Whether you’re a seasoned Cape Epic campaigner or love your weekend rides along the Braamfontein Spruit or Northern Farms

Posted by Morningside Chiro

Dr Mays has a few simple, yet effective tips which will make your ride more enjoyable and more rewarding! To stretch or not to stretch...the amount of information out there is vast and conflicting. We are here to explain the types of stretching and not only which is best but when is best to do them.

Dynamic stretching (DS) as it's name suggests is dynamic and utilises movement to achieve the desired stretch of the muscles involved in activity. Dynamic stretches should replicate the type of activity being performed and the movement should include moving into and out of the stretch repeatedly for a few seconds but cumulatively for a minute or two. This has shown to prep the muscles for the movement to be performed and so DS should be performed before a training session or race.

Static stretching (SS) is the type of stretching we are most familiar with. These include those long thirty plus second holds which in some instances hurt. Pain is not normal and so stretches should not push to this point of pain and if this persists it should be seen to. This does not however mean this stretch is bad, quite the contrary when used after a training session or race. Your muscles contract and relax hundreds and thousands of times throughout an exercise and effectively shorten when muscle fibres don't disengage the contraction correctly. These can become problematic over time and so by simply doing SS aftr activity we can disengage these contractions and elongate the muscle which aids in recovery and primes the muscle for another session.

Stretching becomes ineffective when it is performed incorrectly or when the inherent joint range of motion (R.O.M) is lost through joint capsular adhesions
and scar tissue that may have developed post injury. We recommend all our participants in the ABSA Cape Epic get regular check ups that joint motion and neuromuscular control is optimal to ensure you stay free of injury and out on the bike.

Below is a great video on some cycling specific DS.