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Author Topic: Fitness V Flexability - avoiding injury  (Read 2855 times)

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Fitness V Flexability - avoiding injury
« on: January 12, 2012 »

Hi all..

Just wanted to know what all you cyclists do, stretch wise, after a session on the bike?
I cycle 10 -12k 5 days a week and stretch by practising yoga.  Due to a couple of injuries, cycling came a poor 5th to everything else. Now im back at it, I notice that my flexibility has really suffered, hamstrings in particular, and my biggest fear is straining one again.
I dont want to get into the 'zone' that im sacrificing flexibility over fitness... i just want to find a happy medium!
Cycling is my main cardio exercise

any thoughts welcome  :)
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twentyclicks

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Re: Fitness V Flexability - avoiding injury
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2012 »

Start easy to warm yourself up and pick a gear that doesn't require too much force, but you aren't spinning madly. Stretch the tight muscles afterwards and in the evening if needed.

Some moderate resistance exercises like squats or leg press may help to 'wake up' the muscles after the lay off. Add more intensity if the muscle can take it. Weight training does help flexibility too, but if you are doing yoga anyway I doubt flexibility is the real issue.

Maybe check your saddle hasn't dropped on the bike.

I generally never stretch unless a muscle gives me bother, even then I'll never do it before exercise as that often makes it worse. Warming the area up properly is better for that.
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Craig
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twentyclicks

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Re: Fitness V Flexability - avoiding injury
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2012 »

Just to add, I am in no way an expert in this. Just speaking from personal experience. If it's persistent definitely see a sports therapist.

I got properly tweaked leg muscles for the first time in ages last week. Had done a lot more miles than usual over Christmas, on a new bike, took a few days off, then the next time I got on a bike... bam, everything went. Could barely pedal. Apart from the odd cramp in events I never suffer. It was probably a mix of the increased miles and the different bike setup (longer cranks, bigger reach, etc).
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Craig
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"Go thou my incense upward from this hearth,
And ask the gods to pardon this clear flame." - Thoreau

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Re: Fitness V Flexability - avoiding injury
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2012 »

I appreciate that Twentyclicks!

I think when you age a little  ::) flexibility seem to become more important, to protect muscles from injury.. I know in my 20's I never would have considered stretching for 30 minutes after excercise..
I seen a physio for a few weeks after pulling my hamstring and groin last year, and they advised me to stretch (a lot) after excercise. 
I squat and weight train 3 times a week, and do some sun salutations to warm up my muscles before doing any pysical activity .  I was just curious to see what others do, and to find out if i'm doing something wrong..
There is a little bike shop in the town here, I call in and get them to check my bike over.

Thanks for your time  :)
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brendanmcc

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Re: Fitness V Flexability - avoiding injury
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2012 »

Hi Annie
I am a chartered physio with an interest in sport injuries.
Although tight hams may cause pain when cycling if your range of hip movement (eg. straight leg raise) is not bad it is less likely to be a flexibility issue.

As you ask more and more from your muscles that are not as strong as they need to be they can sometimes respond by forming trigger points (areas of tightened tissue that are tender to palpate/ press)
Some people require treatment to relaese these but you may just get away with adding a few more hams strengthening exercises into your regime..
High step ups, lunges, dead lifts (all slow and controlled and with guidance if you're not sure)

The issue of static stretching and its benefits are still hotly debated in scientific circles but keeping muscles long and strong is a fairly safe bet.

Happy to advise further if you are still havong probs.
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Re: Fitness V Flexability - avoiding injury
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2012 »

Thanks Brendan!

where are you located?
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brendanmcc

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Re: Fitness V Flexability - avoiding injury
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2012 »

Based in Lurgan.
If its a bit far to travel I would be happy to try and recommend someone else.
http://www.lurganphysiotherapy.com/

As stated above it may well settle with some self management.
Give me a bell if you want to chat further

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