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Old 11-16-2010, 09:33 PM
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dmc dmc is offline
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Default Pre Ride Muscle Stretches

First post! Yay!

Im dmc, aka james, from southwest vancouver.

I can thank my middle school gym teachers for most of my knowledge on basic stretches.

I am currently doing two leg stretches that stretch my Quads, Calfs and Hamstrings. I do a couple arm and back stretches also.

The red lines in the image below depict the muscles im stretching.

What are some stretches you gents and ladies do before a good bike ride?

Im not sure if this is gonna sound weird... but my hands are kinda sore from pressing the break levers on my drop handlebars. It must be an unusual motion for me? (The open palm and finger press)
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Old 11-16-2010, 10:10 PM
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K'Tesh K'Tesh is offline
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Smile Welcome Dmc

or is that Ride DMC? (sorry, couldn't help myself). Welcome to the Forums.

On your topic...

I don't do stretches before riding, but hand pain? Are we talking numbness, or sharp pains? I did a quick search, and found Sheldon Brown's Pain page...

If the skin of your hands gets sore, cycling gloves can help a great deal. If you ride bare handed, sweat may make your hands slippery, and this can lead you to grip the bars too tightly.

Wrist pain is often casued by poor upper body posture.

It can also be caused by having the saddle angle too low in front: This tends to make you slide forward as you ride, and you wind up using your hands to push yourself back into position.

Numbness of the fingers is a potentially dangerous symptom, often related to carpal tunnel syndrome.

This is one of many problems which can result from bad upper body posture.

The Two Bump Problem
Like your bottom, the heel of your hand has two bumps, with a sort of valley between.

There are important nerves which run through this valley, and it is important to avoid excessive pressure here. One common cause of excess pressure on this "valley" is riding on the top corners of drop bars in such a way that the bar presses here.

As with saddles, the "two bump problem" can actually be exacerbated by excessive padding! If you use thick foam handlebar grips, and/or gloves with too much foam/gel padding, the "bumps" that are best able to carry weight will press through the foam, but the foam in the middle will press back at the valley. Thus, as with saddles, too much foam/gel can worsen the problem it was intended to correct!

Wrist angle.
Numbness can also be related to poor wrist positioning. Generally, the wrist should be held so that the hand is pretty much in line with the forearm. If your hand is bent upward from the forearm, the nerves can get pinched, causing numbness.
Another thing I'd suggest is going in for a bike fitting. Proper fitting, and aftermarket hand grips can improve your riding experience.

Hope this helps you ride more comfortably.

Rubberside Down!
Riding my bike is MY pursuit of Happiness!!!
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Old 11-17-2010, 06:17 AM
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Spiffy Spiffy is offline
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I don't do any pre-ride stretches, but I'm just a leisure rider... my warm-up is the first few blocks I get on my bike...

but K'Tesh posted a great list of things to look out for...
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Old 11-17-2010, 09:14 AM
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Haven_kd7yct Haven_kd7yct is offline
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Like Spiffy, usually I'm a casual rider-- so I use the first few blocks or so as a warm up, then if I feel I need to stretch I stand on the pedals and drop my heels to stretch my calves. That's usually it.

But then again, sometimes I get in "serious rider" mode, so I'll stretch hamstrings, quads, calves, etc after warming up a bit, and again when I get done riding. I qualify "serious riding" as a recreational ride, not a commute ride.

For hands: switch hand positions occasionally. If you're not used to riding with drop bars, you probably aren't used to the hand position for using the brakes yet. Or, if you're like me, you have tendinitis in your hands, so you have to do extra stretches (wide open hand, then fist, usually, then shake it out) for your hand just to keep pain at a minimum anyway.

Welcome to the forums!
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Old 11-17-2010, 04:36 PM
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Simple Nature Simple Nature is offline
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Stretches? Do tell more
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Old 11-17-2010, 06:09 PM
scoot scoot is offline
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This time of year, I like to stretch the arms of my sweaters so they cover my hands better. That's about it for me. Heh...
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