It just took me 15 minutes to put on my right sock. This is because I can’t bend my right leg. This is good because yesterday I couldn’t get it on at all. My hamstrings are very tight, and until now I have been too lazy to strech. Now I can’t do much else, and I have been told how important it is.
George Frnch wrote this, which sums it all up quite well, but a lot of people don’t like George French so I’ll tell you some stuff that Tim told me or that I heard somewhere or that I made up becasue it sounds true.
Tim used to do Kung Fu and so he would stretch a lot. The person who taught him Kung Fu said that stretching was very important to you health, and keeps your body strong and supple. I read a book about Bruce Lee once and there was a lot about stretching in there too.
You know you get those yound tennis players who are really good and then you don’t hear about them ever again. Apparently that is becasue they didn’t stretch, so their bodies wore out much quicker that the player who do stretch.
Stretching helps to stop you from developing tendonitis.
It’s tiring too. I ahve been trying to stretch my legs and arms as well as my back but it’s really tiring. I do it when I watch TV so it doesn’t take any time out of my day.
Achim (www.runforlife05.com) doesn’t strech before he runs, he just starts slowly. Tim thinks that this is good becasue if you fall off then your body won’t bend too much into an unfamiliar shape. I don’t agree with this for two reasons.
1. Riding is not like running. You can’t really start off slow – not trails anyway, and it’s explosive, which puts strain on your body.
2. I was told at school that muscles are like blue tac. If you pull them when they are cold, they don’t stretch out so well, but when they are warm, they don’t snap. I don’t know how true this is but it sounds right to me.
Yak has been having a lot of problems with his back. He has gone to see a chiropractor today. I hope they can sort him out becasue backs are dodgy things. I expect that they will tell him lots of stretches to do. I guess what is important is to do the stretches before you get the problems, that way it should be preventative. And also to stretch all of you body, not just the bits that hurt.
So the moral is that it is really important to stretch, at bit before, but especially after you ride. I expect there are people reading this think, yeh but I can’t be bothered, I’ll be ok (Joe probably!). But you won’t be. One day you’ll be old. I want to ride when I am old so I am going to start stretching lots now.