... use a belt or strap wrapped around your foot and gently stretch the hamstring and glute.

Last edited by rruff; 04-29-10 at 10:21 AM.
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Old 04-29-10, 10:22 AM
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I should mention that really the best way to get used to a low position is just to ride in that position a lot.
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Old 04-29-10, 10:24 AM
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Bouncing when stretching is a terrible idea.

Move till where you feel a stretch in your muscle but no pain. Hold for 20-30 secs. Do this 3 times per stretch. Less likely to rip a muscle this way.
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Old 04-29-10, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by ridethecliche View Post
Bouncing when stretching is a terrible idea.

Move till where you feel a stretch in your muscle but no pain. Hold for 20-30 secs. Do this 3 times per stretch. Less likely to rip a muscle this way.
To be clear, I don't bounce. I surge slowly, and inertia is not part of the stretch. I just don't hold it for 20-30 seconds. I got a better stretch surging further and further for less time (3-5 seconds).

Maybe it's my muscle makeup, but holding for 20-30 seconds didn't do anything more than just hurt a lot. I never could get limber with that method. When I started surging into it and coming back up I really saw the flexibility gains in a hurry.
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Old 04-29-10, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by ridethecliche View Post
Bouncing when stretching is a terrible idea.

Move till where you feel a stretch in your muscle but no pain. Hold for 20-30 secs. Do this 3 times per stretch. Less likely to rip a muscle this way.
To be clear, I don't bounce. I surge slowly, and inertia is not part of the stretch. I just don't hold it for 20-30 seconds. I got a better stretch surging further and further for less time (3-5 seconds).

Maybe it's my muscle makeup, but holding for 20-30 seconds didn't do anything more than just hurt a lot. I never could get limber with that method. When I started surging into it and coming back up I really saw the flexibility gains in a hurry.
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Old 04-29-10, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by mattm View Post
Try to touch your toes. If you can't, grab your ankles and try to pull yourself down (slowly). Once you can touch them, try to put your palms on the ground (still working on that one myself).
This time last year I was doing some PT for a sciatic nerve issue, and hamstring stretches came up. My PT busted the "standing-bend-over-touch-your-toes" stretch pretty badly. Here's the thing, when you bend over while standing, your hamstrings are conflicted: they're engaged to help support your weight (so you don't fall over), but you're also trying to stretch them. It ain't gonna work (more precisely, it ain't gonna be that effective).

Now, the above does help to stretch your lower back, but even then there are a couple others that work better.

Look up "lower back stretches" Something like these will work:

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Old 04-29-10, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by waterrockets View Post
To be clear, I don't bounce. I surge slowly, and inertia is not part of the stretch. I just don't hold it for 20-30 seconds. I got a better stretch surging further and further for less time (3-5 seconds).

Maybe it's my muscle makeup, but holding for 20-30 seconds didn't do anything more than just hurt a lot. I never could get limber with that method. When I started surging into it and coming back up I really saw the flexibility gains in a hurry.

Another PT nugget: it takes about 30 seconds for a stretched muscle to release and actually stretch. Her guidance: 1 min to stretch, 2 min or more to actually lengthen.
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Old 04-29-10, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by waterrockets View Post
To be clear, I don't bounce. I surge slowly, and inertia is not part of the stretch. I just don't hold it for 20-30 seconds. I got a better stretch surging further and further for less time (3-5 seconds).

Maybe it's my muscle makeup, but holding for 20-30 seconds didn't do anything more than just hurt a lot. I never could get limber with that method. When I started surging into it and coming back up I really saw the flexibility gains in a hurry.
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Old 04-29-10, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by superdex View Post
Now, the above does help to stretch your lower back, but even then there are a couple others that work better.
So... it does stretch your lower back, and that's what I was getting at. Isn't that what usually hurts on people when they try to ride super aero? (I've never had back pains from riding, but others sure have)

May not be the best approach, and certainly wouldn't be my only approach (should have said yoga too), but I wouldn't say it's "bad" either.
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Old 04-29-10, 11:19 AM
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when I ride super aero my back doesn't hurt at all. Usually it's my neck and my taint. In the beginning of the season maybe a bit behind the lower quads.
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Old 04-29-10, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by superdex View Post
Another PT nugget: it takes about 30 seconds for a stretched muscle to release and actually stretch. Her guidance: 1 min to stretch, 2 min or more to actually lengthen.
Yeah, I'm not interested in going that long -- it never worked for me.

I really couldn't touch my toes, and now I can get my forehead to my knees and fists on the floor (I'm a bit leggy). I didn't do any stretches over about 10 seconds. Not even once.
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Old 04-29-10, 11:51 AM
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i was told that your stretch only becomes "useful" when you hold it for more than 25-30 seconds. as such, i'd suggest one minute on each stretch.

also remember to strengthen your core.

planks (facing down, side planks, facing down with your feet on a medicine ball, and alternating feet planks). as was suggested to me by another poster, the superman maneuver helps, too (laying down, arms stretched, lift both arms and leg up, hold for 2 seconds, release, repeat)

six months ago, i had a +6 stem with three spacers underneath, im now down to -6 with no spacers. next item is a -17. although the bad thing to all this is that i now need to tilt my saddle down a bit as the boys get crushed a bit... getting progressively more aero is the key.
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Old 04-29-10, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by waterrockets View Post
Yeah, I'm not interested in going that long -- it never worked for me.

I really couldn't touch my toes, and now I can get my forehead to my knees and fists on the floor (I'm a bit leggy). I didn't do any stretches over about 10 seconds. Not even once.
Further evidence that you fall outside the bell curve of human genetics.
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Old 04-29-10, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by waterrockets View Post
Yeah, I'm not interested in going that long -- it never worked for me.

I really couldn't touch my toes, and now I can get my forehead to my knees and fists on the floor (I'm a bit leggy). I didn't do any stretches over about 10 seconds. Not even once.
Yeah I'm thinking that your surges are facilitating the relaxation of those nerves/fibers. Shrug. At any rate, maybe bdcheung is right, you're just a freak.
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Old 04-29-10, 12:31 PM
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Yeah, I still feel bad for whoever went out and did the all-out 3' test and came back with an injury. I think that happened with my 0-minute warmup too.

I still think my stretch method is safe. I'm not going any further or faster than those with the long-hold method -- I just don't hold it, but ease right back to it a few times.
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Old 04-29-10, 12:31 PM
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Yeah, I still feel bad for whoever went out and did the all-out 3' test and came back with an injury. I think that happened with my 0-minute warmup too.

I still think my stretch method is safe. I'm not going any further or faster than those with the long-hold method -- I just don't hold it, but ease right back to it a few times.
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Old 04-29-10, 12:36 PM
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you guys have to get a handle on the double post thing.
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Old 04-29-10, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Grumpy McTrumpy View Post
I should mention that really the best way to get used to a low position is just to ride in that position a lot.
This.

I actually have my commute bike set up longer and lower than my race bike (not intentionally -- it just worked out that way) and I can use that time to get nice and low and flat. Then when I switch to my race bike it's like sitting up in an easy chair.
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Old 04-29-10, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
you guys have to get a handle on the double post thing.
I've stopped deleting the 2nd posts, so it's more visible now. I can't stand it. I wish they'd just fork over their source code so I could find it.
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