General Question

winblowzxp's avatar

Can casual bicycling help improve flexibility?

Asked by winblowzxp (498points) March 19th, 2009

I know that it can help with strength and cardio/pulmonary fitness, but can an easy ride to and from the convenience store help to improve range of motion?

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15 Answers

ubersiren's avatar

I would say no. If you’re not stretching your muscles to and/or past your normal range of motion, you’re not increasing flexibility.

dynamicduo's avatar

Yoga would be more apt to do this.

marinelife's avatar

Possibly, but you are not using all you muscles. For range of motion and flexibility improvements, I don’t think anything beats yoga. Gentle Hatha yoga is great.

Judi's avatar

I love yoga, but I would never discourage exercise. If it is a “stretch” to ride the bike and it is a new activity, it possible could help the range of motion in your legs.

winblowzxp's avatar

I really want to be able to tie my right shoe without any pain. Six years after back surgery and physical therapy, I’m still recovering from the atrophy that I got from the back problem.

Yoga is a good idea, but unfortunately for me I can’t afford the luxury of yoga classes. I know there’s a plethora of sites about it, but I can easily injure myself if I don’t do it right.

ubersiren's avatar

Do you have health insurance? It may benefit you to work with a physical therapist, or even a massage therapist who takes insurance. They can assist you with proper stretches and prepare you for those yoga dvds. Good luck!

winblowzxp's avatar

My insurance left when my job did. Never really needed the insurance anyway.

ubersiren's avatar

You might be able to find an affordable sports massage therapist to work with you once a week, then you can do some things yourself at home. If you live near Baltimore/DC, I can help!

winblowzxp's avatar

I’ll check my school and see if they have classes available. They should be fairly reasonably priced, especially if I’m not doing it for credit.

basp's avatar

You had back surgery but never had a need for insurance? Maybe I missed something in this conversation…..

rancid's avatar

I’ve found that it actually decreases flexibility. I have to keep my ankle fairly still, or with a limited range of motion, and the muscles tighten up, instead of loosening. I’ve had heel problems as a result. I think that if you stretch before and after cycling, that should help, but don’t expect cycling to loosen you up.

marinelife's avatar

Walking is actually helpful for the back.

Garebo's avatar

If I wanted flexibility I would first enroll in a quality Hatha Yoga class.

winblowzxp's avatar

@basp I never had a need for the insurance that I had with my job.

@rancid That’s interesting. I don’t plan on using it as the sole way to loosen up.

@Garebo That would be great to do, I just need to keep expenses down at this moment.

basp's avatar

I guess I just didn’t understand how you could have back surgery and have no need for insurance. But, if you were able to pay that bill without insurance from your job, that makes sense.

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