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Stretching between commutes

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Stretching between commutes

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Old 10-29-09, 08:23 AM
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bmt074
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Stretching between commutes

After days/weeks/months of bicycle commuting leg muscles (and even shoulder and arm muscles) can become very tight. Do most of you stretch regularly? If so, what routines do you have for stretching?
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Old 10-29-09, 09:53 AM
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After some consulting with the mother-in-law-who's-a-PT, I stretch the hamstrings fairly thoroughly after getting in each morning. Seems to have helped with some knee issues I had been having.

But that's about it for stretching on my end.

Curious to hear what other folks do.
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Old 10-29-09, 10:30 AM
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I don't stretch nearly as often as I should. Really I should be doing it at least every other day to keep my body from crabbing at me. That and myofacial release, which I've yet to get past the hurts-like-an-SOB phase of (you can get past that, right?)

When I do stretch, I do a lot of yoga-style stretching for the lower body, with upward and downward dogs being big ones, dead bug, turtle, and pigeon poses are among my favorite stretches. I never knew how bad my hips and glutes were until my first time doing the pigeon stretch, especially when leaning over the folded leg.
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Old 10-29-09, 10:55 AM
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I stretch when I get to work every day- we have a gym where I take a shower, so I usually use stretching as a 15 minute "cool down" period before I shower.

I do hammies, quads, calfs, and lower back for about 2 mins apiece. The funny thing is that I never really felt tight before I started stretching, and now if I miss a day I feel like I'm tied in knots. It's addictive!
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Old 10-29-09, 11:00 AM
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I learned a stretching routine about 30 years ago, takes about 12 minutes, and I've been doing it three times a week ever since. At age 51 I can stil stand, straight legged, and touch the palms of my hands on the floor. Freaks people out when they see me demonstrate that.

Some basic priniciples of stretching (learned from books, articles, and 30 years of experience):

1. Hold each stretch for a MINIMUM of 30 seconds - NO BOUNCING. I count slowly to 60 for each stretch.
2. Stretch AFTER the workout, not before. Warming up is important at the start of a workout, not stretching. You will find your muscles are much looser and stretch much easier when warm and well worked.
3. Your muscles are tightest when you wake up in the morning, loosest in the evening, so stretch in the evening. Doesn't mean you can't stretch in the morning, it's just more painful and you won't be able to stretch as deeply. I like to stretch while watching TV in the evening - Makes me feel less guilty about wasting my life in front of a TV.
4. Have a routine. This works for me, but I know routines are not for everyone. A routine works for me because all I have to do is begin the first pose (I start with a straddle stretch) and from there I just step through each pose and count to 60. The whole thing is done in 12 minutes and you feel awesome when it's over.
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Old 10-29-09, 11:06 AM
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Do a Google search on "self myofascial release legs". Much better than stretching. Traditional stretching techniques simply cause small increases in muscle length. SMR using a foam roller offers these benefits in addition to the breakdown of soft tissue adhesions and scar tissue. Try it out and you will feel the difference. Since I cycle over 175 miles per week in addition to doing alpine climbing my leg muscles can get really tight. SMR helps me a great deal.

Last edited by kaseri; 10-29-09 at 11:11 AM.
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Old 10-29-09, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by kaseri View Post
Do a Google search on "self myofascial release legs". Much better than stretching. Traditional stretching techniques simply cause transient increases in muscle length. SMR using a foam roller offers these benefits in addition to the breakdown of soft tissue adhesions and scar tissue. Try it out and you will feel the difference. Since I cycle over 175 miles per week in addition to doing alpine climbing my leg muscles can get really tight. SMR helps me a great deal.
+1 foam roller is what helps me, especially my IT bands.

What you need to get: (courtesy of Tmuscle.com)

1) 6" foam roller (either the 1' long or 3' long version)

2) Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing" CD

3) A leopard-skin thong

4) Two quarts of baby oil to lube yourself up

If you take 2 -4 seriously, you need more help than a foam roller can provide.

Last edited by chipcom; 10-29-09 at 11:18 AM.
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Old 10-29-09, 11:21 AM
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Good hamstring stretch - all you need is a wall/pillar. Lie on your back, at right angles to the wall - get your bum as close to the wall as you can. Put one leg up on the wall (you can have the other one on the ground if you're using a pillar, or put both up). Keep pelvis and shoulders on floor and in alignment, 90 degrees with wall. Hold for a minimum of 30 seconds, breathing deeply. Don't push against the wall. If your hamstrings are burning, scoot your bum farther back. I usually do this for several minutes a leg, until I feel the muscles relaxing. Recommendation from physiotherapist cousin.
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Old 10-29-09, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by chipcom View Post
+1 foam roller is what helps me, especially my IT bands.

What you need to get: (courtesy of Tmuscle.com)

1) 6" foam roller (either the 1' long or 3' long version)

2) Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing" CD

3) A leopard-skin thong

4) Two quarts of baby oil to lube yourself up

If you take 2 -4 seriously, you need more help than a foam roller can provide.
Well, duh! Everyone knows it's a tiger-stripe thong and Crisco.
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Old 10-29-09, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by wneumann View Post
Well, duh! Everyone knows it's a tiger-stripe thong and Crisco.
I prefer to just go naked and use my chub as the roller. But your way works too.
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Old 10-29-09, 12:31 PM
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When I am in pain I stretch before/after rides as well as between them w/ the vigor of the converted, and as the pain fades I slack off until I stop entirely (unless the pain comes back). This last time, I just weathered the pain for a few days until it went away, no stretching (too much laziness). Stretching is definitely good it just takes time. And I haven't done it for a while now.
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Old 10-29-09, 01:13 PM
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Old 10-29-09, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by chipcom View Post

3) A leopard-skin thong

4) Two quarts of baby oil to lube yourself up

If you take 2 -4 seriously, you need more help than a foam roller can provide.

Way too visual.
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