Flexibility/stretching program

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Flexibility/stretching program

Postby Roobar » Sun Jun 08, 2014 6:50 pm

Hi,
Being a convert from Olympic level drinker, smoker and lounge lizard for about 20 years to a padawan cyclist I'm starting to realize how much my flexibility is now limiting me. Does anyone have a good flexibility/stretching program recommendation?

I need something self/tv/iPad run as the town I live in lacks any Pilates/yoga classes most of the time, and when it does my wife claims it in place of my cycling.
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by BNA » Sun Jun 08, 2014 10:43 pm

BNA
 

Re: Flexibility/stretching program

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Sun Jun 08, 2014 10:43 pm

There is a current thread on this at http://www.bicycles.net.au/forums/viewtopic.php?f=49&t=75987 I suggest that you should head there.

Be aware that, contrary to popular opinion, there is little evidence that stretching just before exercise is any better than doing it some other time except for a limited set of cases. A piece from the other thread put's it quite well.

herzog wrote:Stretching before exercise is only really needed for activities where there is a risk of hyper extension. Skiing, or sprinting (running) for example.

You can't really hyperextend yourself on a bike other than in a crash situation, because your range of movement is tightly constrained by the orbit of the cranks.
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Re: Flexibility/stretching program

Postby Andy » Mon Jun 09, 2014 10:11 am

It sounds like you are concerned in gaining back some flexibility after a period of inactivity more than pre post exercise stretches. Use it or lose it is true. You can find plenty of good examples on youtube for stretching exercises to improve movement. For cycling specific stretches there should be plenty of advice on this and other cycling forums to set you straight.

From my experience I find my hamstrings, glutes, calves, quads and ITB tighten up due to cycling and carrying my bulk around. Like you and many others on this forum I won gold in elbow bending for a long time. The frequency and longer you hold the stretch the more you gain. If you can get a helper for some or to begin with even better. A physio told me to hold a stretch for at least 30 seconds to get the most from it if only doing it once a day.

After a ride I usually have a shower and then a stretching routine using the timer on my phone to count 35 seconds. The key thing is to do it daily and if possible more than once to improve. It takes a bit of patience but I also try to fit stretches in if waiting for the kettle or have a spare moment. It becomes habit and a bit catlike. Cats are always stretching to be ready in case the fight or flight mode kicks in.

I didn't watch all but it will get you going... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hp3mzRadyHA

Oh, and It's incredible how much stretching hurts especially in the beginning.
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Re: Flexibility/stretching program

Postby Roobar » Tue Jun 10, 2014 11:32 pm

Awesome, thanks for that
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Re: Flexibility/stretching program

Postby Daus » Thu Jun 12, 2014 5:01 pm

Andy wrote:It sounds like you are concerned in gaining back some flexibility after a period of inactivity more than pre post exercise stretches. Use it or lose it is true. You can find plenty of good examples on youtube for stretching exercises to improve movement. For cycling specific stretches there should be plenty of advice on this and other cycling forums to set you straight.

From my experience I find my hamstrings, glutes, calves, quads and ITB tighten up due to cycling and carrying my bulk around. Like you and many others on this forum I won gold in elbow bending for a long time. The frequency and longer you hold the stretch the more you gain. If you can get a helper for some or to begin with even better. A physio told me to hold a stretch for at least 30 seconds to get the most from it if only doing it once a day.

After a ride I usually have a shower and then a stretching routine using the timer on my phone to count 35 seconds. The key thing is to do it daily and if possible more than once to improve. It takes a bit of patience but I also try to fit stretches in if waiting for the kettle or have a spare moment. It becomes habit and a bit catlike. Cats are always stretching to be ready in case the fight or flight mode kicks in.

I didn't watch all but it will get you going... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hp3mzRadyHA

Oh, and It's incredible how much stretching hurts especially in the beginning.


Andy has got it right! my PT corrected an issue with my knees that I have been living with for years, cycling like many sports is muscle specific and I now complete about 15 to 20 mins of stretching and rolling exactly the same groups as above and it has made a very large difference to my knee strength and stability- I look back now and realise that with the right advice years ago I would have saved a lot of pain- oh hindsight.
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Re: Flexibility/stretching program

Postby Andy » Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:35 am

It was initially a knee problem for me too. Main culprits for my knee were the ITB and quads but the physio said it's all connected and even shoulder and back regions can have an effect on the lower half. The stretching really made a difference and I try to do it as often as possible but it can be easy to get lax.
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Re: Flexibility/stretching program

Postby Daus » Fri Jun 13, 2014 5:31 pm

I tend not to let the exercises slip as I do them at the gym after my warm-up usually on the cross-trainer- does a lot for the knee as well. I do gym work usually 3 to 4 days per week to keep myself moving and my main motivation has been the improvement in flexibility of all my ageing parts. I also have a foam roller at home with a nice 10 kg ball that are great to roll the hard to get to bits.
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