Stretches - do you do them? If yes, when??

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ASBJumper
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Stretches - do you do them? If yes, when??

Postby ASBJumper » Sun Oct 15, 2017 3:35 am

So, obviously we were always taught in gym class to stretch before exercise.

This never seemed to translate to riding (i don't recall ever seeing a single rider ever doing stretches in the barn before mounting).

But I really need to - my physio, my chiro and my RMT have all commented on how tight I am in my hip flexors and in the pelvic region. I'm also fighting against chronic subluxations in my L4/L5 and scoliosis in my lower back/sacrum.

It's really important that I stretch more... i've been stretching in the evenings after riding, when I get home, but apparently it's even more important to stretch before riding. But - I live 20 minutes away from the barn.. by the time I'm finished stretching, i still have to put my breeches on, drive out (sitting immobile in the car for 20 min), catch the horse, groom, tack up.. over an hour has passed by the time i'm mounting up. Were the stretches pointless? Do you need to do them *right* before getting on the horse for them to actually help you in your riding?

Advice & tips please! Thx! :P

Tsavo
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Re: Stretches - do you do them? If yes, when??

Postby Tsavo » Sun Oct 15, 2017 4:16 am

Hi. I want to stress I am not expert and that I can bring these questions to my personal trainer if you like.

My lay opinion is that other than a few pre-ride stretches just to find your actual ROM if you are already able to open your hip angle might be useful. But I don't think stretches right before riding or stretches done incidentally will help if you are tight as are most people who don't have a connective tissue issue. It takes a concerted plan over a long time to actually increase the hip angle to the point you can pull your thigh back while in the saddle. The stretching you do in the evenings if they are correct and done frequently enough will get you the open hip angle over time. You don't lose that in the time it takes to get to the barn if you have it the night before. I have been progressively increasing my hip angle over 2 years and now am at >180 on both sides. But it took a while.

Why don't you just do the experiment... ride with and without the stretches immediately before riding and see if there is a difference. If the evening stretches aren't opening your hip angle then the pre-ride stretches probably won't.

Scoliosis... if you are sub-surgical, PT is the best treatment. Core training.

In re "chronic subluxations", did the chiro tell you that? Chiropractic "subluxations" have been shown to be imaginary. Stick with trained people like orthopedic surgeons, physiatrists, physical therapists, etc. Chiro school has been characterized as more of a trade school.

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Chisamba
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Re: Stretches - do you do them? If yes, when??

Postby Chisamba » Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:47 pm

I'll search and find the study showing that cold stretching before exercise can damage tissue. Stretching is best done after ten to fifteen minutes if physical activity to warm up.

I understand that even yoga has a breathing and warm up movement before the stretching postures.

I think most period consider loosening up and stretching should be part of your life plan not the five minutes before you ride

This article has several interesting links. But basically cold static stretching and increased flexibility is as damaging as too little flexibility. People withbest performance fall into the moderate range of motion category
https://www.theatlantic.com/health/arch ... ed/376089/
Last edited by Chisamba on Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Tsavo
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Re: Stretches - do you do them? If yes, when??

Postby Tsavo » Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:55 pm

My personal trainer agrees with Chisamba and stretches me out after the workout. Any other stretching moves we might do come after I am well warmed up.

ASBJumper
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Re: Stretches - do you do them? If yes, when??

Postby ASBJumper » Mon Oct 16, 2017 4:12 pm

Thx ladies!

Guess it's time for some jumping jacks before my stretches. :lol:

Tsavo - my physiotherapist is a big believer in the power of chiro and she says she can feel when i'm "out" and need an adjustment (she does lots of myofascial release work around my sacrum and tail bone). So I highly doubt it's "imaginary". And the difference in how I feel between arriving at the chiro and leaving is like night and day. I don't think it's a cure-all, but in my specific case, I do need the chiro. Combined with massage and physio, it keeps me in great shape, considering how messed up my lower back/sacrum/pelvis area is.

I am only now really starting to get serious about Dressage and do lots of sitting trot, so I'm having to really focus on the best ways to be more supple and open up my hip angle. ;)

Tsavo
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Re: Stretches - do you do them? If yes, when??

Postby Tsavo » Mon Oct 16, 2017 4:29 pm

Most of sit trot is getting the horse correctly moving so you have a place to sit. You may be able to sit a correctly moving horse now without any further stretching.

On the other hand, it is easier the more limber you are.

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Re: Stretches - do you do them? If yes, when??

Postby Tsavo » Fri Oct 27, 2017 12:59 am

Okay I finally remembered to ask my personal trainer. He does not like static stretches to begin exercise. He does them at the end. Knowing what I asked him to help me with in terms of opening the hip angle, he suggested dynamic stretches. So in this case, do a set of several reps of lunges to the side at about 90% of the possible range. Don't let your knee go past your toes. Look straight ahead. Keep your foot flat on the floor. I do all the reps on one side first and then do all the reps on the other side. I don't alternate one-one. The first time he had me do these I immediately told him that this is helpful for riding. There are a few exercises we do that immediately remind me of riding or what is needed for riding. This is one of them.

I really think you will like this and it will get your body in riding mode before you get on.


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