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  1. #1
    Dirt Abuser
    Reputation: Bail_Monkey's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007

    Flexibility - or lack there of

    Even though I've stayed fairly active since ~2011 or so, I've noticed my flexibility decreasing with age. (54, 5'10", 164lbs) I really never had a lot of flexibility in my legs, even in high school. I did take a few years of karate in my late 20's and even then had to struggle to loosen up my legs...

    I feel that my hamstrings are the tightest in my lower legs and have been doing more stretches for them. I've heard that cyclists have tighter hamstrings as the quads generally do the bulk of the work, especially on climbs.

    So 3x per week, usually on my lifting days (all light), I hit the stretches in the legs (gluts, quads, hams, IT band and inner thighs) and add a few core exercises (I've seen and felt a difference with reverse sit-ups the most)

    It is my speculation that having tight hamstrings and strong quads has led to my self diagnosis of patellofemoral syndrome in my left knee. This is generally when the outside portion of the quad is much stronger than the inside portion which tends to pull the kneecap towards the outside of the leg. Since the kneecap is not in line with the femoral grove under stress, the result is knee pain. (Not too bad in my case as I can still run, did 3.1 miles today at the track at an 8:18 pace, wahoo...)

    Hoping that the stretching limbers up my legs and evens out the muscles a bit. I can't imaging being 60+ with tight legs and a spare tire as I would not be able to tie my own shoes!

    Are you 'flexible'? Are you getting 'tight"? Do you stretch?
    "Don't ride faster than your guardian angel can fly"

  2. #2
    Reputation: chazpat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Like probably most people, I plan to, gonna start tomorrow! Really, this time I mean it.

    I found an article on stretches for cyclist on and left it open for days and finally closed it yesterday without ever reading it. I'm finishing my basement and hoping a dedicated space may help me actually do it, along with spinning on the trainer.

    I run a few days a week so I think that helps; I never stretch before or after, I'll feel pretty stiff starting out if I haven't run in a few days but the running stretches me out. My back was bothering me a few weeks ago and I was having some difficulties getting my socks on.

    Found this while looking for that stretching article, maybe it will help you:

    5 Stretches That Will Make Your Knee Pain Go Away | Bicycling
    Quote Originally Posted by Oh My Sack! View Post
    Remember, there's always quilting and knitting if pedalling becomes too tough.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: MtbRN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Try doing Yoga once or twice a week... that will help you keep your flexibility.
    I drank the 29er koolaid- turns out it was POWERade

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Crankout's Avatar
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    Jun 2010
    I'm very flexible; maybe blessed with it, although I do spend a good 20-30 minutes doing various stretching exercises when I hit they gym on non-riding days.

    I find it important to be flexible for many reasons, one of them being cycling.
    Stick around if you're housebroken...

  5. #5
    Dirt Abuser
    Reputation: Bail_Monkey's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Quote Originally Posted by chazpat View Post
    Like probably most people, I plan to, gonna start tomorrow! Really, this time I mean it.
    7 days in a week and we are generally up for ~17 hours a day. Within the 17hrs, you only need 15 minutes!

    As far as the article, I'm doing very similar stretches. That one leg against the wall reminds me of a stretch I tried a few weeks ago where you place your butt against the wall and let your legs fall to the outside with gravity. Talk about a killer one, you will really know how tight your hamstrings and inner muscles are.
    "Don't ride faster than your guardian angel can fly"

  6. #6
    Dirt Abuser
    Reputation: Bail_Monkey's Avatar
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    May 2007
    Quote Originally Posted by MtbRN View Post
    Try doing Yoga once or twice a week... that will help you keep your flexibility.
    We have a gym at work and they have Yoga classes. I tried an intermediate class once as a beginner and it was pretty hard. I've never sweat so much in a non cardio activity.

    I do a few basic Yoga poses and feel that it does help. Downward dog, Cobra, child's pose.

    Planks once in a while as well.
    "Don't ride faster than your guardian angel can fly"

  7. #7
    Lone Wolf
    Reputation: Osco's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013

    Cool-blue Rhythm

    Key points that work for me and am now happily back on a Hard Tail,,a plus bike.
    Proper Hydration from the day before, the morning of, during the ride and post ride.
    Proper diet.
    I never stretch a cold body, Always a good solid warm up first and an end of ride stretch.
    I need more core work.

    I actually tried a few things This guy does, Intense, very.
    “I seek only the Flow”,
    Climbing Is Supposed To Be Hard,
    Shut Up Legs :P

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    I have a stretching routine I try to do every night before I wind down. I turn on the TV to keep my mind from going numb and it takes me about 20-25 minutes. I do calf, quad, glute, hams, back and shoulder. Yep, the hamstrings are the worst. Sitting for work most of the time does them no favors. I do a Pilates class 1-2 a week for core strength. This is what keeps me riding and competing at 55. If I don't stay consistent with it my back lets me know.

  9. #9
    9 lives
    Reputation: cyclelicious's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    I'm still pretty flexible, despite not having done a yoga class the last 3 years. (I also have a few plates and pins but I still quite flexy) I have been doing crossfit regularly with a good simple warm up before class (like air squats, skipping, burpees, arm rotations, pushups, rowing, and when it warmer out running. etc) I find warming up the joints help before I load up on weights and so I won't compromise on my form. My ankles have better flexibility and hips have opened up. I have not lost any flexibility in my hamstrings and back despite the regular workouts. Maintaining mobility and flexibility is important to me and I have not sustained any injury during the workout classes. (same as when I'm running or riding)

    I sometimes do some stretches after a strenuous workout... and on my own after a run or long ride
    F*ck Cancer

    Eat your veggies

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