Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 46 Posts

·
exploring the fire trails
Joined
·
40 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ive been MTBing for a while, but lately its been a lot more serious; epic rides, racing etc.

Ive noticed that my legs are taking a bit of a hammering, and Im having to stretch a lot both before and after rides.

Just wondering if anyone else bothers to stretch here and what exercises they're doing?

Any recommendations for a good hamstring stretch would be appreciated!

Thanks,

Scott.
 

·
.
Joined
·
1,534 Posts
i have to or my IT bands tighten up and my knees start to hurt.

so i do a couple IT band stretches as well as basic quad & hammy stretches before heading out for every ride. will also use a foam roller to hit the same areas.
 

·
It's about showing up.
Joined
·
12,738 Posts
It has been shown that stretching BEFORE riding diminishes performance

However stretching is important. What we do is to ride easy for 15-30 minutes and then stop and stretch. We also stretch after riding.
 

·
trail rat
Joined
·
7,825 Posts
Started probably 10 years before the book first hit print.

I was lucky to have a former national caliber college sprinter as a mountaineering partner; he taught me the value of stretching in the early 70s.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
174 Posts
Berkeley Mike said:
However stretching is important. What we do is to ride easy for 15-30 minutes and then stop and stretch. We also stretch after riding.
I've never heard this. Do you have a link to this research or can you cite a source? I'd be very interested to read the study.

Light stretching has always been part of my pre-exercise routine. I always felt that it was a good way to warm up. I save the heavier stretching for post-exercise.
 

·
It's about showing up.
Joined
·
12,738 Posts
I am sorry not to have the source.

It is something I picked up about 2 years ago and has been integrated into our NorCal League Camps since then.
It was determined then to be a very hard sell to those athletes who have deep traditions for stretching from other sports; running, gymnastic, baseball. This has proven to be true, too.
Cyclists enjoy an option to work very easily to warm up as the primary factor in other sports, weight bearing, is much less an issue on wheels. What I read at the time was that stretching per se was not a bad thing but that stretching before riding lead to lower performance later in the ride/race, than stretching after light riding. It had to do with the lower density of capillaries present in connective tissues and stressing them before they were ready.
Again, my apologies for not having the source.
 

·
ride the moment
Joined
·
1,062 Posts
For overall muscle health, stretching after you exercise is kind of a duct tape solution. I recommend having dedicated stretching session several times a week. Yoga is a very easy way to do this. There are many different styles of yoga, and most offer a very intense core-muscle workout as well. Practicing yoga 2-3 times a week really improved my overall body performance. Its easy to find instructors who don't really put any spirituality in it. My class in particular is very focused on body strength and flexibility. If you just aren't into a yoga class, then I still recommend stretching your whole body at least 2-3 times a weak when your muscles are rested. I promise you will feel a difference. Stretching after a ride will keep your muscle tension from getting worse, but stretching when your muscles are rested and then letting them recover will improve the overall health and function.
 

·
Keep The Rubber Side Down
Joined
·
1,685 Posts
yep

in my early 20's; i could just start any activity with out ever worrying about stretching first. But, after pulling or partially tearing several different muscles in both legs at different times, I've learned how important stretching is.

Not only do I stretch before rides, but I often do after rides as well. Also, believe or not, taking a cold 5 min shower helps immensely with recovery. This was told to me by a former co-worker who once raced in the Tour De France. It works just like ice tubs do for professional athletes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,060 Posts
grondahl said:
The studies on stretching before exercise that I have seen have pointed to the fact that pre-workout stretching both decrease performance and increase the risk of injuries.
Berkely Mike and Grondahl are correct, extensive stretching prior to an event or workout actually have the potential to decrease performance.

The best stretching book out there, bar none, is Pavel T's Relax into Stretch, The gold standard.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,278 Posts
Another yoga convert here. One of the things I found I liked with yoga is that when I do "normal" stretching routine I tend to focus only on certain areas. With yoga there is more of a whole body approach and I feel like I get better overall results/flexibility out of it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
62 Posts
I stretch every time. Nothing outrageous but definately a good stretch is necessary.
 

·
Elitest thrill junkie
Joined
·
39,621 Posts
Berkeley Mike said:
However stretching is important. What we do is to ride easy for 15-30 minutes and then stop and stretch. We also stretch after riding.
Flexibility is a good thing, but it's been proven through studies that stretching prior to an activity does nothing to reduce the chance of injury during that activity, so in short it does nothing for you in the short-term duration, and it would probably be more beneficial to stretch on some schedule other than before your ride. So while flexibility is good, stretching before exercising does nothing for that activity.
 

·
exploring the fire trails
Joined
·
40 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks everyone! I agree about the pre-exercise stretching not being needed, in fact, they taught me the same thing in the Army; light warm up first, then some stretches, and definetly stretching after the event.

Stripes - thanks for the tip on the hamstring stretch, I'll give it a try.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
313 Posts
I stretch a couple of times per week after I lift weights. I don't feel like stretching before or after a ride, especially during the hot summer.

Being in my late 40's, I would get painful muscle stiffness after a good MTB or road ride. My hips would be so stiff that I thought I was getting arthritis. Regular stretching quickly relieved those symptoms.

Everybody else has said it but it's worth repeating; WARM UP BEFORE STRETCHING!
A minute or two of jumping rope or jumping jacks, etc should do it for most people.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
97 Posts
From my understanding, you are supposed to warm up before you stretch because that way all of your muscles and tendons have proper blood flow and are warmed up. I remember someone using the analogy of a rubber band in the freezer being easier to break so to speak.

I agree with what DogBrain (and others) have said that you need to incorporate stretching into your regular weekly exercise routine. I use Pilates, but Yoga or just simple stretching should work. Seems like the older we get, the more common it is to pull/tear a muscle.
 

·
another bozo on the bus
Joined
·
1,244 Posts
Bikram yoga 5 times a week and have never felt better, physically or mentally. I started in order to try to regain some motion in my hip and my knee lost from prior injuries/ operations, but at this point, those would just be nice side effects.
 

·
Elitest thrill junkie
Joined
·
39,621 Posts
john_mcdonough said:
From my understanding, you are supposed to warm up before you stretch because that way all of your muscles and tendons have proper blood flow and are warmed up. I remember someone using the analogy of a rubber band in the freezer being easier to break so to speak.
That is what people assumed.

Until it was tested and proved that the "rubber band" analogy has no basis in fact and that stretching before activity did not prevent injury.
 

·
ride the moment
Joined
·
1,062 Posts
washedup said:
Bikram yoga 5 times a week and have never felt better, physically or mentally. I started in order to try to regain some motion in my hip and my knee lost from prior injuries/ operations, but at this point, those would just be nice side effects.
Thats what I'm talking about! Bikram's is incredible. And then your friends complain about the heat outside and its only 90... HA! Train your body and your mind.

"You must be happy... you are suffering." - Bikram
 
1 - 20 of 46 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top