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My biggest discomfort riding the Sport (and my Duc) comes from my legs,  specifically my hamstrings and occasionally my knees.  When I ride for more than an hour, I need to get off  and stretch.   I've been doing elliptical training (as well as upper body and core).  My thinking was elliptical would strengthen my legs (as well as cardio).   Certainly exercise has made me feel better with more strength and stamina but not so much regarding riding distance.

So the gym has these leg stretch machine, where I can raise my leg on a movable ramp and push a bar with my toe.  I am wondering if that is the right exercise or the wrong one?  I tried it today and was only able to do about 55 degrees, whereas the Mrs can do 90.  I also get an occasional charliehorse at night, sometimes my knees will ache and wake me up and sometimes my feet get cramped when I wear flipflops or when I am reclined. 

So I know the stretch machine will likely benefit me but I'd still appreciate advice for the right exercise to help when I am riding like a jockey.

Thanks 

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Buncha pussies.. (shuffling off..)

Cymru is Wales, in Welsh. Dunno about exotic, but it's a great country. Took up mountain biking about 8years ago & despite the years, never been so fit!  Try the hip flexor stretches!

FWIW, cramping (spontaneous myospasm) is a function of electrolyte (mineral) deficiency or imbalance often exacerbated by mineral loss from exertion, heat/humidity exposure, prescription hyertension m

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You need more than simply pissing around with exercises fooling yourself LowRyter.

Symptoms severe enough to disturb sleep & your feet cramping when reclining or wearing thongs combined with reduced flexibility - are indications you should be riding your bike & parking it in front of a garage for humans with a sign out front that says, BEST DAMN CHIROPRACTOR IN TOWN.

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Have you checked your pot (assium) :rasta: level, John? Maybe eat some banannas? Just throwing a dart.

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Chuck, great suggestion.   I eat a lot of tomatoes, yogurt,  lettuce & potatoes every day.   OTOH, I barely eat sweets and still have borderline blood  sugar  levels.  So perhaps my body knows what it wants but I just need more (or less)?   Bananas aren't bad but not my daily diet.  I'll make a point of more potassium (actually Bev and I talk about whenever I've had a bad day at the gym.  Sometimes the weights can feel pretty heavy.)

I wonder about having a banana or two on those days where I am making a long 300-500 mile ride?  Sure couldn't hurt.

I'd still like to know the best leg exercises.  

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4 hours ago, LowRyter said:

My biggest discomfort riding the Sport (and my Duc) comes from my legs,  specifically my hamstrings and occasionally my knees.  When I ride for more than an hour, I need to get off  and stretch.   I've been doing elliptical training (as well as upper body and core).  My thinking was elliptical would strengthen my legs (as well as cardio).   Certainly exercise has made me feel better with more strength and stamina but not so much regarding riding distance.

So the gym has these leg stretch machine, where I can raise my leg on a movable ramp and push a bar with my toe.  I am wondering if that is the right exercise or the wrong one?  I tried it today and was only able to do about 55 degrees, whereas the Mrs can do 90.  I also get an occasional charliehorse at night, sometimes my knees will ache and wake me up and sometimes my feet get cramped when I wear flipflops or when I am reclined. 

So I know the stretch machine will likely benefit me but I'd still appreciate advice for the right exercise to help when I am riding like a jockey.

Thanks 

Try some Magnesium supplements for the cramping. You want want to prioritise working on flexibility over strengthening, dont ignore the strengthening though. As you age your range of movement naturally reduces if you dont stay supple and the you pick up silly injuries doing nothing more than extending into areas that used to be easily attainable but are now beyond you. This happens unconsciously simply doing what you used to be able to do a few years ago when more flexible. 

Forget comparing yourself to women they are naturally a lot more flexible than men. Some of the leg and foot issues can be from lower back disk wear and tear. A little bit of compressed disk pushing on the sciatic nerve. I cant sit reclined anymore for extended periods. I have 2 crushed vertebra in my mid back from a Phillip Island crash and a lower back with issues after 25 years of manhandling heavy jet wheels and brakes and awkward working positions under engine cowls etc. Every day is a new adventure getting out of bed:)

Ciao      

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^^^^ What Phil sez.

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You want want to prioritise working on flexibility over strengthening, dont ignore the strengthening though. As you age your range of movement naturally reduces if you dont stay supple and the you pick up silly injuries doing nothing

John, you haven't gotten there yet, but add another 10 years or so..

At least you are *aware* and doing something about it. :thumbsup: I quit on my previous airplane project because I'm not supple enough to get in it any more.. I can still ride the Mighty Scura though..:grin:

Edit: The other "Chuck in Indiana" has 10 years on me, does yoga 2 or three times a week, and is amazingly flexible.

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I wrecked my knees on the hood of a Pontiac in 1980. My doctor told me ten years ago "You needed new knees years ago". I attribute my ability to get around as well as I do to cycling. If I go a couple months without regular bicycling (for you jokers) I knot up, cramp up and suffer. Cycling is zero impact and high range-of-motion exercise. It's important to get comfortable with clip-in pedals, so you can involve your hamstrings and hip flexors in a balanced effort. I'll second the Magnesium as well, Potassium doesn't seem to help with cramps but Magnesium does. 

Also, if you have lower back pain, try rolling a towel and using it under your lower back area, even if you're a side sleeper to keep your spine straight. A soft mattress kills me after 3-4 nights, so consider that; if you have a very soft mattress, consider sleeping on the sofa or try putting the couch cushions on the floor and sleeping on them, see if that doesn't help significantly.

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Thanks for the info on magnesium. 

Yes I did break my back about 30 years ago but it really hasn't caused much pain but I do hate to do any stoop work.   In the gym, I do 100 standing crunches with a 55lb weight machine strapped on my back (and another 20 alternating left to right -40 total).  I really have no back pain and didn't have that much when I had the accident, I had some odd sensations in the muscles for a few years.

But I would like to be specific.  What is the best exercise for the legs to compensate when I am jockeyed up on the Sport that I can ride a little further without my hammies hurting me?  I'd like to do 2 hours for a whole tank of gas and a pee break (another point for a later discussion <_<).  

I'll try the stretch machine.  I find it a little counterintuitive since that machine stretches my legs out but on the bike my legs are bent (as you all know).

Hopefully, this discussion will help other riders than only myself.

Appreciate all your advice.  

 

(And Chuck I've seen the gals that do that yoga in the gym.  That looks really hard to do.  I cringe to think about even trying it.)

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    I'm reading your weight regimen, and I'm cringing,lol. I used to pound serious steel for many years,, but imo there comes a time when focused intense resistance training can be counter productive. I'm in my 60's now, the last thing I want to be be at this point is muscle bound, tight and inflexible.

    I eat well and take a variety of supplements, mindful as mentioned of potassium and magnesium to help keep muscles loose. Be mindful of gout and the subtle problems it can cause around joints.

    From a lifetime of sports and other injuries, I continually have to stretch and crack, neck, shoulders, ankle etc to keep limber, moving and pain free, recently I added minor core exercises to keep a hernia in check.

    Luckily a few years ago, when I had a flare up with a deteriorating disk/pinched nerve ,I found an extremely good chiro who literally straightened me out, and I only need his help and guidance very rarely to keep me going; your previous back injury is probably playing havoc down stream, a good chiro (can be rare to find) may help you work those kinks out.

    I'd be lightening and easing up on the weights and stretching that long nerve that runs down your back and hamstring.

    When I fist sit down on a tonti bike, the sharp knee angle usually causes my hip to go out, standing up and straightening the tension out usually settles things in place, maybe the next time you cramp, if you can, try standing up and working the tension out.

fwiw

good luck

Kelly  

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Kelly, I am anything but muscle bound.  I'm a fat butterball that is just trying to firm up.   I had sedentary job and never worked out for 30 years.  Once I retired all my "numbers" were  going the wrong way and I finally had shoulder pain.  After rehabbing my shoulder, I started going to the gym.  Originally for weight pulls to work my shoulder.  I usually go three times a week for 90 minutes.  30 minutes of elliptical and then light weights (heavy for me).  I get my heart up to 150, sweat a lot, and take lots of breathers.  But I want to be clear that I am no way a tough guy.  I don't even like to take my t-shirt off at a pool.  And every day I go the gym it's a challenge and sometimes I can't get through it; in fact, I am not back to where I was a year ago.

But I figure if I'm doing all this, I might as well get my legs in gear.

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       Greetings LowRyter, In a nutshell what you've described is more common than not as we age. For cramping, take a superB complex vitamin suppliment, it might take a week or so to see the difference but I've been cramp free for years now. As for your hamstrings, place a two by four on the ground and stand on it with the balls of your feet and toes, raise and lower your body SLOWLY activating your hamstrings you may or may not touch the ground at first with your heels and that's ok...slow and steady.  May want to consult with a Pilates instructor in your area  as they can make up a program tailored to your needs. My$.02

     Paul B:bier:

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36 minutes ago, LowRyter said:

Kelly, I am anything but muscle bound. 

But I figure if I'm doing all this, I might as well get my legs in gear.

When I said muscle bound, I didn't mean roided and ripped. Resistance training by it's very nature is causing the muscle to repair itself and grow, it's part of what gives you that pumped up feeling after a workout.

Free weights done correctly, help strengthen the muscle and surrounding structure, ligaments, supporting muscles etc, all the little bits working together to balance and hold and move the weight get stronger.

If you're not careful, a resistance machine can cause problems, because it does the balancing and holding for you, it allows you to cheat and work the large muscle groups, but the intricate support systems around it, don't develop at the same rate. 

I hear you on the sedentary aspect, my biggest health challenges have all been a ripple effect from a change in lifestyle since I retired.

Walking,stairs, bikes all good for legs; I walk and play with my dog now, and make sure that I keep my legs loose and stretched with a full range of motion.

A simple complete leg routine, could be, leg presses, leg curls, leg extensions and calf raises, in that order, large to small muscles, but if you go that route a good walk before and after to

warm up and cool down safely would be a good idea.

Good luck

Kelly

 

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I would be looking at yoga and flexibility exercises, not pure strength. I can't ride my V11 Sport for more than an hour or two without serious wrist and hip pain. There just isn't enough leg room on this thing to really get comfortable (I am 6' 1"" and 195#). 

 

Which is why I have a V11 EV as well. On the "flying couch" I can just about ride all day without serious pain anywhere. Maybe you need a second bike for the long days. 

 

VT4L

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