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Cory said:
I've never been very flexible, even though I've been active all my life. I couldn't touch my toes without bending my knees when I was 12 years old, and the longer I live the worse it gets.
Periodically I begin what I intend to be a life-changing flexibility enhancement program, but I really hate to do it and rarely stick with it for more than a few weeks. Same thing this year--I've been stretching pretty consistently since the first of the year, I hate it every time and I don't see any significant improvement. If I were training for a ride or lifting weights, of course I wouldn't EXPECT much improvement in three weeks, but this is so unpleasant for me that I want results NOW. Somebody give me a success story to keep me going.
I used to be able to do splits when I studied martial arts. It takes a long time to gain that flexibility (and not so long to lose it). Just keep at it. Age does play a factor, but anyone can do it...
 

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I've never been very flexible, even though I've been active all my life. I couldn't touch my toes without bending my knees when I was 12 years old, and the longer I live the worse it gets.
Periodically I begin what I intend to be a life-changing flexibility enhancement program, but I really hate to do it and rarely stick with it for more than a few weeks. Same thing this year--I've been stretching pretty consistently since the first of the year, I hate it every time and I don't see any significant improvement. If I were training for a ride or lifting weights, of course I wouldn't EXPECT much improvement in three weeks, but this is so unpleasant for me that I want results NOW. Somebody give me a success story to keep me going.
 

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Do some yoga in the morning and evening...it definitely helps with flexibility. Takes some time to get much out of it though, especially if you are a non-flexible type to begin with.
 

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The old hold and burn method never worked for me at all--through soccer and cross country and track and then cycling. I was always battling nagging knee issues. I started this method about five years ago and have seen a major improvement in flexability--and all my old knee issues vanished. The illustrations are horrible, but it really works. You need to stick with it for 3 weeks like they recommend and then you'll pretty much be hooked.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0812926234
 

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Scotty2Hotty said:
I used to be able to do splits when I studied martial arts. It takes a long time to gain that flexibility (and not so long to lose it). Just keep at it. Age does play a factor, but anyone can do it...

HA!! now all your tendons are belonging to mE!
 

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Scotty2Hotty said:
I used to be able to do splits when I studied martial arts. It takes a long time to gain that flexibility (and not so long to lose it). Just keep at it. Age does play a factor, but anyone can do it...
Yeah, the only time in my life I even came close to doing splits (and I'm really not that flexible) was when I was doing martial arts 3x a week and stretching 2x a day. You do lose it really quickly, like in a matter of weeks. I don't stretch at all anymore, and for that reason I can't touch my toes either. Oh well... who needs to touch their toes anyway?

Stretching my calves and achilles tendon did help a LOT when I was recovering from achilles tendinitis. But that's all good now, so... no more stretching. I'm a bad cyclist.
 

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Cory said:
I've never been very flexible, even though I've been active all my life. I couldn't touch my toes without bending my knees when I was 12 years old, and the longer I live the worse it gets.
Periodically I begin what I intend to be a life-changing flexibility enhancement program, but I really hate to do it and rarely stick with it for more than a few weeks. Same thing this year--I've been stretching pretty consistently since the first of the year, I hate it every time and I don't see any significant improvement. If I were training for a ride or lifting weights, of course I wouldn't EXPECT much improvement in three weeks, but this is so unpleasant for me that I want results NOW. Somebody give me a success story to keep me going.
Sitck with what has worked for you so far. Kirby Puckett never stretched either.
 

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Henry Chinaski said:
The old hold and burn method never worked for me at all--through soccer and cross country and track and then cycling. I was always battling nagging knee issues. I started this method about five years ago and have seen a major improvement in flexability--and all my old knee issues vanished. The illustrations are horrible, but it really works. You need to stick with it for 3 weeks like they recommend and then you'll pretty much be hooked.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0812926234
I'll second this. I got into the stretching habit with martial arts too. After I had to quit (due to injuries) I found the Wharton's book to be more effective than what I was taught by my instructors.

I have found flexibility to be key to overcoming several injuries, not least of which was a torn calf and some serious foot problems. Stretching is the one thing that consistently moved my rehab forward faster than anything else. I'm a big fan of flexibility, which means I have to stretch, though I also don't care for stretching all that much.
 

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I've never been very flexible. In the last 5 years I have taken up yoga and now stretch before and after my rides. Last week I did a very short ride and didn't bother to stretch for it. I immediately noticed that my legs were stiffer and took longer to warm up.

I've gotten Rolfed in addition to doing yoga. All of this in combo has made it so this past summer I raised my saddle a little over an inch. This has given me better leverage over the crankarms and thus more climbing power. Keep at it. :)
 

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Cory said:
I've never been very flexible, even though I've been active all my life. I couldn't touch my toes without bending my knees when I was 12 years old, and the longer I live the worse it gets.
Periodically I begin what I intend to be a life-changing flexibility enhancement program, but I really hate to do it and rarely stick with it for more than a few weeks. Same thing this year--I've been stretching pretty consistently since the first of the year, I hate it every time and I don't see any significant improvement. If I were training for a ride or lifting weights, of course I wouldn't EXPECT much improvement in three weeks, but this is so unpleasant for me that I want results NOW. Somebody give me a success story to keep me going.
I hate stretching. I'm not very flexible and I don't look for significant improvement. What motivates me to stretch is what could happen if I don't. When I was into Yoga I did see some improvements. I really should take that up agin!
 

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Cory,

i've stretched quite a bit over the last few years of PT for both right and left knee ITBS problems, a patellar tracking issue, and a stress fracture at the head of my right tibia. let me tell you, it was LOTS of fun. that last one, they used ultrasound to break up the "bad stuff" rolling around in there. :rolleyes:

i found that all the stretching made me quite a bit faster on the bike. and it was after months (sometimes) of time off.

btw i hate PT. HATE PT. except i always went back to this one hot chica. she was an ironwoman tri gal and stuff. :wolf whistle:

i can touch toes and all that, never had a problem too much, but "religious" stretching routines have their merits.

my lost beloved was into yoga--you should have seen her stretch after a ride. it was poetry (and pornography, nttawwt).
 

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I think stretching is way overrated. I mean, you are what you are, aren't you, and ain't what you ain't?
Some guys in my club swear by stretching. Okay, where does it get them? I'm not sure, but they swear by it.
One guy said to me, stretch, because it's only going to get worse! and he said, think about where you'll be in ten years!!! And I said, which friggin ten years? I'm 47, I've never stretched, and I can't think of a single reason how my life is worse off.
I saw a thing not that long ago how stretching is decidedly not correlated to athletic performance. Yes, if you are a dancer whose very chosen activity involves contorting into poses that require stretching, sure, or if you are, again, a dancer or something, and you want to add fluidity to your movements for aesthetic reasons, sure. Short of that sort of thing, though, there was absolutely no benefit.
 

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I've been doing several stretches, usually after a ride, for years. Takes a little while, but I haven't got LESS flexible, and that is natural as we age. I have actually been able to be more flexible in several of them over the years. If you want a description, pm me . A bit much for here.
 

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bill said:
I think stretching is way overrated. I mean, you are what you are, aren't you, and ain't what you ain't?
Some guys in my club swear by stretching. Okay, where does it get them? I'm not sure, but they swear by it.
One guy said to me, stretch, because it's only going to get worse! and he said, think about where you'll be in ten years!!! And I said, which friggin ten years? I'm 47, I've never stretched, and I can't think of a single reason how my life is worse off.
I saw a thing not that long ago how stretching is decidedly not correlated to athletic performance. Yes, if you are a dancer whose very chosen activity involves contorting into poses that require stretching, sure, or if you are, again, a dancer or something, and you want to add fluidity to your movements for aesthetic reasons, sure. Short of that sort of thing, though, there was absolutely no benefit.
Yep...And just to add a LANCE tidbit, he has terrible flexibility and never stretches. Look where it got him.
 

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bill said:
I think stretching is way overrated. I mean, you are what you are, aren't you, and ain't what you ain't?
Some guys in my club swear by stretching. Okay, where does it get them? I'm not sure, but they swear by it.
One guy said to me, stretch, because it's only going to get worse! and he said, think about where you'll be in ten years!!! And I said, which friggin ten years? I'm 47, I've never stretched, and I can't think of a single reason how my life is worse off.
I saw a thing not that long ago how stretching is decidedly not correlated to athletic performance. Yes, if you are a dancer whose very chosen activity involves contorting into poses that require stretching, sure, or if you are, again, a dancer or something, and you want to add fluidity to your movements for aesthetic reasons, sure. Short of that sort of thing, though, there was absolutely no benefit.
I also read a report about a study that said that (maybe the same one?), but what they neglected to say in the report was that they were studying hypermobility, not normal ranges of flexibility. There's a huge difference. The average person, even in an out-of-the-ordinary situation doesn't need to be able to do a full split. But in situations of extremity (which happen to all of us), more flexibility than we strictly need can be the difference between being shaken up a little and tearing a muscle or deranging a joint.

Are you losing a lot by not being flexible? Maybe you're as flexible as you need to be day-to-day, and you're not missing much. I'm more flexible than I absolutely need to be, and feel that this is a level of insurance against moments when I have to go beyond day-to-day actions.
 

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But in situations of extremity (which happen to all of us), more flexibility than we strictly need can be the difference between being shaken up a little and tearing a muscle or deranging a joint.

Are you losing a lot by not being flexible? Maybe you're as flexible as you need to be day-to-day, and you're not missing much. I'm more flexible than I absolutely need to be, and feel that this is a level of insurance against moments when I have to go beyond day-to-day actions.
You believe, I'm guessing, that the wisdom behind what you're saying is self-evident, and maybe it is, but could you elaborate?
This is what I've got. I've gone down hard maybe three times in memory. I guess four. Once, at about 28 mph, I lost a frame and some skin but nothing much else happened, once I got a pretty vicious hip pointer from landing square on my left hip, once at 35 on a ripping downhill and barely lost skin, and I do mean barely, nothing else, and once at about 25-30, and I broke my pelvis in two places and my sacrum in one.
I also have gone down here and there without any injury.
I can't think of any instance when additional flexibility might have helped. And I'm 47 y/o and have never stretched.
In fact, as I remember the article, it talked about possible increased risk of injury from increased flexibility -- the looser ligaments just don't hold your joints together as solidly, so that you could end up more easily hyper-extending or flexing. I know a former dancer, and she has all KINDS of problems in her joints. She insists on maintaining her flexibility, but, if you ask me, all she's doing is continually inflaming her joints, without the corresponding musculature that likely used to hold her together. She's like 27 y/o, and she's a mess in that department.
 

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bill said:
You believe, I'm guessing, that the wisdom behind what you're saying is self-evident, and maybe it is, but could you elaborate?
This is what I've got. I've gone down hard maybe three times in memory. I guess four. Once, at about 28 mph, I lost a frame and some skin but nothing much else happened, once I got a pretty vicious hip pointer from landing square on my left hip, once at 35 on a ripping downhill and barely lost skin, and I do mean barely, nothing else, and once at about 25-30, and I broke my pelvis in two places and my sacrum in one.
I also have gone down here and there without any injury.
I can't think of any instance when additional flexibility might have helped. And I'm 47 y/o and have never stretched.
In fact, as I remember the article, it talked about possible increased risk of injury from increased flexibility -- the looser ligaments just don't hold your joints together as solidly, so that you could end up more easily hyper-extending or flexing. I know a former dancer, and she has all KINDS of problems in her joints. She insists on maintaining her flexibility, but, if you ask me, all she's doing is continually inflaming her joints, without the corresponding musculature that likely used to hold her together. She's like 27 y/o, and she's a mess in that department.
Can I back up what I've heard about accidents? Not with anything more than just that I've read about it. So far, all I've heard from your argument is that because you've never suffered from the fact that you've never stretched, you don't see why anybody would benefit from it. Going against that logic is kind of like trying to prove a negative, which you can't really do. All we pro-flexibility folk have got is a large body of reading, research and practical clinical experience that suggests maintaining your flexibility is good for you, and as far as I know, one article (and you and your one article, which may be the same one) that says it may not be.

As to the article's assertion that there's an increased risk of derangement, I'd again point to the fact that they may have been studying hypermobility. If your muscles don't react or feel stressed when your joints are at their limits, then there's a some kind if increased risk to the joints, sure. I don't think you'd find that in people whose flexibility is within more normal, theoretically optimal, ranges.

Your dancer friend may just have crappy joints--it's common enough, and it's also common for joints that never bothered you before to become very painful as you age (I hit a wall at 23 and was no longer able to run because of my ankles). Poor stretching technique can also be very harmful, as can poor running, cycling, dancing or weightlifting technique. I've also read that an over-emphasis on stretching and hypermobility in kids can result in some bad things--probably your friend has been doing her thing since she was really young, and never knew a time she wasn't able to do a full split (a common skill for little girls). I don't see much reason to put her problems down to flexibility--could be any number of things.

Do you run? I know three people right now who've had to give up running because their hamstrings are so tight they get knee problems when they run (all just nearing 40--no surprise there). None of them can touch their toes, or even get close. Most of them can't pull their knees toward their chest to get their hips bent more than 90 degrees, either.

I won't get into the whole issue of quitting running instead of developing a little flexibility, but this points to the idea that a certain level of flexibility is natural and reasonable and good for you, especially in athletic endeavors.

Could be wrong, but so far I don't have any problems that I can say were caused or aggravated by flexibility, but I can think of a couple of situations where flexbility/stretching has helped me avoid or recover more quickly from injury.

Finally, you do realize, don't you, that you may be one of those people who just HAS a certain amount of flexibilty without working to maintain it. If you've never stretched, you may not even know. Your previous posts don't indicate your actual level of flexibility.
 
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