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-   -   How flexible are you? (https://www.bikeforums.net/training-nutrition/1156163-how-flexible-you.html)

hillcrawler 09-22-18 10:21 PM

How flexible are you?
 
Lay down on the ground on your back and try to make a 90 degree angle by lifting your legs (one by one of course).

I fail this test as I can make only a 60 degree angle with my left leg while I can lift my right leg almost straight.

Is it due to tight hamstrings do you think? Or some gluteal muscles? How do you think I can correct this and make both legs equally flexible?
​​​​​​
P.s. I don't ride for about five years due to some patellafemoral syndrome. I wonder if it has to do anything with this and maybe I can ride again if I can correct this.

hillcrawler 09-22-18 10:34 PM

https://cimg2.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...1128693c8d.png
I said try to make a 90 degree angle as I thought it would be the maximum but it looks like more is achievable.

Carbonfiberboy 09-23-18 01:47 AM

Stretch: https://www.bikeforums.net/road-cycl...l#post15372967

Trakhak 09-23-18 05:52 AM

Not a professional dancer, so I don't know or care whether I'm more or less flexible than the norm.

rubiksoval 09-23-18 02:17 PM

You improve your flexibility by working at it consistently.

Like most anything.

So just go stretch more.

hillcrawler 09-24-18 11:34 PM

I wonder how much of an affect it may cause on knee functions. You know all those muscles and tendons are connected and if you have a tightness in somewhere it causes an imbalance on kneecap trajectory.

Carbonfiberboy 09-25-18 10:15 AM


Originally Posted by hillcrawler (Post 20584322)
I wonder how much of an affect it may cause on knee functions. You know all those muscles and tendons are connected and if you have a tightness in somewhere it causes an imbalance on kneecap trajectory.

Don't wonder. Happened to me. Then I started stretching every morning. It took a while, but it did work. Weight work fixed my kneecap trajectory, but stretching fixed the rest of it, especially stretching those hamstrings, and figure-4s fixed my knee bursae.

tyrion 09-25-18 10:57 AM

I'm still pretty flexible.

https://cimg6.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...8bc90c3353.jpg

LuisaMay 09-25-18 12:59 PM

In order not to risk health, consult a doctor, sign up for exercise therapy, because self-treatment sometimes gives the opposite effect

rumrunn6 09-25-18 01:18 PM

saw some young ladies doing this against the Washington Monument last Fall. looked like a fun photo, but I remember it being really difficult to scootch in as close as them https://cimg3.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...0933781c4c.jpg

Carbonfiberboy 09-26-18 10:13 PM


Originally Posted by tyrion (Post 20585082)

Not exactly the cat burglar, are you?
:)

jim p 09-29-18 06:51 PM

Do some forward folds as in yoga and hang in the pose for 5 to 10 minutes several times a day. Relax in the folds and let the hamstrings slowly stretch. It takes time to increase flexibility. Don't force the muscles and tendons to lengthen. Don't spring or bounce when you are stretching.

jpescatore 10-01-18 06:17 AM

A friend who is a physical therapist told me 90% of flexibility is genetic, assuming you are at all active and bike/run/hike/walk an "average" amount. The last 10% can be pretty important, though - especially if you mostly do one activity repetitively, like biking.

Her biking-specific advice to me (I can't touch my toes, or get to 90 in your test) for biking was to focus on flexibility of hip flexor muscles and strength of hamstrings and soleus muscles. She had good reasoning for those points, seems to be backed up by the usually cycling sources. When I bought a new bike back in early 2017, it came with a Retul professional bike fitting - he validated the hip flexor point, too.

I'm not a racer, more of a long distance fun rider who likes to try to go faster - don't need flexibility to slam my stem, etc. But, about 18 months of adding stretches and weight lifting for those areas to my workout routine and on 60+ mile rides, the next day I feel better at age 61 than I did at age 59.5! Could be placebo/psychological - but I'll take it either way.

knitguy 10-04-18 10:44 AM


Originally Posted by jpescatore (Post 20594131)
Her biking-specific advice to me (I can't touch my toes, or get to 90 in your test) for biking was to focus on flexibility of hip flexor muscles and strength of hamstrings and soleus muscles. She had good reasoning for those points, seems to be backed up by the usually cycling sources. When I bought a new bike back in early 2017, it came with a Retul professional bike fitting - he validated the hip flexor point, too.

My physical therapist had the exact same advice in terms of cyclings needing to focus on stretching their hip flexors. She's a triathlete herself, works with a number of elite (and non-elite) athletes, and is generally up on relevant and recent research (the pros of going to PT at a teaching hospital and typically not being treated by interns).
I am pretty flexible in general, but my hip flexors are the primary area, lower body wise, that needs work in that respect.

Carbonfiberboy 10-06-18 12:48 AM

This hip flexor stuff is an odd business. So when you stand up straight, your thigh/torso angle is 180. When I'm on the bike, my thigh/torso angle seldom exceeds 90. What on earth would be the point of stretching the hip flexors beyond 180? It makes little sense to stretch joints beyond the range of motion to be used in the targeted activity. I know that bro science and all the spin classes, etc. advocate that stretching, but I see no sense in it and I do don't do it. OTOH, strengthening the hip flexors is sadly neglected in cycling training. I work my hip flexors good in the gym and that definitely helps. On the 3rd hand, the only nasty injury I ever had in my athletic life was overworking or overstressing a hip flexor tendon when I raced Nordic in college, so both stretching and strengthening are indicated for that sport. Took me a couple years to heal that up and I still have to be careful of it. For cycling, sets of 30 bent-legged leg raises on the Roman Chair, or do fewer reps holding dumbbells between your feet, better yet.

KraneXL 10-06-18 02:06 AM


Originally Posted by hillcrawler (Post 20580800)
Lay down on the ground on your back and try to make a 90 degree angle by lifting your legs (one by one of course).

I fail this test as I can make only a 60 degree angle with my left leg while I can lift my right leg almost straight.

Is it due to tight hamstrings do you think? Or some gluteal muscles? How do you think I can correct this and make both legs equally flexible?
​​​​​​
P.s. I don't ride for about five years due to some patellafemoral syndrome. I wonder if it has to do anything with this and maybe I can ride again if I can correct this.

Answering that question is like trying to gauge your posture without seeing you stand or walk. Impossible. As for my flexibility, not very good. Than again, flexibility like so many other things is largely a product of genetics.

simot 10-06-18 10:40 AM

https://cimg4.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...734306578e.jpg

Getting better...

Brofessor 10-08-18 03:09 PM

I do just fine.

berner 10-27-18 01:31 PM

Maintaining strength and flexibility is more important than improving performance. In my view maintaining mobility well beyond our youngish years should be part of the mix as well. Steady, often vigorous exercise coupled with stretching to maintain range of motion go together. If we go to any public place, such as a shopping mall, notice people in their older years and how they move. The ones I see move poorly, older than actual years. Many did not use it and lost it.

I have a number of physical issues that have caused considerable trouble over the years. I've managed to almost illiminate most of them through exercise and stretching. For my troublesome knee, when it begins to act up, stepped up knee exercises fixes it. Same with a troublesome back. I'm very careful about good posture when lifting supplemented with core exercises. The pelvis girdle is the largest bone in the body and muscle in the body, directly or indirectly is connected to it. So if one area of the body is showing signs of strain, it is likely related to core stability.

Some years ago, when I played tennis regularly, I began having steady shoulder pain, not serious enough to stop playing but it had been plaguing me for months. While seeing a chiropractor (who was also a body builder) for my troublesome back, I mentioned my tennis shoulder. He gave me several exercises to do at home and the pain stopped almost immediately, within a day or two. I tucked the fact away, that exercise can alleviate or cure over use injuries. So today when something acts up to cause discomfort, I don't rest it, I step up exercises. My routine may not work for everyone but it costs me nothing and I like feeling strong and agile, well for an 80 y.o. man.

KraneXL 10-27-18 02:25 PM


Originally Posted by berner (Post 20636258)
Maintaining strength and flexibility is more important than improving performance. In my view maintaining mobility well beyond our youngish years should be part of the mix as well. Steady, often vigorous exercise coupled with stretching to maintain range of motion go together. If we go to any public place, such as a shopping mall, notice people in their older years and how they move. The ones I see move poorly, older than actual years. Many did not use it and lost it.

I have, even when I was young. At one point I believed it was a given as you age. Then I notice some people never get like that.


I have a number of physical issues that have caused considerable trouble over the years. I've managed to almost illiminate most of them through exercise and stretching. For my troublesome knee, when it begins to act up, stepped up knee exercises fixes it. Same with a troublesome back. I'm very careful about good posture when lifting supplemented with core exercises. The pelvis girdle is the largest bone in the body and muscle in the body, directly or indirectly is connected to it. So if one area of the body is showing signs of strain, it is likely related to core stability.
Almost everyone will have trouble with their back at some point or another. Being tall make you even more prone as one ages. Which I'm experiencing at this moment.


Some years ago, when I played tennis regularly, I began having steady shoulder pain, not serious enough to stop playing but it had been plaguing me for months. While seeing a chiropractor (who was also a body builder) for my troublesome back, I mentioned my tennis shoulder. He gave me several exercises to do at home and the pain stopped almost immediately, within a day or two. I tucked the fact away, that exercise can alleviate or cure over use injuries. So today when something acts up to cause discomfort, I don't rest it, I step up exercises. My routine may not work for everyone but it costs me nothing and I like feeling strong and agile, well for an 80 y.o. man.
Exercise is the closest we can get to the fountain of youth. It can literally reverse the signs of aging for anyone and at any age. It is second only to a good healthy diet.

wolfchild 10-27-18 03:52 PM


Originally Posted by berner (Post 20636258)
Maintaining strength and flexibility is more important than improving performance. In my view maintaining mobility well beyond our youngish years should be part of the mix as well. Steady, often vigorous exercise coupled with stretching to maintain range of motion go together. If we go to any public place, such as a shopping mall, notice people in their older years and how they move.

I will go even further and say that healthy movement patterns is even more important than raw strength. There are many people who are strong in the gym or naturally strong because of their genetics but who can't move properly and their range of motion is very restricted, what's the point of being strong when a person can't move properly, or has difficulty performing daily tasks ??

billyjoe44 11-30-18 04:49 PM

I'm in the same boat. As much as I stretch, I see minimal results. I'm starting to believe my inflexibility is due to weak hip flexors

OBoile 11-30-18 10:34 PM

I'm not very flexible. That point has been driven home by doing parent and tot gymnastics this year. I probably should work at it more than I do (which is pretty much never).

Clyde1820 12-01-18 06:57 PM


Originally Posted by billyjoe44 (Post 20685522)
I'm in the same boat. As much as I stretch, I see minimal results. I'm starting to believe my inflexibility is due to weak hip flexors

A big target of focus, for me. Both from the standpoint of strength as well as flexibility.

Here are a few links that might help:

Flex Those Flexors: 3 Steps To Powerful Hips @ BodyBuilding.

3 Workouts To Increase Your Hip Mobility @ BodyBuilding.

Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch @ Muscle & Fitness.

Hip Flexor search results @ Muscle & Fitness.

Hip Flexor Stretches @ Sensational Yoga Poses.

Road Fan 01-18-19 06:13 PM


Originally Posted by hillcrawler (Post 20580800)
Lay down on the ground on your back and try to make a 90 degree angle by lifting your legs (one by one of course).

I fail this test as I can make only a 60 degree angle with my left leg while I can lift my right leg almost straight.

Is it due to tight hamstrings do you think? Or some gluteal muscles? How do you think I can correct this and make both legs equally flexible?
​​​​​​
P.s. I don't ride for about five years due to some patellafemoral syndrome. I wonder if it has to do anything with this and maybe I can ride again if I can correct this.

In what way is failing this criterion a failure? Where does it prove that it is necessary to satisfy this criterion?


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