Stretches

Ok, so I napped in my car at work during my lunch break yesterday, and it made my neck a little sore. After work I went and muni’d for about an hour. Last night I had a 3 hour drive home, and my neck/back hurt so much, I couldn’t turn my head and the pain really really sucked.
So today I was thinking maybe I should have stretched before I muni’d. What stretches do you guys (and gals!) do? What do you find works/doesn’t work? As the wise Gary Larson said: “The Vikings new the importance of stretching before an attack.”

And now I have 3 days off work, and too much pain to ride :’(

Disclaimer:

  • I am not a doctor
  • I am not an expert on stretching

But I have picked up a few things over the years. This is what works for me, but is not intended as a complete stretching regimen.

  1. Don’t stretch “cold” muscles. Warm up for 15 minutes before stretching. What I should do is ride halfway to work, then stop and do stretches. Or at least do them when I get there. I usually don’t. But stretching cold muscles can do damage, and you don’t get as much benefit as doing it with warmed-up ones.

I used to have a training regimen for unicycle track racing. First ride to the track (if possible). If not, ride several laps at a medium to fast pace to warm up. Then do your stretches. Then ride the 1500/800 race as fast as you can, etc.

  1. These are the leg stretches I do:
  • Hamstring: Place one foot on something elevated, like a low fence, picnic table, etc. Keep both legs most of the way straight (one on the ground and the other sticking out in front of you). Lean forward and reach for your foot. Hold for 30 seconds. Two repetitions each side.
  • Calf: Lean against a tree or something. Put one foot way out behind you, keeping it flat on the ground. Lean into the tree as far as you can, to stretch the calf. I sometimes cross my other foot around behind the stretching one. Hold for 30 seconds. Two repetitions each side.
  • Hamstring and back: Touch your toes. Feet flat on the ground, knees almost straight (never locked). Fingertips to toes. Hold for 30 seconds, two repetitions. When this gets easy, switch to fists on toes. Then fists on ground in front of toes. Then palms on ground. I used to be able to do that…
  • Quads: These are your main unicycling muscles. One part of the quad pushes your lower leg forward, and another part lifts your whole leg up. Both are highly necessary for fast riding. Stand on one foot. Lift the other foot up behind you, pulling it up to, or maybe just to the side of your butt. Lean back a little at the same time, and you’ll feel the muscle being stretched top to bottom. Hold for 30 seconds (don’t fall down, you’re a unicyclist). Two repetitions each side.
  1. Those are the ones I do. There are many more.

  2. Never “bounce” your stretches. You can do damage that way. What you want is a steady hold at a level of intensity that you can feel, but doesn’t hurt too much.

  3. Don’t lock out the joints. Never lock your knees, for instance. This can hurt the joints. It’s okay if you have some bend in the joints as long as you’re getting a good stretch.

Good luck! Maybe this is worty of the training page…

Im into my stretchs but i dont do them before unicycling, anyway heres a nice simple page with lots of begginer stretchs.
http://www.westvalley.edu/wvc/stretch/

Trev