Cyclists who climb???

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  • Cyclists who climb???
  • ti_pin_man
    Member

    After seeing a few posts in the last week about climbing, maybe some of you guys can give me some advice (famous last words and fully expect the usual torrent of abuse) 😉

    I’ve been a cyclist for 22+ years and still ride most days. As such my legs are pretty strong, big thighs, slim waist… I know this from buying jeans and struggling to get the fit right. Anyway… about a year and a half ago I started bouldering, only about once or twice a week until about 6 months ago when I managed to get more time and now boulder 2 or 3 times a week if i can. What I’ve found is that like any new climber I’m slowly building up finger / arm strength and improving my moves but the one weakness I have is flexibility. So much so that I’ve now been to a couple of pilates classes and even the teacher there says I’m like a coiled knot. lol.

    So I was wondering if any other cyclists have had the same problem when climbing and what they did to get over it?

    My figuring is pilates or yoga classes and much more stretching below the hips before I start.

    Do I need to go further and stretch even when not climbing to ‘loosen’ up the knot? thoughts? what have you done?

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    I’ve been runnign for the past few months and have reached the same conclusion – the range of movements for cycling is so small that beyond that everything barely works.

    Been seeign a physio and gradually building up a set of stretches etc that I can use. Foam roller on the legs is great, too.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    when I climbed every other day I could bend flex and move in incredible ways, I went to a yoga class with a friend for a laugh and could do a hell of a lot of it.

    nearly 10 years of riding and no climbing and I can’t touch my toes properly.
    On the plus side I can type without having to tape my fingers

    ti_pin_man
    Member

    wwass – physio? hmm interesting.. seems extreme action, was it flexibility you went there to find? or another reason disconnected? I was planning to find a yoga class but maybe a regular stretch habit is what I need. Although I’d miss seeing the pilates instructor 😉

    donal
    Member

    Yoga helped my flexibility, core strength and breathing hugely, and was really beneficial for my climbing. However, it was only when I practiced 5-6 mornings a week that I really felt that it helped. As my yoga instructor used to say “practice, practice, practice”. If you can make it part of your daily routine (in the morning before breakfast) you will see improvements, but remember that it takes time to loosen and soften the body.

    ti_pin_man
    Member

    donal – wow that many times? I generally crawl out of bed get my cycling gear and hit the commute most mornings, breakfast is at work. I think I’ll have to do it after work before i climb.

    mt
    Member

    Regular stretching is the key, especially hamstrings. There a plenty of climbing related stretching books out there. Yoga will be good but hard going at first. Get into a routine of getting warm then a good stretch. Have fun.

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    ti_pin_man – I knew my muscles were all over the place and thought a personal approach would work better for me. I’ve been going for an hour once a week which is split between him trying to sort out my back and leg muscles through massage etc and showing me stretches etc that will help develop the muscles causign imbalance as well as loosening off those that are tight.

    Doing a little strectching regularly is probably better than just getting a massage once a week to sort out all the knots that have developed since last visit seems to be the advice he gives. Which is encouragign as I don’t want to be seeing him long term.

    B.A.Nana
    Member

    I don’t think Don Whillans ever went to yoga/pilate classes.

    brooess
    Member

    Flexibility and core strength help you whatever sport you participate in IME. But they help with climbing in particular. You should be letting your legs take the weight, not arms, so a strong core will help. And flexibility makes it easier to reach the best holds 🙂

    I do 2-3 flexibility and core sessions a week as well as a stretch down session after every run and ride.

    Cycling is known to tighten up hamstring and lower back in particular so if you ride 2-3 times a week, my view is that core and flexibility work is essential rather than an option…

    I’d also recommend cross-training – swimming or running – to keep your muscle use balanced…

    ti_pin_man
    Member

    broos – indeed, after looking at my climbing strengths and weaknesses I know flexibility is one of the main ones. footwork is of course the other – i think its a beginners curse and part of the rights of passage to improve footwork when climbing. I’m working on that one! The flexibility was my other. Core strength is fine and upper strnegth is better than average. my weakness is definitly my ability to move well across a climb. 🙂

    bencooper
    Member

    I’ve found this with martial arts – I’ve cycled for decades, and even 6 years of martial arts training hasn’t get my flexibility up to what even a beginner can manage in some directions.

    Never found it a problem climbing, though – it’s more side stretches that are woeful.

    ti_pin_man
    Member

    B.A Nana – nor did he cycle for twenty years 😉

    donal
    Member

    Fitting it in is hard at first but it just becomes part of the daily routine. I was getting up at 6 rather than 6.45 which was a killer for a short period of time but your body gets used to it (and you just get to bed earlier). As fluffy as it sounds, I was the most content I had ever been. Difficult to expain, but it does more than make you flexible and strong.

    It greatly improved my trad climbing as well where breathing and being able to calm your mind and body are so important.

    elliptic
    Member

    I don’t think Don Whillans ever went to yoga/pilate classes

    Not quite, but…

    According to legend the yogi held out his hand for the customary alms. “Hmmm…you on some kind of sponsored walk then?” says Don in his flattest Lancashire accent…

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