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To Stretch, or Not To Stretch: that is the question

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To Stretch, or Not To Stretch: that is the question

Old 02-21-19, 07:45 PM
  #76  
CycleryNorth81
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I do not see this as a sad and divisive topic. This is freedom of expression. While people may not agree, each side has the freedom to express their views. This occurs in a open and free society.
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Old 02-21-19, 07:47 PM
  #77  
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Originally Posted by CycleryNorth81 View Post
I do not see this as a sad and divisive topic. This is freedom of expression. While people may not agree, each side has the freedom to express their views. This occurs in a open and free society.
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Old 02-21-19, 11:02 PM
  #78  
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I only stretch when I am in bed. I figure that is enough for the day.
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Old 02-21-19, 11:12 PM
  #79  
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Originally Posted by Bikesplendor View Post
I haven't read the whole thread, but just thought I would share this:

I never stretch, and I've never had problems due to not stretching.

I sometimes do take it easy for a first few minutes of riding. But I usually don't even think about it.

How would you know?
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Old 02-21-19, 11:28 PM
  #80  
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back shoulders hands , before during , ive heard stretching legs release lactic acid so its best to just those stay natural , unless it really helps you then do it , after some trial and error ...
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Old 02-22-19, 01:38 AM
  #81  
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Originally Posted by woodcraft View Post
How would you know?
Well, I have stretched in the past because people kept telling me I had to. I stopped many years ago, and never noticed any difference except that I don't have to waste time doing something uncomfortable and boring.
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Old 02-22-19, 01:50 AM
  #82  
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Originally Posted by Teamprovicycle View Post
back shoulders hands , before during , ive heard stretching legs release lactic acid so its best to just those stay natural , unless it really helps you then do it , after some trial and error ...
Stretching literally has absolutely nothing to do with eliminating lactate in the muscles. That's entirely determined by metabolism, blood circulation, and your liver. In a normal person, it takes about an hour to clear after you stop the activity. Lactic acid (actually lactate) causing post-workout muscle pain is largely a myth. You can get some pain from it during workout, but the body is very efficient in getting rid of it, except in very rare circumstances having nothing to do with stretching.
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Old 02-22-19, 02:07 AM
  #83  
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Originally Posted by Spoonrobot View Post
Please share the link(s) to whatever studies you have that show the effects of stretching on cyclist position and flexibility. I haven't looked in a while but last time I did a few years ago the only literature was branded studies from Specialized and a saddle company that escapes me (Fizik?).
I wasn't referring to studies of cyclist position and flexibility, just those of stretching generally. @Machka posted some good links above, and you can see that the claimed benefits are really nothing that dramatic.

I'm completely skeptical of any "branded" research as I don't know what commercial motives might lie in releasing the information.

I don't want to overstate my position here. My guess is that some people probably benefit more from stretching than others, and we self-select. I also think we self-select into what bike postures work best for us, and it's absolutely ridiculous to assert that everyone would be better off riding "slammed". I know you didn't say that, but the other poster strongly implied it.
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Old 02-22-19, 04:04 AM
  #84  
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Definitely NOT before.

During is all right and can be good on long rides to work the kinks out of the back and shoulders.

After ... is up to you. You're warmed up so it might be time to work on the hamstrings if you want.
I stick to my original comment above.
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Old 02-22-19, 05:43 AM
  #85  
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
I stick to my original comment above.

I think you and I are in 100% agreement. Do it if you find it helps. I didn't know about the cold muscle problem before you posted it. Almost everyone I see stretching in a gym seems to violate that rule.

Nothing in what you posted indicates that there are negative consequences to skipping it if you don't find it helpful, and I haven't come across much to suggest that stretching can be harmful (except pre-workout).
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Old 02-22-19, 08:17 AM
  #86  
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Someone in this thread cited dogs and cats stretching as evidence/proof that humans should follow stretching protocols. If anyone has seen a cat or dog stretching for more than 5 to 10 seconds (as opposed to the various recommendations of stretching for 5 minutes/15 minutes/30 minutes), I'd be interested to hear about it.
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Old 02-22-19, 08:21 AM
  #87  
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I recommend stretching.
Try it if you want to be more flexible.
It helps me in life and sports.
Companies know it works and many have hourly reminders on your computer for stretching breaks from sitting/typing.
Yoga takes it to the next level with meditative benefits from the deep breathing (a default benefit when cycling)
As with many areas of life, there are usually two sides and will not agree ... (typeA vs typeB, liberal vs conservative, good vs bad
YMMV but try to have an open mind and give it a try
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Old 02-22-19, 08:23 AM
  #88  
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Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
Someone in this thread cited dogs and cats stretching as evidence/proof that humans should follow stretching protocols. If anyone has seen a cat or dog stretching for more than 5 to 10 seconds (as opposed to the various recommendations of stretching for 5 minutes/15 minutes/30 minutes), I'd be interested to hear about it.
It was me, and it was just an observation, not intended to be a substitute for a bunch of really smart guys with advanced degrees in white labcoats who don't even ride bikes or exercise, telling us how to be healthier and ride faster.
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Old 02-22-19, 08:46 AM
  #89  
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Originally Posted by Lemond1985 View Post
It was me, and it was just an observation, not intended to be a substitute for a bunch of really smart guys with advanced degrees in white labcoats who don't even ride bikes or exercise, telling us how to be healthier and ride faster.
Well, that's a false dichotomy... You think that the people doing sports medicine research aren't, themselves, sporty people? Hmm...

Regardless, I would trust the knowledge produced by an overweight schlub with a PhD who had completed a convincing study, over the advice of your average fitness dude bro.

In fact, my current PT does have an advanced degree, is an instructor at the medical school, and for the particular injury we're trying to resolve, he cautions against doing too much stretching despite the fact that I have very short hamstrings.

Last edited by clengman; 02-22-19 at 09:07 AM.
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Old 02-22-19, 02:55 PM
  #90  
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Earlier in the thread, ridelikeaturtle wrote, in response to someone else's comment:

"It's good you've found a way to temporarily alleviate your lower back pain."
Unless I'm misinterpreting the comment, the implication seemed to be that stretching wasn't a permanent fix.

But that's fine too. One of the concessions I've made to aging and multiple injuries is that the consequent chronic pain is permanent and the best we can hope for is temporary relief. Between an old neck/back injury and permanent C2 damage (hit by car in 2001) and more recent shoulder injury (hit again last year), neck, shoulder and upper back pain are a daily thing.

So I'll try anything that minimizes the need for prescription pain meds or OTC NSAIDs. Exercise helps as much as anything else. But it's hard to even get started on the bike until I work out the kinks.

Pre-ride stretching and topical analgesics offer only temporary relief. But I'll take it. Beats the alternatives. And I don't see any negative effect on my speed. I'm the same 16 mph average slug with or without pre-ride stretching. The only difference is I enjoy the ride more with pre-ride stretching.
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Old 02-22-19, 04:33 PM
  #91  
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
Earlier in the thread, ridelikeaturtle wrote, in response to someone else's comment:



Unless I'm misinterpreting the comment, the implication seemed to be that stretching wasn't a permanent fix.

But that's fine too. One of the concessions I've made to aging and multiple injuries is that the consequent chronic pain is permanent and the best we can hope for is temporary relief. Between an old neck/back injury and permanent C2 damage (hit by car in 2001) and more recent shoulder injury (hit again last year), neck, shoulder and upper back pain are a daily thing.

So I'll try anything that minimizes the need for prescription pain meds or OTC NSAIDs. Exercise helps as much as anything else. But it's hard to even get started on the bike until I work out the kinks.

Pre-ride stretching and topical analgesics offer only temporary relief. But I'll take it. Beats the alternatives. And I don't see any negative effect on my speed. I'm the same 16 mph average slug with or without pre-ride stretching. The only difference is I enjoy the ride more with pre-ride stretching.
Well, bless your heart, keep doing it! If I ever felt such benefits, I would too. For me, it's just unpleasant and annoying. But I'm not dealing with the same issues you are.
Sincerely, I am glad that you are able to ride, and have found a way to keep going.
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Old 02-22-19, 06:21 PM
  #92  
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Originally Posted by OldTryGuy View Post
150.7 mile ride yesterday and this 68.5yo body enjoyed a little post ride stretch out during a HOT post ride shower.
Originally Posted by Machka View Post
​​​​​​​That's when to do it!
154.7 miles today AND same as Tuesday's stretching.

BTW --- nothing before the start.
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Old 02-22-19, 10:21 PM
  #93  
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No. I don't stretch before or after bike rides, but I think flexibility is an important component of fitness. Before I fractured my sacrum in a bike accident, I was getting pretty proficient at yoga, e.g. could do a headstand.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I'm self taught via Richard Hittleman's Yoga 28 Day Plan . In 28 days you learn a series of positions repeated in a three-day cycle; I've kept it up pretty much daily for two years. I even learned how to do a headstand. I think the yoga and cycling are synergistic, though I think the cycling benefits the yoga practice more than vice versa.

See: http://www.amazon.com/Richard-Hittlemans-Yoga-Exercise-Plan/dp/0911104216

including reviews.
Balance and efficient breathing were other side benefits. I wasn't into the meditation aspect, and even listened to radio talk shows during my practice.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 02-22-19 at 10:27 PM.
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Old 02-24-19, 01:35 PM
  #94  
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Wow. Blast from the past. Did the 28 Day Yoga Plan when it first came out. Really got great results. Great starter into Yoga.
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Old 02-24-19, 01:49 PM
  #95  
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Originally Posted by CycleryNorth81 View Post
I do not see this as a sad and divisive topic. This is freedom of expression. While people may not agree, each side has the freedom to express their views. This occurs in a open and free society.
Absolutely.
You could be as right as I am, or I could be as wrong as you are.😎
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Old 02-24-19, 02:55 PM
  #96  
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There are only 3 guarantees in life, death, taxes, and pointless arguing about stupid ***** on Bike Forums.
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Old 02-24-19, 05:07 PM
  #97  
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Originally Posted by Lemond1985 View Post
There are only 3 guarantees in life, death, taxes, and pointless arguing about stupid ***** on Bike Forums.
That's 4, not 3. "Pointless arguing about stupid ***** on Bike Forums" is a given.
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Old 02-25-19, 11:52 AM
  #98  
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Joe Friel's "Fast after fifty" contains an essay by John Howard, who may know more about cycling and training than all of us put together.

From "Plucking myths: aging cyclists and improved performance"


"Here is what I've come to understand about masters cyclists. It is important to know your power numbers- monitoring power plays a role in the total performance equation, but it is one of a number of important data points. Far more important is finding your personal idiosyncrasies that affect range of motion (ROM) and strength. Body work, using therapies such as dynamic motion or active release, can pinpoint soft-tissue impingements that affect the ability to produce power. Systematic balancing of power from both sides of the body is critical, as is linear force vectoring.

Once ROM has improved, strength training needs to support the precise motor action of pedaling. A customized program that addresses each individual's unique flexibility and strength issues is an absolute must for improvement. When you lose nearly a quarter of your vital capacity, you need to be spot-on with your training regimen and your bike position. By using this approach, many athletes have found that their power numbers and overall performance have improved even as they age.

I am but one example. As I have aged, I have actually improved my "hinge", as I call it, thus making my 6-foot 2-inch body more aero than those of most cyclists standing 5 to 6 inches less. My setup allows me a flattened upper torso stretched out over the bike, which not only brings the core into play but also improves my sustainable cruise speed by up to 2 mph under ideal conditions. The core activation saves the big muscles from drawing down too much power too quickly by creating added stability, thus reducing heart rate."
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Old 02-25-19, 12:28 PM
  #99  
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Depends for me. Quick ride up to 30-40 miles not really. Longer 60-100+ mile rides yes.
I'll do Tai Chi some Asana stretching before, mid stop breaks might do some Qigong. This ensures the body is fully relaxed, no tention in the body so that during the ride I'm in a correct posture.
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Old 02-25-19, 12:38 PM
  #100  
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I think the one who posts the most on this topic is right !
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