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TT Stretches

Old 02-20-12, 10:28 PM
  #1  
Hammonjj
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TT Stretches

I read the sticky, but didn't see anything listed. Is there a list of recommended stretches specific to riding a TT bike? My main goal this season is to be able to TT better and stretching is my key to this goal. Right now, I'm too inflexible to really get low.

Thanks!
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Old 02-20-12, 10:59 PM
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Stretching and Rolling for Recovery
By Racer Ex, JSG
(Just some guy)


Recovering from a workout or race is often neglected by athletes, yet it provides an essential foundation for training. Poor recovery produces poor subsequent training, which produces a poor end result.

There are a variety of recovery strategies, two of which are rolling and stretching. I suggest doing these in order; the rolling produces myofascial release (removing knots from the muscles) and massage (increasing blood flow); both of which make any stretching more effective.

For time trialists, stretching produces looser muscles which allow you to produce more power and reduce soreness. Loose and elongated glutes and hamstrings are vital in an aerodynamic position; tight muscles actually work against the quads, forcing them to stretch the glutes and hamstrings, your own body robbing you of power.

Foam rollers can be purchased from most “big box” sporting goods stores or from exercise equipment companies. I use a 6” foam roller and carry a cut down version with me to stage races.

Foam rolling video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5lLw81kGeXg

Stretches:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aag2g9GvED4

http://www.sportsinjuryclinic.net/cy...ck_stretch.php

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/str...m00043&slide=4

Note on quad stretches…the object is to stretch the quad without pulling on the knee joint.

http://www.sportsinjuryclinic.net/cy...us_stretch.php
http://www.sportsinjuryclinic.net/cy...ip_stretch.php
http://www.sportsinjuryclinic.net/cy...or_stretch.php
http://www.sportsinjuryclinic.net/cy...in_stretch.php
http://www.sportsinjuryclinic.net/cy...or_stretch.php
http://www.sportsinjuryclinic.net/cy...ng_stretch.php
http://www.sportsinjuryclinic.net/cy...us_stretch.php
http://www.sportsinjuryclinic.net/cy...us_stretch.php

A side note: It's been taken as gospel as of late that you should stretch after first "warming up" aerobically. However, this is not definitively supported by any study; the only thing that is clear is that static stretching (the types above) can increase flexibility. There is also some evidence that static stretching immediately prior to an athletic event can be of detriment.

Last edited by Racer Ex; 02-20-12 at 11:16 PM.
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Old 02-20-12, 11:07 PM
  #3  
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always amazed how much more relaxed and comfortable i feel on the TT bike when i am being good with my stretching routine.

i should get a roller i guess.
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Old 02-21-12, 08:00 AM
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I stretch and use the foam roller after pretty much every ride. The first couple times on a foam roller were some of the most painful experiences ever, but now it doesn't really hurt at all.

I haven't noticed a big difference in power output or anything, but I do feel a little better so that counts for something.
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Old 02-21-12, 09:22 AM
  #5  
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I think the question is regarding increasing flexibility for the TT bike, not recovery.

General stretching of the back and glutes should help with getting lower on the TT bike. Another thing to keep in mind is that the lower you go in front, the further forward you need to get with the saddle/bars to allow your hip angle to stay open enough to get good power. Often the angles on the TT bike aren't that different from your road bike. Stretch a few times a day, and slowly lower the front of the TT bike (along with moving the saddle up and forward) every couple of weeks. You should be able to adapt to the position over time as you get lower. At some point, you'll lose power due to the hip angle being too extreme.
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Old 02-21-12, 09:50 AM
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This is relevant to my interests.

Subscribed.
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Old 02-21-12, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Monkeyclaw View Post
I think the question is regarding increasing flexibility for the TT bike, not recovery.
Same exercises for both and the foam roller helps loosen the muscles and increase blood flow before stretching, done right it will remove any knots that have developed and make the stretches more effective. I tossed up the paper I had written on recovery because it had pertinent videos and links for the stretches, and generally training on the TT bike produces a lot of initial soreness and tightness that should be dealt with.

And it's not just the "general back and glutes" that should be stretched. Thighs certainly affect position flexibility and even calfs to some degree as you tend to change the engagement/disengagement point.

Shoulders, upper back and arms also come into play; being able to pull your elbows and arms together for some body shapes produces very low drag and even less aggressive positions put your elbows and arms much closer together than usual.

Not a bad link for the shoulders and upper back:

http://www.ehow.com/video_4398162_sh...stretches.html

For all these stretches and rolling I like to do them in a directional sequence, from the bottom up. (i.e. calfs/thighs/glutes/back/shoulders). I think I get a bit looser overall this way. I might be talking myself into this though.

On hip angle: The problem for anyone racing in a UCI compliant event is that you're limited on how far forward you can move the saddle. For most folks this isn't an issue (FWIW they were waving people through at Masters Nationals who were non compliant, but they were tight at Elite Track Nats on the events where the rule applied).

If you're UCI compliant a really tight hip angle almost becomes inevitable. This is why you're seeing the trend towards shorter cranks on TT rigs.
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Old 02-21-12, 10:45 AM
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Just chiming in to say that I broke through a lot of speed barriers in my TT and my road positions when I started a stretching routine. I was able to drop several cm up front w/out any power loss, and the resulting frontal area and general airflow improved enough to make a significant difference in my speed at a given W/kg.
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Old 02-21-12, 10:50 AM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by waterrockets View Post
Just chiming in to say that I broke through a lot of speed barriers in my TT and my road positions when I started a stretching routine. I was able to drop several cm up front w/out any power loss, and the resulting frontal area and general airflow improved enough to make a significant difference in my speed at a given W/kg.
You're full of ****



Glad you're back up and running. Scary stuff my friend.
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Old 02-21-12, 10:56 AM
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Love these... doesn't deform over time (which most of foam roller from local sports shops will), don't have to put excessive weight for getting to hard to reach trigger points...
It could be painful though
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Old 02-21-12, 11:02 AM
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I'm a big fan of trigger point and foam rollers. However, regarding static stretching, you might want to avoid it before a TT.

"Most physiologists now believe that when you elongate muscle *fibers, you cause a “neuromuscular inhibitory *response,” says Malachy McHugh, director of research for the Nicholas Institute of Sports Medicine and Athletic Trauma at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City and an expert on flexibility. By triggering this protective *counter-response in the nervous system, which tightens the muscle to prevent it from overstretching, you render yourself less *powerful. In *experiments, static stretching temporarily decreased strength in the stretched muscle by as much as 30 percent, an effect that can last up to half an hour."

http://www.outsideonline.com/fitness...ty/Myth-1.html
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Old 02-21-12, 11:18 AM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
There is also some evidence that static stretching immediately prior to an athletic event can be of detriment.
Originally Posted by Nate552 View Post
However, regarding static stretching, you might want to avoid it before a TT.

http://www.outsideonline.com/fitness...ty/Myth-1.html

"Most physiologists now believe..."
That's what I was referring to. When you read through the actual study, it's not quite as definitive as they would like you to believe, and the "Most physiologists believe" thing is a load of poo and McHugh ought to be slapped for it. Small sampling and the test subjects were recovering from injuries. More like "Some guys who glanced at the study synopsis now figure why risk it". There wasn't some symposium where they all got together and voted on it.

To my knowledge they didn't test the subjects at the extremes of motion (like in the TT position) where stretching might have provided a benefit; be interesting to see if that temporary 30 minute decline turned into gains under that protocol. Or how those stretches affected aerobic performance vs. anaerobic lifting capacity.

There's also a lot of ancillary issues to consider...some of the muscles that get stretched in the back and shoulders aren't actively in contraction so strength becomes a moot point. And if, like me, you suffer from sciatic issues where stretching can relieve the pain before an event that relief might outweigh any performance drop in core stabilization.

Last edited by Racer Ex; 02-21-12 at 11:28 AM.
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Old 02-21-12, 11:31 AM
  #13  
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Yeah, I cringed when I saw that word "most" also. Here's an interesting study about the energy costs and performance at VO2Max after static stretching. I think it's the one that was referenced in the article, but it's on runners of course.


"The main findings in this study were that stretching lowered distance covered during a 30-minute performance run and increased the energy cost of running at 65% of the VO2max trial.......A possible explanation for performance deterioration is that static stretching negatively affects the ability of the muscle tissue to produce force "

http://journals.lww.com/nsca-jscr/Fu...ost_and.2.aspx
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Old 02-21-12, 12:32 PM
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Anecdotally... I was doing a weekly TT series one summer, so I was being disciplined about stretching. Warming up one week, wasn't quite "feeling loose" so after warming up a bit, I got off the bike and did a few really rewarding stretches... you know, the kind where you feel the muscle loosening and you just go "aaaahhhh that feels good".

Got back on, finished warmup, feeling loose and ready to roll.

My time that week was the worst of the series.

Sample size = 1
Controls = 0
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Old 03-07-12, 08:49 PM
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What Racer Ex said, but also yoga and massage. Yoga helps with both flexibility and functional core strength - and I've been amazed at how much of the tt position comes down to having a truly strong core.
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Old 03-08-12, 02:54 AM
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I don't stretch after tough workouts for the reasons mentioned above. Stretching after hard workouts can "damage" the muscle tissue and make the recovery after the workout longer. I stretch primarily after easy rides and perhaps even conduct an own stretching session where I will warm up lightly and work on my flexibility. Being able to touch my toes with straight legs for the first time ever(!) this winter is amazing.
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Old 03-08-12, 08:11 PM
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Static or dynamic stretching? Static stretching before a workout is something i would be cautious about.
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Old 03-09-12, 10:45 AM
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i had mechanical issues before my first TT this year, see the race report thread for deets, but the TLDR is i didnt get a warm up and hit the start pretty cold.

comparing HR and finish place from last year, my effort was very smooth and controlled this year and i paced really well and ended up winning* versus last years 3rd place.

this is obviously an annecdote, but theres one thing ive noticed in training this year that seems to help looseness a lot and that is i slathered on embro and worked it in really well before my race, and i am learning towards making a proclamation that embro massage is basically a prerace stretch/warmup in a tube. gets the blood flowing and the muscles loose.


* i actually finished 3rd this year too but had i raced the same category as last year (SM3) i'd have won handily. instead i raced 35+3 and got 3rd. go figure.
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Old 03-09-12, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by badhat View Post
i had mechanical issues before my first TT this year, see the race report thread for deets, but the TLDR is i didnt get a warm up and hit the start pretty cold.

comparing HR and finish place from last year, my effort was very smooth and controlled this year and i paced really well and ended up winning* versus last years 3rd place.

this is obviously an annecdote, but theres one thing ive noticed in training this year that seems to help looseness a lot and that is i slathered on embro and worked it in really well before my race, and i am learning towards making a proclamation that embro massage is basically a prerace stretch/warmup in a tube. gets the blood flowing and the muscles loose.


* i actually finished 3rd this year too but had i raced the same category as last year (SM3) i'd have won handily. instead i raced 35+3 and got 3rd. go figure.
A lot of people aren't aware that to "warm up" is to literally increase the temperature of your muscles not just to get them moving. So, it stands to reason that embro helps. I've never used embrocation, so I don't know from first hand experience.
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Old 03-09-12, 11:08 AM
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i have 3 data sets

1) race or ride with warmup
2) race or ride without warmup
3) race or ride without warmup but with prerace embro massage

1 and 3 feel pretty similar and 2 typically makes me have to puke for the first 15 minutes of a race.
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