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Yoga is a great idea. If you've never done it before I would start with a beginers class. My riding buddy did nothing but yoga last winter and he's flying this season.

If you're looking to do it on your own a good place to start might be the book "Yoga for Cyclists".
 

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I have been using Cycle-core and cycle-zen DVD training programs for exactly the reasons you have above. I was very inflexibility and with weak core, and these helped alot. I would recommend them to anyone wanting to improve flexibility and core strength specific for cycling.

The programs are a combination of yoga, stretching, and body weight oriented stength exercises, all aimed at cycling specific strength/flexibility/core.
 

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Yes to Yoga

Cruzer2424 said:
I'm stiff as a rock.

Yoga.

Good or bad idea.

Discuss.
But more importantly, just stretch a lot. I cannot stress how important it is to stretch every single friggin' day. Particularly as you get older....OK...I'm gettin' older at 44.

Case in point: I started running last September getting ready for my first Tri. (It was painful yet fun). Since then, I have made running a part of my regular routine doing a 3-5 mile run 3-4x's per week. But running hurts. I learned the hard way that stretching before working out only does so much, but stretching aftering a workout is the best way to eliminate pain and increase flexibility. The post workout (running, cycling, lifting) has all but eliminated a sore lower back (running injury), ITB pain (cycling injury) and all the aches from lifting. Yoga and/or Pilates will stretch you, strengthen your core and make you sweat. I've done both.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·

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I've been doing yoga for the last 6 years. It's helped to stregthen my upper body making it easier to do longer rides. It has also increased my flexibility.

The last several years I've been getting Rolfed (structural integration) in addition to doing yoga. This has really helped to balance my body out and has really, really increased my flexibility. Last fall in the middle of yet another series of Rolfing I wound up raising my saddle over an inch. The better leverage over the pedals has made me a faster climber.

Body work has done me and my bike riding good. :)
 

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Yes to yoga.

It is also good to do some stretching, core strength, or yoga daily. From what I’ve learned as a less flexible person doing yoga it’s important to learn how to adapt to the poses. You may not be able to go as deep into the pose as others and focus more on keeping your back straight or bending your hips or knees to get into a good position. Proper form is more important than the depth of your stretch.

You may have to ask the instructor to help you learn these adaptations. You also may want to ask for some tips from the instructor of things to do at home to help with flexibility. Instructors will each give different tips and have different types of classes so it’s good to experiment. Smaller classes are better since the instructor can give you more advice on how to do the poses properly.
 

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I'm also 44 and started with some yoga stretching 2yrs ago, primarily because my back was as flexible as a rock. The key for me was stretching multiple times during the day. At a minimum, a very easy stretch in the morning, within the hour before workout, immediately after workout, and most importantly prior to bed. NEVER force a stretch and recover from a stretch slowly. Pay attention to the order of routines and decide which movements are working for you. My routine is only 15min and I am as flexible as I was 20yrs ago now (or more).
 

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value of stretching?

could someone remind me what the value is of stretching for roadbiking? sounds like a dumb question like "why should I eat vegetables", but I'd really like to know the value of stretching for road riding. answers like "to prevent injury" don't count. lets get some real technical answers here.

BTW - I read recently that a study showed that stretching immediately before a bike event can actual decrease perf levels
 

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Stretching helps improve flexibility which allows me to stay in the drops or aerobars longer and more comfortably. It helps me to bend at the hips, which helps to improve my posture and position on the bike. Flatter back, better sit bone position. Tight hamstrings, for example, make these things more difficult. Ideally translating into more aero, comfort, and power to the pedals.

Flexibility helps to prevent injury. Some knee pain, IT for example, may be relieved by increasing flexibility and stretching.

Core strength helps transmit power to your pedals and handlebars more effectively.

I agree that stretching before a workout may be counter productive. It's more common to stretch after a workout when the body is warmer. Flexibility takes time and better done on a daily basis. I have read a recommendation that foam rollers can be used to warm up muscles.
 

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hah. Will sign up at the yoga place nearby. Sounds like a good idea.

Meet some chix too. ;)

Hopefully they dig shaved legs!
 

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Cruzer2424 said:
hah. Will sign up at the yoga place nearby. Sounds like a good idea.

Meet some chix too. ;)

Hopefully they dig shaved legs!
The 1's with hairy legs will :D
 

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bauerb said:
could someone remind me what the value is of stretching for roadbiking? sounds like a dumb question like "why should I eat vegetables", but I'd really like to know the value of stretching for road riding. answers like "to prevent injury" don't count. lets get some real technical answers here.

BTW - I read recently that a study showed that stretching immediately before a bike event can actual decrease perf levels
Suplesse. Can spin in the drops (or any position) much more smoothly if one is nicely flexible. Muscles near the end of their range of motion are less effective than ones nearer the middle, and for reasons beyond the obvious one of leverage. The muscle fibers in a 'tight' muscle are effectively bunching up and getting in each other's way, where a well stretched muscle doesn't have as much as that and can pull all the way to the skeletal limits.

I didn't read the study you did, but it's pretty common knowledge. The time to stretch is after workout. Stretching 'cold' risks damage and does little towards the goal. A little warmup and 'stretching the kinks out' before a performance is good idea, but this is something entirely different than stretching as a way to increase range of motion.
 
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