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Thread: Help me up my stretching game

  1. #1
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    Default Help me up my stretching game

    I did a search function, but apparently all you guys stretch are your tubulars and your bar tape.

    I'd like to learn a few more good-for-cycling stretches. I've just been doing typical elementary school PE type stretches. I know that can be improved upon.

    I don't have any problems...yet. Just looking to keep things that way and improve flexibility.
     

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Help me up my stretching game

    Quote Originally Posted by defspace View Post
    I did a search function, but apparently all you guys stretch are your tubulars and your bar tape.
    And chains. Over time.
    DT

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    Default Re: Help me up my stretching game

    There's a lot of new science to stretching -- worth googling around to get some of the better articles.

    A few high points:

    1. Stretching actually decreases your power output if you do it before your ride.

    2. Stretching cold is for the birds.

    3. Stretching is less effective than loaded exercise with resistance.

    4. Much of what we think we're stretching for is actually addressed with a good foam roller.
    Lane DeCamp

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    Default Re: Help me up my stretching game

    Yoga for Cyclists
    - YouTube


    Some of these are pretty good.
     

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Help me up my stretching game

    Tell that to my hamstrings and calves before I run Lane ;)

    I swear, if I did NOT do some minimal stretching every morning I'd curl up into a ball and never unfold!

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    Default Re: Help me up my stretching game

    Quote Originally Posted by 11.4 View Post
    There's a lot of new science to stretching -- worth googling around to get some of the better articles.

    A few high points:

    1. Stretching actually decreases your power output if you do it before your ride.

    2. Stretching cold is for the birds.

    3. Stretching is less effective than loaded exercise with resistance.

    4. Much of what we think we're stretching for is actually addressed with a good foam roller.
    First of all - I am no expert and agree with the above. But (you knew that word was coming) most of the studies are all about stretching before exercise which is different then stretching after exercise. For the most part, all the research ultimately gets back to one's motivation to stretch: warm up, increase flexibility, injury prevention, injury rehabilitation, feels good, etc, etc. Depending on the motivation for stretching, it can: do harm, do nothing, or do some good. All the studies over the last decade show that most of the reasons that people stretch actually fall into the categories of "does harm" and "does nothing".

    And that leads to part the OP's question. ...I will restate that I am not a biomechanical professional but am married to one and had access to many others. Between my own experience and the pre-mentioned access to actual professionals, a lot of the 'success' of increasing flexibility comes down to realistic expectations.
    For example my flexibility falls into the range of 'normal male'. Meaning...I am not very flexible. I can not touch my toes with out bending my knees. I do not have a pro-racer flat back while in the drops. If I worked to be able to touch my toes I would make myself more susceptible to injury because I would be asking my body to do something that it was not prepared to do 'out of the box'. If I go for a prolong period of time without stretching I do lose flexibility. Doing some stretching does increase it again. But we are talking about going from being able to touch my kneecaps when reaching for my toes to being able to touch 2-3 inches lower. If I had expectations of being able to touch my toes and did everything possible to achieve this, I would absolutely do damage to somethign along the way...those pesky tendons like to disconnect rather than stretch.
    I stretch after riding. Nothing major or stressful. I find it help keep things loose for the rest of the day. No magic. But feel better because of it.

    Here is an easy to digest article about stretching.

    Here are some basic stretches. ...take your pick.

    I would suggest reading the article first, set realistic expectations around what stretching is going to do for you, and do go too nuts with it.
    Brian McLaughlin

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Help me up my stretching game

    Quote Originally Posted by Too Tall View Post
    Tell that to my hamstrings and calves before I run Lane ;)

    I swear, if I did NOT do some minimal stretching every morning I'd curl up into a ball and never unfold!
    Have you tried rolling them out on a foam roller instead of stretching them?

    Have you tried warmups that would get them warm and ready to run before actually running? Do they become more flexible when you've warmed them up?

    The comments above don't have to do with issues about stretching before your run (except that you will lose some short-term strength which you probably won't really notice in a run). It's that there are alternative strategies that are more effective at doing what you seek to do. Grab a kettle bell and do some goblet squats until your legs feel warm and flexible? Do ten minutes on a Concept rower? Especially if you're very inflexible and tight, simply stretching when cold creates more issues than it solves. You train some adverse responses in the muscles, you cause some localized tissue damage, and you train your muscles to operate in a more contracted state.
    Lane DeCamp

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    Default Re: Help me up my stretching game

    I usually post a link to his book but here is a link to a bunch of videos. Don't be put off by the crossfit-ness.

    Kstar Mobility WOD
    - YouTube
     

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Help me up my stretching game

    I know I have been complacent and just doing the same routine lately. Those videos inspired me to do some new things. It feels like I just found a new pair of shoulders.
     

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