Losing suppleness?

alasdairgf

New Member
Location
Liverpool
The thread topic might give the mistaken impression that I'm supple... not so! I'm a long-term meditator in a Zen tradition, though, and for some time have been half-heartedly trying to get my legs into something more-or-less approaching half lotus position. I think I just started too late in life for any real success on this one, to be honest, but that's another story for another forum...

However, in the three weeks I've been cycling now, I've noticed that my legs, hips and groin seem to be getting less supple even while my overall physical condition seems to be improving (well, except for my weight as in other post).

Wanted to know whether I should have expected this loss of supplesness, and if there's anything I can do to mitigate it?
 

Globalti

Legendary Member
Cycling is like going to a gym and only doing exercise for one set of muscles - you build up fantastic strength in those needed for moving the pedals around plus a little in trunk and shoulders but not much else. Since I started cycling 22 years ago I have been able to romp up mountains like they're not there but coming down is a nightmare and cripples me for three days afterwards!
 

buddha

Veteran
alasdairgf said:
The thread topic might give the mistaken impression that I'm supple... not so! I'm a long-term meditator in a Zen tradition, though, and for some time have been half-heartedly trying to get my legs into something more-or-less approaching half lotus position. ...
?
When sitting on a chair, bring one leg up so that the outside of that foot rests on the (top of) the knee/thigh of the other leg. Stay like that for as long as is comfortable and repeat with the other leg.
Sitting on the floor (with a firm cushion under your bum) cross-legged whilst watching tv helps.

Also try and to at least 10 minutes stretching after cycling - the more the better. The most useful one I find is: standing on one leg, bring up the other leg, heel to your bottom. And hold the raised foot into the opposite hand. Maintain this stretch for at least 45sec whilst breathing. Repeat for the opposite leg.

Persevere and you'll be doing a half-lotus in no time!:rolleyes:
best of luck.
 

Fab Foodie

hanging-on in quiet desperation ...
If you're going to cycle a lot and you want to maintain flexibility, then you'll have do a lot of stretching. I found a local 'Body-Balance' class was a vey good way to build core strength and improve suppleness.
 

Crankarm

Legendary Member
Location
Nr Cambridge
Fab Foodie said:
If you're going to cycle a lot and you want to maintain flexibility, then you'll have do a lot of stretching. I found a local 'Body-Balance' class was a vey good way to build core strength and improve suppleness.
By any chance were there nubile young ladies present FF :sad:?
 

Fiona N

Veteran
alasdairgf said:
... I'm a long-term meditator in a Zen tradition, though, and for some time have been half-heartedly trying to get my legs into something more-or-less approaching half lotus position...
I think this is what you need - in fact there's loads of great advice and articles (including Yoga for cyclists under cross training) on the Yoga Journal website, including really good videos and, of course, some really good looking girls and boys demonstrating the asanas :laugh:
 

Vega

New Member
I'm guessing when you say supple, your referring to your flexibility? I would think that the more you cycle, the more you will build up your muscles in your legs. And the bigger your muscles are, the less flexible you will be. Your muscles are probably tightening and strengthening and reducing your flexibility. I guess you could combat this by stretching more and also practicing yoga or other fitness routines that focus on bending and flexing your body.
 

Ciaran Patrick

New Member
Location
Hextable, Kent
Flexibilty is a functional issue for the way your body functions. You need basic flexibility to perform for the way you live. if you perform an activity you will naturally tighten up around the main joints used to perform specific motor functions of that activity. This is especially true if you perform that activity is new or excess to what you are used to, the movement architecture of that activity can tend to tighten muscles around a range of joints. There are various solutions to improving functional felexibility. Move on the bike more when cycling. Develop a more constructive and progressive training programme. Develop a functional stretching programme after rides and also between rides. This could take the form of a movement patterns and the patterns could be endless but need to be specific to the cyclist. Regular fitness pilates or yoga, to develop core and stability function around the body. Thats a few ideas now you can use your imagainationa nd develop soemthing to suit yourself. Don't follow tradition but develop something unique for your self.
 

Ciaran Patrick

New Member
Location
Hextable, Kent
Oh One additional thing. Increase muscle size does not necessarily indicate reduction in flexibility. Look at olympic weight lifters and the flexibility you need to life a bar for say the clean and jerk. They have developed massive felxion in the arms back and legs and they lift up to 3 times there body weight. Male gymnasts are heavily muscles but very flexibility. Flexibility is is not related to uscle size but to conditioning pattern paradigms.
 

Kestevan

Last of the Summer Winos
Location
Holmfirth.
Besides cycling I also practice a Korean martial art (Tang Soo Do) which involves a lot of high kicks.

I've noticed that when I go to class following a ride (even after a 10 mile commute), my hip mobility is very much reduced compared to days whenI haven't cycled. Split type stretches are mainly affected.

The act of turning the pedals definately tightens up the hamstrings and inner thighs
 
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