Stretches: Warming up and cooling down?

DaleB

Active Member
Location
Manchester
Hi all,

I'm about to leave on a weeklong cycling trip, as you know it's important that i avoid injury whilst on it (also during commuting afterwards)...



I was just looking for some advice on what the best stretches were for both warming up and cooling down, i currently have no idea :smile:

Any suggestions and links to 'explanations' of how they are performed would be much appreciated :biggrin:



(Mainly looking for leg ones but any within the whole body to get me loose would be great :biggrin:)
 

Rob3rt

Man or Moose!
Location
Manchester
Check youtube, or google, there are loads of sites with stretches and video's on youtube, or try looking at the cyclist traininig bible/triathletes training bible etc by joe Friel, they both include sections on stretching for cycling, the triathon version includes some for the other sports too (as would be expected).

Its only a few pages in each book, so maybe not worth buying, but if a library near you has it, photocopy those pages.
 

e-rider

crappy member
Location
South West
Stretching can definitely help prevent injurys especially as you get older. When I was young I never used to bother and never got injured either - different story when you get older though ;-(
 

Yellow Fang

Legendary Member
Location
Reading
They say it's better to do your stretches after exercise than before. If you stretch while cold then you can pull something. Cycling can tighten up your ITBs (the tight ligament/muscle along the outside of your thigh), but these are difficult to stretch. Cycling can shorten some leg muscles too. One stretch you could do to lengthen achilles and calf muscles is to stand on a stair with your heels over the edge and stand on tip toe, then drop your ankles down below the level of the stair. Another one you could do is stand on one leg, bend your knee and then straighten again a few times. Might not do anything, but probably won't hurt.
 

Rob3rt

Man or Moose!
Location
Manchester
There is (apparently) recent research to suggest dynamic stretches are more beneficial before exercise than static stretches.
 

Yellow Fang

Legendary Member
Location
Reading
That's odd, I thought there had been research to say dynamic stretches were not a good idea before exercise. They were banned at our running club.
 

Yellow Fang

Legendary Member
Location
Reading
I think these are stretches in which you move a bit while doing the stretch. For example, if you were touching your toes, a dynamic stretch might involve bouncing your back up and down so you can reach them. I think they're considered a bad idea because you can bounce too hard and pull something.
 

montage

God Almighty
Location
Bethlehem
dynamic before, static after.
You want to try and avoid stretching cold muscles.
Imagine your muscle as a bit of chewing gum. Whilst it is cold and unused, stretch it - it will snap. Now, chew the chewing gum for a bit, symbolising warming up the muscle through exercise, then stretch it. It stretches nicely :wahhey:
 
OP
DaleB

DaleB

Active Member
Location
Manchester
Yellow Fang said:
They say it's better to do your stretches after exercise than before. If you stretch while cold then you can pull something. Cycling can tighten up your ITBs (the tight ligament/muscle along the outside of your thigh), but these are difficult to stretch. Cycling can shorten some leg muscles too. One stretch you could do to lengthen achilles and calf muscles is to stand on a stair with your heels over the edge and stand on tip toe, then drop your ankles down below the level of the stair. Another one you could do is stand on one leg, bend your knee and then straighten again a few times. Might not do anything, but probably won't hurt.
Cheers, i'll try these!


montage said:
dynamic before, static after.
You want to try and avoid stretching cold muscles.
Imagine your muscle as a bit of chewing gum. Whilst it is cold and unused, stretch it - it will snap. Now, chew the chewing gum for a bit, symbolising warming up the muscle through exercise, then stretch it. It stretches nicely :smile:
lukesdad said:
Warm up -stretch -ride-Warm down-stretch.
Thanks, i'll do that, sound advice :wahhey:
 

Crankarm

Legendary Member
Location
Nr Cambridge
Don't forget massage ........... both lower and upper leg muscle groups. Can get a bit redious at times, but it really pays dividends. You end up with strong fingers and thumbs :biggrin:. Massage tendons as well plus the muscles in your glutinous maximus (ar$e). Great before a long ride or run and also after although your tired muscles will let you know how much you've used them ;). A clenched fist using knuckles is a very handy tool working the length of the large upper leg muscles.
 

lukesdad

Guest
Also don t forget you can stretch on the bike. One similar to the step one mentioned earlier is, to get out of the saddle drop each foot to the six o clock position and drop your ankle,must have clipless though.
 

Rob3rt

Man or Moose!
Location
Manchester
Yellow Fang said:
I think these are stretches in which you move a bit while doing the stretch. For example, if you were touching your toes, a dynamic stretch might involve bouncing your back up and down so you can reach them. I think they're considered a bad idea because you can bounce too hard and pull something.
In some cases yes, but to my understanding other dynamic stretches are performed (essentially, but not exactly) by doing exagerated movements as would be performed during the sport you are about to take part in to stretch the muscles and the surrounding muscles prior to engaging in the high intensity/high effort activity.

So for running, this might involve walking/jogging with a slightly modified stroke (ministry of silly walks style) for example running while leaning off to one side 30 secs. Would be repeated a couple of times with different strokes for different stretches.

I dont know much about this subject, was just throwing it out there since I read it somewhere recently, in 1 of the 5 books I am reading simulataniously (ill dig out the reference sometime) :biggrin:
 

HeyWayne

New Member
Location
Bedfordshire
Being of lanky proportions I have had grief with my back for years - and had an op to correct three 'slipped discs'.

However, the back isn't the main culprit it would appear (discovered a couple of years ago). My hamstrings and thighs in general are very tight - something cycling won't help.

My osteopath recommended a book to me:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Stretching-...=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1275395261&sr=8-2

And I have to say it's bladdy good - easy to follow and very explanatory.

Stretching is best done after exercise, but you still have to be careful. To stretch the outer thigh the best stretch I know is to lay on your back, pull your left knee up toward your right shoulder (vice versa for the other leg) until it feels tight. Hold for 20 seconds or so, and then push your knee towards the ceiling, but hold it tight with your hands. Repeat 4-5 times.

Or, another that stretches the same area. Again, laid on your back put your left ankle on top of your right knee (as if you are crossing your legs), then grab your right thigh and pull it up towards your chest. You should feel it pull on the outside of your thigh. Hold for 20 and then swap over. Repeat 4-5 times.

One thing that my osteo taught me was to ice after stretching. It kind of 'sets' the muscles in their stretched position.

Follow that?

Oh, and I haven't been back to see the osteopath in well over a year as a result. His words to me "If I do my job right, you won't need to see me again". Good man.
 
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