Physical Flexibility


Over the last year or so, I have noticed that my overall physical flexibility has decreased, mostly in the hamstrings and lower back.  I think the process has accelerated, due to cycling.  I am very tall for a cyclist, which makes riding harder compared to a more compact rider. The increasing inflexibility began to make me feel uncomfortable, particularly on longer rides (two hours plus), creating discomfort in my lower back, then radiating to my glutes, hamstrings, calves, and then the knees.  I have noticed that once I become uncomfortable on the bike, I started shifting my weight on the saddle, trying to relieve the increasing bodily stress and pain.  Doing this changes my overall riding position, not in a good way, adding to my riding fatigue, as well as decreasing my overall strength, endurance, and overall riding enjoyment!

To combat this, I have recently made a conscious effort to stretch every day to relieve riding discomfort.  My stretching exercises only take about 15-20 minutes.  In a matter of 2 weeks I have already noticed a difference.  I am beginning to feel more comfortable on the bike, my back is not as sore, my peddling is becoming more fluid, efficient, and it is also taking longer to feel fatigued.  It is amazing what a little adjustment can make!


Stretching makes all the difference, and has really begun to improve the quality of my life beyond sports. Simple things, like jumping out of bed first thing in the morning, are getting easier.  I can spend more concentrated time sitting at a desk, working on my computer since my back is not so painful, picking stuff off the floor has become so much easier too (All things that when I was a little younger I took for granted, and with a little tweak I still can)!

Working at maintaining my flexibility, over the last few weeks, has provided me with excellent reinforcement why being active throughout life provides so many benefits.  This little but eye-opening reminder has rekindled, within me, the importance of “learning” about myself, remaining open to what my body has to show me, and then having the discipline to make the necessary adjustments by incorporating these into my daily routine.

~ by Jens Wallrabe on August 12, 2011.

4 Responses to “Physical Flexibility”

  1. Nice post Jens. I started doing P90x a month ago and the stretching that you do in it has been great for me. Oh, and I’m still convinced I could beat up your dog with my bare hands.

  2. Jens, I have found that a little flexibility goes a long way. When you and I worked together I had constant back pain. I never stretched. Now with more core work and stretching daily, I rarely feel any pain. Keep pedaling, Kev

    • Thank you Brett and Kev for reading my blog! Brett – glad things are going well and that you are working on your fitness!! Kevin – I hear you about the bad back brother!!! Good job sorting it out! All the best to both of you, and I look forward to more comments from you!

  3. Keep up the good work AND great posts! Flexibility IS key and I truly believe it is the #1 reason I’ve been able to largely avoid injury up to this point. Maintaining healthy ranges of motion throughout your back, core and legs is critical for whole-life wellness and all sports activities, especially for triathlons, cycling and other endurance sports.

    Appreciate the tips and advice. I’m glad to hear that your renewed commitment to flexibility is paying off!

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