Advice on flexibility training during the off-season


#1

I want to dedicate some of my time in the off-season to flexibility training. I know that flexibility/tight muscles is a blocker for me and definitely limits my training and subsequently, my performance.

I was thinking of doing a pilates or yoga class once per week whilst doing base training.

Keen to hear what other people do in this area, and whether any advice based on experience?


#2

This may be related and worth review:


#3

Great insight. I’ll be completely honest. I rarely stretch. I just jump on and off the bike. Main reason I purchased Garrett’s Supple Leopard book was to improve in this area. My dedication to the cycling discipline has left my overall strength and conditioning very lacking. It’s on my to-do list to improve for next season.


#4

#5

Excellent, thanks Chad.


#6

Yep, for it’s both a matter of comfort (don’t like being pain!) and performance gains (pretty sure there’s easy watts to be gained there).


#7

Thanks!


#8

Thanks for the post, suggestions and links. Supporting the theme of rest days are devoted to rest and training days are ‘hard’, is doing yoga or pilates on a rest day OK? If not then given that during the off season a common goal is to both increase strength and improve flexibility on top of the specific cycling training, how do we best weave the strength and flexibility workouts into the mostly 5 cycling days a week training plans in TR?


#9

Already recommended in the link provided but another pump for Supple Leopard - Kelly Starrett will sort you out good & proper.

I used a lot of his drills during my GymRat/Powerlifting days and I still use them now on the bike.

Some of them will make you as, if not more, uncomfortable than VO2 max repeats :sweat_smile: Lots of heavy breathing!


#10

The way I’ve taken this to heart is to do it on regular training days (and have off days be true off days) but do it as far from your cycling time as possible within that day. Therefore, since I train in the evening I get up and do my core work in the morning.

No clue if this is what is intended or even most beneficial but it generally works for me.

As a slightly separate topic - in general most cyclists benefit more from core exercises as opposed to flexibility, although certainly a mix is great. Doing either to the exclusion of the other is problematic - you can be the most flexible person in the world but if you can’t hold your position without locking your shoulders and elbows you won’t benefit nearly as much


#11

One thing to note on flexibility training is that it’s fine to do either after training or unrelated to training, but I believe the research shows that stretching pre-training is actually bad for the upcoming session. Not sure of the mechanics behind it at all, but the summaries I’ve read have said to shy away from pre-ride stretching and focus on a standard on-bike warmup.