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Stretching, or the lack of(11 posts)

Stretching, or the lack ofTig
Dec 4, 2001 11:21 AM
I noticed at various group rides that very few riders stretch before, during, or after a ride. I know you shouldn't stretch cold muscles, but I'm talking about people who ride to the ride and are warmed up, or don't stretch during a water break. They just lean on their bars and socialize. Sure, it's not a requirement, but the benefits are real. I love how my legs and body feel after a few basic stretches.

I'm wondering if I'm in the minority here, or just ride with posers! The groups range from basic recreational riders up to cat 1 sr's, masters, and national jr champions.
The older I getStraightblock
Dec 4, 2001 11:59 AM
the more I stretch. When I was in my 20's, racing every week & riding 200+ miles a week I never gave it a thought. Now, at 46, I still don't stretch very often before rides, just ride easy for the first few miles, but stretching during rest stops & after the ride really seem to help. I find it particularly helpful during the winter months when I'm mixing running and riding.
re: Stretching, or the lack ofPaulCL
Dec 4, 2001 12:04 PM
I try to stop and stretch for a few minutes after about 3 miles. Admittedly, I don't do this if I'm in a group of riders. This is about the only sport were no one stretches before hand...I don't know why?

During my 'non-riding' workouts, I spend at least 10 minutes at the beginning and end doing stretching. Afterall..."Long muscles are strong muscles"
That's stretching itMcAndrus
Dec 4, 2001 12:05 PM
I know the topic line doesn't fit. Sorry.

I've been interested in cycle related stretching but I don't know much about it, yet. I suppose someone will recommend Friel on the subject.

Years ago (decades really) I was a yoga practioner and today I still do some stretches after a ride but not before. Also I noticed the same behavior in a group as you, that is, no one takes advantage of a break to do even a simple quad stretch.

I've also read snippets from those in the know that proper stretching can enhance performance by making the muscles more supple and responsive.

Does anyone know if there a cycling specific stretches (Friel, I suppose)?
I like the basicsTig
Dec 4, 2001 12:54 PM
I just stick to the basic stretches.
Quad's: simple pulling the ankle up to the glut (never to the side at the hip joint - this can cause knee injuries) and then point the knee behind me a little. At the end of this stretch, I like to point the knee up and out to the side (like a karate kick) to stretch the medial muscles in the thigh.

Calves: place one foot a few feet away from a wall and hold onto wall. The non-stretching leg supports and is under me while the stretching leg has it's heel firmly placed on the ground. Lean towards the wall with a slight bend in the knee.

Ham strings: The tried and true cross your ankles while standing and touch the ground works. It will stretch the leg that is in the back, but can be tricky to balance with road cleats. I get a better stretch by standing with feet a little wider than shoulder width and bend down, touching the ground with knees slightly bent. Adjust the knee bend to stretch different parts of the ham strings.

A few upper body stretches completes everything. Remember to breath and relax during each stretch. Do them slowly without bouncing. Maybe others can suggest a few stretches and methods.
I do nowtarwheel
Dec 4, 2001 1:19 PM
I didn't used to stretch much when I was younger, but it's caught up with me now. If I don't stretch enough now, my legs really feel it, particularly the hamstrings. Sometimes I forget to stretch for a few days and then I have to stop and stretch during a ride. Generally I try to stretch before riding, during the breaks on longer rides, and later one during the day.
The bookmr_spin
Dec 4, 2001 1:31 PM
There is a classic book called Stretching that details a whole bunch of different stretches. Then it has sections on specific sports, and which of stretches are best for that sport.

Often, if I am driving to the start of a ride, I will stretch before I get in the car. So it may look like I don't stretch, but actually, I've already done my whole routine. I'm sure the benefits diminish as the length of the drive increases, but I rarely drive more than 20 minutes, so I figure I am in good shape.
re: If it feels good and you have time, do it - nmdzrider
Dec 4, 2001 1:37 PM
re: Stretching, or the lack ofbigrb
Dec 4, 2001 2:35 PM
I think more people stretch than you think. Most don't do it AT the ride. I usually stretch about 15 minutes a day, at home. I hold most of my leg stretches for 30 sec. to a minute and upper body stuff from 15-30 sec.
Also, I'm taking a stab in the dark, but I bet you're in so. cal... just guessing by the attendance of the group rides.
Not in So CalTig
Dec 4, 2001 4:26 PM
Houston, Texas. The group rides can reach up to 75 or 80. The groups split up for safety and to be able to get through the lights at the start of a ride.

The strongest rider is in his 40's and was once the Jr champion of England, as well as the Milk Race winner. He suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome a few years ago, but is back and can hold a sickeningly high average speed for a long time. Some people are just born with it. Funny thing is you'll never see him mouth breath!
re: Stretching, or the lack ofDutchy
Dec 4, 2001 8:03 PM
I always stretch before every ride. It only takes 3 minutes to do. It's just part of my ritual before riding.
I then stretch at food stops while I'm eating a powerbar etc. Then I stretch after every ride as
soon as I get home. I also stretch later on that night. Now that I think about it I probably do stretches
every day wether I ride or not. I guess I do this because I virtually do no warm up/cool down rides.
I normally go up and down the street 3 times then go. Afterwards I normally just park the bike straight in the house.
Do whatever works for you.