/ Cyclists who climb? do you struggle with leg flex?

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
ti_pin_man - on 27 Feb 2013
I've been a cyclist for 22+ years and still ride most days. As such my legs are pretty strong, big thighs, slim waist... I know this from buying jeans and struggling to get the fit right. Anyway... about a year and a half ago I started bouldering, only about once or twice a week until about 6 months ago when I managed to get more time and now boulder 2 or 3 times a week if i can. What I've found is that like any new climber (I guess) I'm slowly building up finger / arm strength and improving my moves but the one weakness I have is definitely flexibility. So much so that I've now been to a few pilates classes and even the teacher there says I'm like a coiled knot. lol.

So I was wondering if any other cyclists have had the same problem when climbing and what they did to get over it?

My figuring is pilates or yoga classes and much more stretching below the hips before I start.

Do I need to go further and stretch even when not climbing to 'loosen' up the knot? thoughts? what have you done?
Oujmik - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to ti_pin_man: Yes, I think this is a common problem with cyclists. In fact it's a common problem in men generally, but cycling can make it worse because the tight muscles are so strong it is hard to stretch them effectively. I've been trying to improve my flexibility with general stetching (hip flexors and hamstrings are my main issue) and have been going to a body balance class which is just a 'mainstreamed' version of pilates/yoga. I am getting some improvements although I don't climb enough to know whether it's helped my grade.
ti_pin_man - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to Oujmik: I'm glad I'm not imagining it! I think yoga might help me a bit more than pilates. pilates seems to be about core strength and the couple of classes I've done I've found mostly easy, helpful still but easy. Yoga is more about flexibility I think.
martinph78 on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to ti_pin_man: You're not the only one.

My hip flexibility was/is pretty poor. Also I thought it was my hamstrings but having done some stretching with a trainer it turned out to be my calfs that are tight.

balmybaldwin - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to ti_pin_man:

I certainly have flexibility issues (I can't touch my toes, in fact I barely get beyond my knees) but I don't find it a problem when climbing, in that I can get my feet onto (and use) holds much higher than many non cycling friends.

I do stretches as part of my warm up, but not as much as I should

I do have problems getting Jeans that fit tho
Mr Fuller on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to ti_pin_man: I have a very similar problem and posted about it here: http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=532513&v=1#x7152519

Since those posts I have started ashtanga yoga, once a week, and it is definitely helping. I am definitely the least flexible person in the class in the hip/hamstring/lower back (ie. cycling, running, mountaineering muscles) but my upper body flex isn't too bad. This morning my hamstrings feel like they've been stretched to buggery, but in a good way. I have been told that a fairly regular stretching routine is the best way to improve, and to take your time with it. I feel your pain...
Oujmik - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to ti_pin_man: I also have problems with jeans... but that is mostly becuase they are cut for the skinny yoof who wears them halfway down his arse.
victim of mathematics - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to balmybaldwin:
> (In reply to ti_pin_man)
>
> I certainly have flexibility issues (I can't touch my toes, in fact I barely get beyond my knees) but I don't find it a problem when climbing, in that I can get my feet onto (and use) holds much higher than many non cycling friends.
>

I'm the same. There's clearly more than one kind of flexibility, and being able to touch your toes doesn't appear to be that useful for climbing, whereas being able to stand on a hold by your face is...
ti_pin_man - on 27 Feb 2013
mr fuller, looks like i need to find a yoga class and maybe a physio to teach me some decent stretches and start doing it 2 or 3 times a week, the timing should be fine as recently I've been able to climb that many times so can do it before i start if I learn a good set of stretches.
Voltemands - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to ti_pin_man: Same here. Getting my feet high is a challenge. Started a strength and conditioning class that was targeted at climbers and kayakers in october. i have seen some definite improvements in balance and flexibiltiy. Not sure how this is affecting my grade yet as cardio commitments are preventing me from climbing to the point where I'm struggling to get one session in most weeks.
ads.ukclimbing.com
ti_pin_man - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to ti_pin_man: I checked out some google results and think that I need a regular stretch routine to include leg lifts (lift leg to highest point unassisted and hold for 10+ seconds - use a table if needed), leg extensions (leg on chair/table and stretch straight) and frog sits (sit on bum, put soles of feet together and gently push against thighs with arms, then lie back in same position). I think I'll make an appointment with a physio for a chat and recommendations as I'd like to check this is a good approach and see if they have any other ideas. I'll look into the yoga thing too.

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.