Do I need to start stretching before/after I ride?

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  • Do I need to start stretching before/after I ride?
  • Obi_Twa
    Member

    Ideally you should stretch your muscles once they are warmed up. There is very little evidence to say that post exercise stretching gives any benefit.

    Personally, I would just stretch them when I am in the bath and forget about the stretching them when out riding bit.

    Premier Icon romster
    Subscriber

    Just do some light stretches before your ride it won't do you any harm and imo will probably do you some good, calf, knee, hamstring, thigh will all be taken care of in a pretty standard stretch…..one leg forward, the other leg directly behind forming a triangle, keeping your weight on your front foot lower yourself slowly until you feel the burn in your hamstring (note burn, not pain), hold the stance for 15 seconds then slowly even out your weight and bring yourself back up. In total do this 3 times per leg.

    After the ride – increase that 15 seconds to 20 and repeat the same process.

    Just keep it simple, if it makes a difference keep it up, if it doesn't then maybe look at hydration instead of stretching and take on more water before your ride and make sure your sipping while riding……?

    Obi_Twa
    Member

    How exactly would you go about stretching your knee? 🙄

    Infact – Romster – what the hell you talking about?

    Premier Icon bullroar
    Subscriber

    You'll look even more stupid limping back to the car park if a hamstring pings 🙂

    Have you raised you saddle a bit? If I pull mine too high for a climb or road section I can feel it in 'strings.

    Premier Icon romster
    Subscriber

    How exactly would you go about stretching your knee?

    I meant within the knee obi – MCL……..

    mattp
    Member

    the best bit of advice that i was given to take care of tightness was to warm up gently, then stretch and as above hold for min 10 seconds. try doing like the yoga types do and relax in to your stretch every time you breathe out. if you're suffering with cramp add some tonic water to your hydration regime as this worked for me…

    Premier Icon romster
    Subscriber

    add some tonic water to your hydration regime

    +1

    Obi_Twa
    Member

    And why the hell would you want to stretch a ligament?

    Obi_Twa
    Member

    There is also no set time for stretching a muscle. It takes as long as it takes. You will feel it release a bit when its ready – let it go at that point.

    Premier Icon romster
    Subscriber

    I meant to take care of the the MCL obi, chill Mr Motivator!

    Obi_Twa
    Member

    Expand on your stretch to take care of the medial collateral ligament. I am perfectly chilled – just intrigued as to why someone would want to stretch something that has the job of preventing unwanted movements.

    pop larkin
    Member

    I have checked saddle height and pretty sure it's spot on- I will start doing a gentle stretch as advised and see it it helps

    HTTP404
    Member

    Certainly don't *static* stretch before exercise.
    A warm-up routine is all you need – which in itself should include some dynamic stretches for the muscles you're about to use. Nothing more.
    Cycling is a closed kinetic chain exercise so wouldn't have thought to require a stretching routine at all.

    cycleactive
    Member

    stretching theories can clash but i think the accepted wisdom now is don't stretch cold, tight muscles (before you ride) just warm, loose ones (after the ride). Like mattp said, ride slow to start with and after 10 or 15 mins at steady state, when you feel the heat coming to your legs, stop and gently stretch out your calves and hamstrings at least.

    A really good stretch session after a ride will make a big difference to your healthly long cycling life. We do coaching for an awful lot of people now, from recreational riders to elite racers, and the one thing we see across the board is that those who have a good stretching routine (not necessarily a long one) suffer less injuries, have better posture on and off the bike, and usually pick up new techniques more quickly too.

    Best way to learn some good stretches is either find a yoga or pilates class, get a book or scout the internet for ideas.

    Finally, if you have never stretched then you may be harbouring some old muscle damage, knots or tight spots that can really be helped by sports massage. I confess to having been a cynic about this until two years ago when Tom in Penrith started fixing me with his lazer accurate massage. Makes such a difference, every now and then.

    Chris@CycleActive

    HTTP404
    Member

    As above. Develop a stretching routine in its own time and place.

    Obi_Twa
    Member

    I know it's a novel idea, but how about going on a stretching course run by someone like a physio? I personally wouldnt trust any stretching advice given by personal trainers or suchlike. One of my student colleagues is mortified at some of the stuff that he did as a personal trainer now that he has a more indepth knowledge through his physio studies.

    Premier Icon romster
    Subscriber

    Expand on your stretch to take care of the medial collateral ligament.

    After having a grade 1 tear, this is one of the recovery exercises i used as advised by the quacks, and it's something i've continued to do before jumping on the bike and getting off ever since, again something advised to do by the quacks…….

    pop larkin
    Member

    I have started feeling tightness in my hamstrings both whilst riding and after- never stretched before just a case of get on bike and ride but is this something I should be doing to alleviate any problems going forward.

    It may be an age thing I dont know but any suggestions – preferably that wont make me look too stupid on the car park- greatfully accepted.

    Obi_Twa
    Member

    Hmmm – that's probably a good reason to not listen to quacks when it comes to this kind of stuff….

    Premier Icon romster
    Subscriber

    To be fair mate i feel like it does me good but if you've got any suggestions i'm interested to know what they are….but based on your first reply to this post you just stretch things when your in the bath……. 😆

    Obi_Twa
    Member

    You had a slight tear to a ligament. It's probably gone now. Just go ride your bike and dont worry about it.

    Muscles are at their warmest and most stretchable in the bath – hence the reason for stretching them in the bath. My wife tells me that other parts of my anatomy dont need stretched an further.

    Premier Icon romster
    Subscriber

    My wife tells me that other parts of my anatomy dont need stretched an further.

    😆 – Good lad, lol……and on that note i'm off to plan some stretching of my own, "WIIIIIIIIFE"…..

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