Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner
1 - 14 of 14 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is there a pretty standard set of stretches to do before or after riding? It seems i feel fine as long as i start out slow, and work into the ride. It would seem beneficial to stretch after though.

Thanks,

Wayne
 

· Registered
Joined
·
304 Posts
I would think the general idea behind training on a bike would be the same as long distance running; marathoners are told to "warm up" by doing some jumping jacks and .5 mile walk prior to a race, BUT do not stretch until afterwards.
 

· Resident Curmudgeon
Joined
·
13,390 Posts
I agree completely. I never stretch before I'm fully warmed up, therefore all my stretching comes after the ride. At the beginning of a ride, I take it easy until I start to perspire pretty good.

My post ride stretches include mostly glute and hamstring, quads, and back extensions.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
21,865 Posts
Science of stretching

chargerfan32 said:
Is there a pretty standard set of stretches to do before or after riding? It seems i feel fine as long as i start out slow, and work into the ride. It would seem beneficial to stretch after though.
Actually, there is no real science to support that stretching does anything to prevent injury or improve recovery. But if you like to do it, the general recommendation is "only after you have warmed up."
 

· Resident Curmudgeon
Joined
·
13,390 Posts
Kerry Irons said:
Actually, there is no real science to support that stretching does anything to prevent injury or improve recovery. But if you like to do it, the general recommendation is "only after you have warmed up."
I can't say there is no "real" science for or against. I have lower back problems, along with countless others, and my doc and my PT both prescribed stretches for me. My back pain/stiffness results from muscle, not skeletal causes. The stretches help me tremendously. When I do them regularly, I'm fine. When I don't, I pay.

As I'm typing this, I'm wondering if you have actually researched your assertion that there's no scientific evidence to support the benefits of stretching to either prevent injury or to improve recovery. I know I haven't - not enough time right now. Maybe you could site some sources?
 

· Lost in the Black Hills
Joined
·
189 Posts
Kerry Irons said:
Actually, there is no real science to support that stretching does anything to prevent injury or improve recovery. But if you like to do it, the general recommendation is "only after you have warmed up."
+1

it is suggested that stretching prior to activity disrupts the cross-bridge cycling of muscle....that is of course you subscribe to the readily accepted sliding filament theory.

stretching afterward supposedly allows enough time for this cross-bridging to establish itself again because obviously you will be in a "rested" state.

makes sense :thumbsup:

mx
 

· Lost in the Black Hills
Joined
·
189 Posts
Mr. Versatile said:
I can't say there is no "real" science for or against. I have lower back problems, along with countless others, and my doc and my PT both prescribed stretches for me. My back pain/stiffness results from muscle, not skeletal causes. The stretches help me tremendously. When I do them regularly, I'm fine. When I don't, I pay.

As I'm typing this, I'm wondering if you have actually researched your assertion that there's no scientific evidence to support the benefits of stretching to either prevent injury or to improve recovery. I know I haven't - not enough time right now. Maybe you could site some sources?
yes, no doubt ROM improvement is good for you. i guess the debate is when? (see above)

also worth investigating PNF stretching which can often be done without a partner in some way, shape, or form :D

this has proven to be better than "regular" stretching.

mx
 

· Registered
Joined
·
304 Posts
My personal trainer said it this way; (not a quote) Muscles are like rubber bands so ... so imagine what would happen if we tried to stretch a rubber band that has been in a ice water vs. a rubber hand that has been in simmering water. The band in simmering water will stretch longer and retain it's shape, elasticity, and strength while the rubber band in ice water will likely break, become weaker, lose it's shape, or it's strength.

Now, imagine your quads being that rubber band and you pulling on them while stretching one early morning fresh out of bed, preparing for your run; the stretch will hurt more and we've been taught to think ... "mmm good it's stretching a lot" when in actuality the muscle is saying Hey dummy! I am too cold for this and most likely exhibiting some micro tearing or injury vs. muscles that are warmed up not tearing. Yes tearing is good when trying to build muscle, but it should be occurring during exertion to muscles that are warmed up.

Also, Please drink plenty of water as it will help to relieve the soreness in your muscles by carrying away the lactic acids in the system. Breath while you are stretching at all times so that your blood continues to feed those muscles plenty of oxygen. Remember to cool down after you exercise instead of just heading in to the shower. Food we eat directly after hard work out is digested 30-40% more efficiently and fed to the muscles if high in protein so eat a small meal after your workout.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
416 Posts
Mr. Versatile said:
I can't say there is no "real" science for or against. I have lower back problems, along with countless others, and my doc and my PT both prescribed stretches for me. My back pain/stiffness results from muscle, not skeletal causes. The stretches help me tremendously. When I do them regularly, I'm fine. When I don't, I pay.

As I'm typing this, I'm wondering if you have actually researched your assertion that there's no scientific evidence to support the benefits of stretching to either prevent injury or to improve recovery. I know I haven't - not enough time right now. Maybe you could site some sources?
I think you are confusing stretching as therapy to treat your medical condition with stretching as a general preventative measure. If you know of any studies showing that it helps in muscle recovery or injury prevention please let us know.
 

· Lost in the Black Hills
Joined
·
189 Posts
rogerstg said:
I think you are confusing stretching as therapy to treat your medical condition with stretching as a general preventative measure. If you know of any studies showing that it helps in muscle recovery or injury prevention please let us know.
i think most of us in this thread would agree it can help prevent injury in the sense that a flexible person is less likely to be injured when a joint is"accidentally?" taken to an end barrier or perhaps beyond. that didn't quite come out right...in other words, they would have a greater tolerance to an extreme motion before something had to "give".

so i think what we're all agreeing on is in the long term increased ROM is good, but acutely there is no evidence towards injury prevention.

:)

mx
 

· Registered
Joined
·
416 Posts
mx_599 said:
i think most of us in this thread would agree it can help prevent injury in the sense that a flexible person is less likely to be injured when a joint is"accidentally?" taken to an end barrier or perhaps beyond. that didn't quite come out right...in other words, they would have a greater tolerance to an extreme motion before something had to "give".

so i think what we're all agreeing on is in the long term increased ROM is good, but acutely there is no evidence towards injury prevention.

:)

mx
True, but that would make this discussion only applicable to crashing (in the context of riding) since the mechanics of a bicycle is restricted. In fact, the "warm up" procedure at many gyms is to use the stationary bike. And since stretching is advocated for after riding, it won't help in a crash either.
 

· Resident Curmudgeon
Joined
·
13,390 Posts
I did a little (emphasis on little) research on the subject. I'll summarize my findings in a general way.
1. There is some scientific evidence, but it is conflicting.
2. The majority of studies I read show that stretching is either a waste of time, or downright harmful, whether it's done pre or post excercise.
3. The vast majority agree that stretching prior to exercise is dangerous.
4. Post excercise MAY be beneficial, but only if it's done correctly.
5. That relatively little is known, or not enough is known to give a definitive answer on what benefits, if any, are derived from stretching.

I won't list all my sources. It's take too long & I'm about to go for a ride. Here's a few
:
http://sportsmedicine.about.com/cs/flexibility/a/aa022102a.htm
http://saveyourself.ca/articles/stretching.php
http://www.innerwestmassage.com.au/stretching-injury.php
http://www.thinkmuscle.com/articles/haycock/benefits-stretching.htm
http://www.usaswimming.org/USASWeb/...ulder Stretching Literature Review 090907.pdf
http://www.physioroom.com/research/stretching_2.php
 

· Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
thank you...

Mr. V ..... thanks for doing my homework...:D

I found this one to be very helpful...
http://www.usaswimming.org/USASWeb/...ulder Stretching Literature Review 090907.pdf

I might have to rethink a couple of these that I currently use. This seemed like an easy question at first. I guess i wont add anything post ride, with the exception of maybe a massage to the leg muscles.

Wayne

Mr. Versatile said:
I did a little (emphasis on little) research on the subject. I'll summarize my findings in a general way.
1. There is some scientific evidence, but it is conflicting.
2. The majority of studies I read show that stretching is either a waste of time, or downright harmful, whether it's done pre or post excercise.
3. The vast majority agree that stretching prior to exercise is dangerous.
4. Post excercise MAY be beneficial, but only if it's done correctly.
5. That relatively little is known, or not enough is known to give a definitive answer on what benefits, if any, are derived from stretching.

I won't list all my sources. It's take too long & I'm about to go for a ride. Here's a few
:
http://sportsmedicine.about.com/cs/flexibility/a/aa022102a.htm
http://saveyourself.ca/articles/stretching.php
http://www.innerwestmassage.com.au/stretching-injury.php
http://www.thinkmuscle.com/articles/haycock/benefits-stretching.htm
http://www.usaswimming.org/USASWeb/...ulder Stretching Literature Review 090907.pdf
http://www.physioroom.com/research/stretching_2.php
 

· Lost in the Black Hills
Joined
·
189 Posts
rogerstg said:
True, but that would make this discussion only applicable to crashing (in the context of riding) since the mechanics of a bicycle is restricted. In fact, the "warm up" procedure at many gyms is to use the stationary bike. And since stretching is advocated for after riding, it won't help in a crash either.
i agree.

but maybe a less flexible person going through the normal ROM's of cycling would be closer to his/her physiological barrier. this could potentiate problems in that muscle that is borderline at its endpoint vs. another individual who is more flexible doing the same cycling motion who now has "reserve" stretch, or further to go before coming to their joint physiological barrier.

just my opinion, but i do think flexibility is important. not like jean claude van dame blood sport flexible... :thumbsup:

mx
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top