Since we fell in love with the bicycle, our free time has been concentrated on training. As in all endurance sports, even the bike, in fact, to give benefits in terms of performance, requires a lot of time and sacrifices to train. However, few focus on attention to detail. Yes, those things that seem apparently obvious or superfluous instead affect a lot in the long term in what is our physical performance. One of those seemingly unnecessary details is stretching. For some years, sports medicine has recognized the art of muscle lengthening as an indisputable efficacy, both in the prevention of osteoarticular diseases, in the prevention of injuries, and in rehabilitation therapy. Try the Moongoose mountain bike for smooth riding experience.

Athletes who practice stretching sessions on a daily basis have a lower incidence of trauma and better athletic ability. In other words, the more a muscle is able to stretch, the more it is able to contract, the more it is able to contract, the more it is able to develop strength. Keep reading https://greatestjournal.com/cold-weather-cycling-tips-and-tricks/

It takes time and patience

Mtb Stretching

But Stretching is not all the same, quite the opposite. If done badly or with little time available, it risks being almost useless work. Do 1 minute of exercises before or after training help? Little or nothing, if not to stretch a little. But when to do it if we use all our time available to pedal? Simple, you need to optimize your free time to the maximum, not only thinking about cycling and fatigue but also about the details and benefits of a useful practice such as Stretching. In fact, the time dedicated is a real workout of equal importance to the bike. Half an hour of exercise is therefore never wasted or taken off the bike but is part of a real training program. Over the years, numerous techniques have been born which, while proposing stretching as a basic element, differ substantially in the approach. Depending on the dynamics used, different types of Stretching can be defined.

Ballistic Stretching

It is a stretch that is generally not used in sports centers and gyms because it is dangerous as it stimulates the inverse myotatic reflex. This is an unconditional reflex that causes the muscle to react with a rapid contraction, making the risk of muscle-tendon trauma high. The method of ballistic Stretching is very simple but somewhat “Painful.” You arrive in the position of maximum stretch and then you try to go beyond this position with a sharp and violent movement. We use this technique if we want to push a joint beyond the possibility of an excursion. Especially at the beginning, it is good to practice it under the supervision of an expert.

Dynamic Stretching

Dynamic Stretching is the most common of all among athletes. It is mainly done on the starting grid and involves movements whose articular excursion increases progressively, as does the speed of execution. It is mainly used in heating. In fact, with controlled oscillations, one arrives gently and progressively to the limits of one’s ability to articulate excursion. Dynamic Stretching is used to warm up a muscle or group of muscles and to mobilize the joints on which they pass. It also improves dynamic flexibility, which is why it is particularly suitable for being inserted in the warm-up phase of a workout.

Static passive Stretching

It is the best known and similar stretching system to yoga (from which the practice takes its cue).

In static Stretching, you take a position that you can hold without pain. This position must be reached slowly so as not to stimulate the inverse myotatic reflex in the antagonist’s muscles.

Once the position has been reached, this must be maintained for a time ranging from 15 to 30 seconds, or until the stretching tension is felt to drop, after which the tension itself is increased and held for another 15-30 seconds, and so on.

In this type of practice, there is no springing and pain is not stimulated, but it is constant work. It can be preceded by dynamic Stretching to warm up. The location for this practice is crucial.

Static active Stretching

Static active Stretching involves positions of great joint width, the maintenance of which occurs only thanks to the strength of the agonist muscles (abdominal, arms, legs).

Active Stretching increases active flexibility and strengthens the agonist’s muscles. Active stretches are usually quite difficult to hold for more than 10 seconds and rarely need to be held for longer than 15 seconds.

A striking example of Active Static Stretching can be a Pilates course and various forms of yoga. When they say that yoga is not difficult, do not believe them.

Isometric Stretching

PNF

Maximum muscle lengthening is achieved gradually and slowly;

Subsequently, an isometric contraction is performed for about 15/20 seconds (always in the position of maximum elongation);

Then the isometrically contracted long muscle is relaxed for about 5 seconds;

Finally, the muscle (previously contracted) is stretched again for at least 30 seconds.

This type of Stretching is used a lot in rehabilitation therapy and, in many cases, requires the intervention of a second person.

CRAC

It comes from the words “Contract Relax Antagonist Contract.” It is similar to PNF, from which it differs in the final phase of the stretch. In fact, it provides for the active intervention (contraction) of the agonist muscles of the movement. Again, the help of a second person is often required to offer resistance during the isometric contraction of the antagonists and to assist in the elongation of the antagonists in the phases of contraction of the agonists. By exploiting reciprocal inhibition, CRAC adds to the effectiveness of PNF, that of active Stretching.

Muscle stretching

For this practice, it is necessary to have a tool called pancafit, which keeps the posterior muscle chain in the stretch, while it is possible to perform specific stretching exercises for other chains. Therefore, we do not work only on specific areas but on entire chains. The posterior (or lumbar) chain, being antigravity, is involved in all stations, except the lying one. For this reason, it is the most powerful and is also the most retracted.

Ultimately the muscles are connected to each other by the bands that surround the muscles and by the connective tissue, which in turn surrounds every component of the body. Why is it so important? Because when one of our muscles has a contraction due to stress, trauma or incorrect posture, it causes an action on the entire muscle chain, which will inevitably disturb the entire muscle-joint structure.