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Stretching

Old 07-27-16, 09:01 AM
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TimothyH
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Stretching

I thought it might be a nice discussion

Last edited by obed7; 07-28-16 at 10:22 AM. Reason: removed the inflamitory
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Old 07-27-16, 09:05 AM
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I've never stretched in my life; and I've rarely had any type of injuries. I do spin lightly for the first 15 minutes or so of any ride, though.
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Old 07-27-16, 09:07 AM
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I do stretch ever since I had a Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS) injury biking 3 hrs in a snowstorm at 17 degrees one new year's eve on a classic MTB I built up to be a winter tank commuter
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Old 07-27-16, 09:13 AM
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Sometimes I stretch a bit after a ride. Never felt the need or urge before. Some claim pre-workout stretching does more harm than good.
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Old 07-27-16, 09:21 AM
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No stretching ever, during 50 years of riding and racing. Never bought into the idea that stretching is beneficial, and now there are lots of studies that have reported that stretching is of only minimal benefit at best and is often injurious (by, e.g., weakening connective tissue).

However, I enjoy the sight of fit young women stretching, so, by all means, encourage stretching.

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Old 07-27-16, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
No stretching ever, during 50 years of riding and racing. Never bought into the idea that stretching is beneficial, and now there are lots of studies that have reported that stretching is of only minimal benefit at best and is often injurious (by, e.g., weakening connective tissue).

However, I enjoy the sight of fit young women stretching, so, by all means, encourage stretching.



I was going to say, that I have been known to stretch my neck muscles when going past them!
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Old 07-27-16, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Homebrew01 View Post
Some claim pre-workout stretching does more harm than good.


Stretching causes micro-tearing of the muscles just like exercise. Pre-workout stretching pre-weakens your muscles. After exercise when your muscles are already damaged by exertion in the best time to stretch if you are so inclined.
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Old 07-27-16, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Scarbo View Post
I've never stretched in my life; and I've rarely had any type of injuries. I do spin lightly for the first 15 minutes or so of any ride, though.
How old are you?
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Old 07-27-16, 01:05 PM
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For what it's worth..

http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercis...stretch?page=2
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Old 07-27-16, 01:27 PM
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I do always before a good training.
2 days ago i decided to use my fixedbike for a short 10km ride (keeping the max speed i can reach), sadly i don't have done any stretching and now my legs are still hurting.
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Old 07-27-16, 03:31 PM
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I don't stretch much but I enjoy a weekly yoga session.
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Old 07-27-16, 04:37 PM
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I never USED to stretch. When I ran in high school or by myself I'd just finish up the run, sit down for a few minutes, then continue with my day.

In college we'd briefly stretch before a hard workout (after a warm up) and then after the hard workout. You would always stretch before a race. I'm going to tell you this now. MOST if not ALL professional and collegiate runners stretch before their race.

Now-a-day I stretch after running but not after cycling unless I was REALLY hammering it. (Like, can barely get off the bike hammering it.) If I don't stretch after running I will tighten up in the next hour and then I'm tight the next day, and I don't like that. (Anecdotal evidence of course.) Cycling seems to be a lot more forgiving with not stretching. I also bike to work everyday, so I loosen those muscles at least 3 times a day.
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Old 07-27-16, 05:20 PM
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I think people confuse two different kinds of stretching. There's stretching the muscles, which used to be thought useful in enhancing performance and reducing injury (which turns out to be false), and there's stretching the connective tissue for increased flexibility and range of motion, which is useful to varying degrees depending on the activity. You're going to see dancers and gymnasts doing a lot of stretching, but it may not be very useful for a football player.

Stretching connective tissue does cause micro-tears, and it does loosen it up the tissue. That's not necessarily a bad thing. We want connective tissue to be strong when it serves our purposes, and pliant when that serves our purposes. When you injure a joint, you will build up connective tissue. It's a natural bracing to allow healing and reduce further injury. But that new connective tissue (aka scaring) then becomes an impairment, and you have to stretch and break it down to get a return of necessary range of motion. Likewise as you age, and sit on your butt most of the day, you loose beneficial flexibility in your hips, your back, your shoulders, and so on. Having flexibility in the lower back and in the neck are areas that I think are very beneficial for bicyclists, and probably the hips too. It allows you to hold a good riding position more comfortably, have a more effective pedal stroke, and look around as necessary without having to turn your entire body.

It's also apparent that some people feel much better after stretching, and some people find it a waste of time, or too painful to reach any potential benefit.

BTW, I know you can't selectively stretch either muscles or connect tissue. My point is that the focus of useful stretching should be to increase flexibility with minimal trauma to the muscles. It's probably impossible to do really deep stretching without some muscle breakdown. That's why I wouldn't jump on my bike after a good long yoga session, but I know that yoga session is going to make me feel better and, in the long run, perform better.
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Old 07-27-16, 06:03 PM
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Yup, I stretch my back and neck a bit before rides. Just enough to minimize the spasms from old injuries. Helps. Otherwise I usually warm up just by riding with minimal effort for the first 15 minutes or so.

I try to save the more strenuous stretching for afterward.
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Old 07-27-16, 06:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Kevindale View Post
I think people confuse two different kinds of stretching. There's stretching the muscles, which used to be thought useful in enhancing performance and reducing injury (which turns out to be false), and there's stretching the connective tissue for increased flexibility and range of motion, which is useful to varying degrees depending on the activity. You're going to see dancers and gymnasts doing a lot of stretching, but it may not be very useful for a football player.

Stretching connective tissue does cause micro-tears, and it does loosen it up the tissue. That's not necessarily a bad thing. We want connective tissue to be strong when it serves our purposes, and pliant when that serves our purposes. When you injure a joint, you will build up connective tissue. It's a natural bracing to allow healing and reduce further injury. But that new connective tissue (aka scaring) then becomes an impairment, and you have to stretch and break it down to get a return of necessary range of motion. Likewise as you age, and sit on your butt most of the day, you loose beneficial flexibility in your hips, your back, your shoulders, and so on. Having flexibility in the lower back and in the neck are areas that I think are very beneficial for bicyclists, and probably the hips too. It allows you to hold a good riding position more comfortably, have a more effective pedal stroke, and look around as necessary without having to turn your entire body.

It's also apparent that some people feel much better after stretching, and some people find it a waste of time, or too painful to reach any potential benefit.

BTW, I know you can't selectively stretch either muscles or connect tissue. My point is that the focus of useful stretching should be to increase flexibility with minimal trauma to the muscles. It's probably impossible to do really deep stretching without some muscle breakdown. That's why I wouldn't jump on my bike after a good long yoga session, but I know that yoga session is going to make me feel better and, in the long run, perform better.
I said, in my first posting in this thread, that I've never stretched. I did not mean to be dismissive of the OP; I was just relating what my experience was.

You mention yoga and this interests me. I don't do yoga (I don't have the enormous patience that it seems to require!); but I've often wondered if it would enhance my riding. However, I do weightlifting (squats; deadlifts) and I know for a fact that this has helped to strengthen my riding capabilities overall. One thing though--I don't think weightlifting has really served to make me more flexible. So, now I am wondering about this relationship between the body's flexibility and its core strength, which is enhanced by working with weights. Superficially, one would think that these activities would be at odds.

Cheers!
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Old 07-27-16, 08:39 PM
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Yoga is just stretching and balance, from a purely physical perspective. Practiced it when I was younger. Never got into the mysticism bit. I suppose that helps some folks. And I know some very good creative folks who've made an entire lifestyle of it, including music festivals. Good for them. But to me it's just stretching and balancing.
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Old 07-27-16, 11:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Scarbo View Post
I said, in my first posting in this thread, that I've never stretched. I did not mean to be dismissive of the OP; I was just relating what my experience was.

You mention yoga and this interests me. I don't do yoga (I don't have the enormous patience that it seems to require!); but I've often wondered if it would enhance my riding. However, I do weightlifting (squats; deadlifts) and I know for a fact that this has helped to strengthen my riding capabilities overall. One thing though--I don't think weightlifting has really served to make me more flexible. So, now I am wondering about this relationship between the body's flexibility and its core strength, which is enhanced by working with weights. Superficially, one would think that these activities would be at odds.

Cheers!
There are a lot of sports and activities that require great strength and great flexibility, like ballet and gymnastics as already mentioned. They're obviously not incompatible, unless taken to extremes. As for weight training helping riding, I'm not sure if many pro bicyclists spend much time in the weight room. I'm also not sure they spend much time doing yoga or stretching, either, though most of them are pretty young and thin, so they're probably above average in flexibility to begin with.

There are a lot of different forms of yoga. Patience isn't really necessary for many forms, but focus and discipline and balance are. I get into a similar mental state doing yoga and riding at close to my limit when I'm solo. One of the keys to enjoying yoga is, I think, similar to what it takes to enjoy riding -- focusing on your own experience, and not thinking about what anyone else is doing or thinking about you. The biggest thing that keeps most people for doing yoga is self consciousness, not patience or an appetite for mysticism.
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Old 07-28-16, 07:32 AM
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Lots of different opinions on the subject including among "experts".

There's nobody that depends more money, time and effort looking at performance than do pro athletes and their coaches and trainers though. Watch a pro football team When they first go on the field, or baseball, or soccer. They all do stretching.
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Old 07-28-16, 07:36 AM
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I use to stretch a lot when I was involved in martial arts for many years but since I quit and now have joint issues it actually feels better not to stretch, not sure what that's all about.
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Old 07-28-16, 08:41 AM
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Stretching is an important component of a well rounded exercise program. I, too, have a background in martial arts, was an instructor, and also certified as a personal trainer and specialist in MA conditioning a few years ago.
Cycling is great exercise in some ways (cardio, endurance), but it's not well rounded (upper body strength, range of motion). I find it reduces leg flexibility, as well.
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Old 07-28-16, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by StanSeven View Post
Lots of different opinions on the subject including among "experts".

There's nobody that depends more money, time and effort looking at performance than do pro athletes and their coaches and trainers though. Watch a pro football team When they first go on the field, or baseball, or soccer. They all do stretching.
They also used to abstain from sex before a big game...
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Old 07-28-16, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by vinfix View Post
Stretching is an important component of a well rounded exercise program. I, too, have a background in martial arts, was an instructor, and also certified as a personal trainer and specialist in MA conditioning a few years ago.
Cycling is great exercise in some ways (cardio, endurance), but it's not well rounded (upper body strength, range of motion). I find it reduces leg flexibility, as well.
I find it reduces neck, hip and lower back flexibility quite a bit. Especially hips. It's the lack of movement, I think. The movements on a bike are very limited and the body - hips especially- is pretty much locked in the same position all the time. Yea, I know we stand up every once in a while, but not all that much.

For me, the combination of sitting all day at work and the position on the bike cause me to need to work on my hip and back flexibility quite a bit. I also find that I need to walk with good posture as much as possible during the day and do at least one "fitness" walk (I hate running - so I do vigorous hill walking) at least once a week to get better upright flexibility and work those muscles. Again, cycling does nothing for that. It is, however, my favorite sport!
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Old 07-28-16, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Scarbo View Post
I said, in my first posting in this thread, that I've never stretched. I did not mean to be dismissive of the OP; I was just relating what my experience was.
When you posted that, I asked how old you were - not as a challenge, but curiosity. Young people can often get away with stuff us older guys can't. So I was curious if you've been able to get past middle age without stretching.
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Old 07-28-16, 10:25 AM
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At my age (62) I find the biggest benefit of stretching is popping all the bones back into place...
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Old 07-28-16, 10:26 AM
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I cleaned up the thread... now lets keep it cleaned up...
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