Know how important stretching is

Posted by paul c walton on 13:23 25 comments

A while back I wrote about knee pain that was troubling me and a change in shoe may solve the problem, wrong!! For the last 12 months I have hit the trails 3, maybe 4 times and the odd road ride in between, (oh yeah I have a road bike now!), but that's another story....

The pain continued in my left knee until 1 night at work where I realised something.. Sports has always been in my life from an early age, consisting of running, weight training, Martial arts and boxing. So I must have a number of injuries, 1 being in my left thigh that gave me some grief when riding bikes.
When riding the injury would feel like a hot knife across my thigh and would tighten up as riding continued. I have also noticed that the muscle size and shape differ in each leg, more noticeably the "Vastus Medialis" that leads to my knee cap.
Whilst walking through the work shop I felt a sudden tightness in the rear of my knee,, "Semimembranosus". My first reaction was to bend over and touch my toes, to stretch, this relieved the tightness and my knee felt more relaxed.

I decided to start stretching before and after riding my bike. The stretches I do are just 2 basic for front and rear, so that's reach down and touch my toes for my hamstring muscle, then grab my ankle towards my buttocks in an upright position whilst using the wall for balance,(balance is one of those things that goes with age..lol), for my thigh muscle.
Since doing these stretches I no longer have knee pain if time is taken with stretching.
You would think that for someone who has been into sports for the best part of his life I would know how important stretching is before doing any exercise!


25 Responses so far:

central park tours said...

This is a good article. I didn't know how important stretching was up until a few years ago. And honestly I still do not think that extensive stretching is necessary for none-professional sports people.

paul c walton said...
Love Extreme Sports said...

I am paying the price for not stretching. I went on a big MTB ride after work today. It was a bumpy track and I ended up with really stiff soar shoulders. My legs are totally fine though... really weird. I think it was all the turbulence.

Ron said...

We should take our cue from animals. Ever noticed how dogs and cats when they wake up spend time stretching?

I realise that the post was about the benefits of stretching. However, I would just like to point out that the knees are pretty delicate in a lot of ways and when damaged are difficult to repair. So perhaps a trip to the doctor to get your knee checked out as well as stretching might be adviseable.

spinning said...

Stretching is one of the most important things of any sport. It keeps our muscles healthy.

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Survival Gear said...

I am 50 years old so I guess I am old school. Back in the day we were taught in elementary school the importance of stretching. I can even remember my kindergarten teacher teaching us to stretch! This was later reinforced in the Army. I will tell you this; I have never had an injury or even joint pain in my life until I shattered my ankle from a two story fall earlier this year. Stretching is very important!

Clive Chapman said...

Found you while surfing the cycle bloggersphere, I look forward to reading you whole story over the coming weeks.

Nice job! Always good to connect with fellow Midland MTBers!

Cheers

Clive

Clive Chapman said...

Merry Christmas and a Happy new Year!

Tantrum Kitesurf said...

So true...I had a recurring shoulder problem...just couldn't get rid of it. After consulting with a few people I started doing a few stretches on it (I never used to stretch at all) and in under 2 weeks it had healed completely and hasn't given me any problems since. Magic!!

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Exercise can be compared when we are heating up our engine every morning.

Homeopathic said...

great blog and a great article

moving company London said...

This truly is a very important blog. Thanks for sharing this valuable information with us.

sewa mobil said...

Nice article, thanks for the information.

Mark @ SPDShoes.org said...

Oh man, I NEVER stretch, I just get on the bike and I am off. I just figure that I will get warmed up while I am on the road, and by the time I get off-road I will be ready for action, but one day I am sure it's going to cost me. I have had bad cramp once or twice in races which I could probably put down to not stretching beforehand. I didn't learn my lesson, but I am sure I will one of these days..!

Stefan Liviu said...

Everybody should take a little time for exercise. It's very good for your body and your health :)

marzocchi forks said...

Awesome post. I've been suffering from tendonitus in my forearms for several years, since stretching before and after riding it has improved greatly. Even on a fairly mild ride you'd be surprised how much you ask of your body!

ocean freight said...

Stretching helps people avoid injuries.

room divider nyc said...

Actually, stretching helps an athlete avoid injuries because it prepares the athlete's body for work.

Michael Whitlam said...

Thanks for this informative article. Like all exercising, stretching is often an after thought. I'm finding that a good stretch before and after actually helps, especially now I'm not as young as I once was.

I used to just count my 'warm up' as the first 5 minutes of my mountain rides but now incorporate it into every trek I do.

Cheers Paul - good one.

sewa lighting said...

Nice info..thanks

baby shoes said...

Stretching keeps your muscles long. I appreciate the article, I have been laid up for a couple weeks from the gym after popping the hammy playing ball.

jason reeves said...

I had the same issues, and still do with my left knee as well. I hurt it running about 5 years ago, and it just seems like it has never been the same. I was working with the rip 60, and noticed that my stomach and back were sore for days. Now before going to the gym, or riding a bike, I will stretch, but I have been told that even some of the stretches I did growing up, are no longer good for you. Probably just a part of growing older, but stretching just seems like it is becoming more and more important for me.

-Jason

conference merchandise said...

I used to be in the basketball varsity team and it was stressed that stretching was important. After graduating, I just play for fun and exercise now but I don't stretch anymore. What happened? My knees are now injured and It has a lot to do with not stretching.

conference gifts said...

Stretching is really important before any hard activity. It helps relax the muscles and prevents injuries. It will also reduce pains after the activity.

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