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Stretching before riding?

Catrin2011-03-15 17:25:02 +0000 #1
How many of you stretch before you ride? It seems to me that stretching is better done after an activity when the muscles are warm, but given that one of my quads are still tight, as well as one of my hips, I am thinking that pre-ride stretching might be a good idea. Or is it? I have found conflicting information on this, even my PT said that it was controversial. It seemed a good idea to ask how many members do this.

I am thinking about doing a few stretches that will target the muscles on my inner thigh and my quads - kind of limbering them up a bit before getting on the bike.
KnottedYet2011-03-15 17:35:14 +0000 #2
Nope.

I don't stretch before a ride.

And why are you worried about tightness at one hip and one quad? Is it so tight it interferes with function? We are not symmetrical creatures, you may *need* that hip and quad to be tighter than the other for greatest efficiency.

The body makes muscles tight for a reason.

Be sure you know why you are tight before you go and mess with it.
Catrin2011-03-15 18:00:02 +0000 #3
Quote:

Originally Posted by KnottedYet

Nope.

I don't stretch before a ride.

And why are you worried about tightness at one hip and one quad? Is it so tight it interferes with function? We are not symmetrical creatures, you may *need* that hip and quad to be tighter than the other for greatest efficiency.

The body makes muscles tight for a reason.

Be sure you know why you are tight before you go and mess with it.

Good point - as I remember my injury came last fall on the very day I allowed a personal trainer (not mine) stretch me at my club and she really focused on my hamstring on that leg... It wasn't the primary cause but there has always been a question in my mind if that somehow contributed to the pulled hamstring that day.

The tight hip and quad are opposite each other - and I do stretch post-ride. The PT said the "capsule" around that hip joint is tight. I do have a bit of arthritis in my hips and one of my knees which had led me to wonder if stretching before riding might be a good idea. Your point makes perfect sense, so I won't change anything.
marni2011-03-15 18:22:52 +0000 #4
I remember reading an article on bicycling.com that discussed the merits of stretching before riding and the general conclusion was that if it felt good you should go ahead and do it, but it was of no significant value, while stretching after the ride was definitely suggested.
OakLeaf2011-03-15 18:04:56 +0000 #5
The general consensus is no stretching before exerrtion. But if you have a specific issue, as Knott said, address that. If I'm going to be riding a bike with crankarms too long for me, stretching my knees does help me avoid kneecap tracking problems.
marni2011-03-15 18:25:47 +0000 #6
the name of the article bicycling.com that discusses pros and cons of stretching before and after riding, among several other issues, is on the web site again today and is entitled "get faster now." It also includes a couple of simple stretching exercises.
Catrin2011-03-15 18:58:10 +0000 #7
Thanks for the name of the article, I think I have that in a recent edition and will have to dig it out, will search their website if I can't find it in a hard copy.

I DO stretch before spinning class, but I've walked for a good 15 minutes or so before I do that. My PT gave me a good number of hip abductor/adductor and hamstring stretches to do a couple times a day. Part of what led to my injuries last year was never feeling the need to stretch - ever. I was never tight, change that to my leg muscles feel tight though they really were. I think it was a consequence of 50 years of sedentary habits and thus not knowing what tight muscles actually feel like...

I think I will just make certain that I warm up slowly on the bike for a good 10 minutes. Where I live is perfect for that, as I have to cut through a good-sized park to get access to my country roads - and then focus on not forgetting to stretch post-ride.

Thanks - just trying to develop new habits that will help me prevent a repeat of last fall

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