Hi there and glad you found time to address the vexed topic of stretching. In the following three to five minutes of reading, I’ll tell you how the “Dynamic Cyclist” program helped me enjoy cycling again even after two herniated discs. Minor spoiler: With the right routine and exercises it’s easy to do and also more beneficial in the long run than aftercare.
A Bit About Me
I’m Felix, a multisports enthusiast with a passion for cycling, a love for challenges, and adventure on the mind at all times. I have done performance oriented sports since childhood, however for me it is about so much more than pushing speed or distance. The most important aspects for me are enjoying nature and discovering new regions. Sports are about being a part of a like-minded community, sharing an experience, and the joy of working out in a group. Sports, especially cycling, form a connection!
Herniated Disc Number Two
So when I was forced to take a break and was limited to a five kilometer radius around my house I felt pretty bleak. My endorphin levels nose dived like the stock market in 2008. During a period like this you need a strong partner by your side — so a thank you goes out to my girlfriend, who put up with me during my second herniated disc and always encouraged me.
So what happened? My morning routine during the Covid pandemic, winter months consisted of 10-15 minutes of freestyle stretching followed by a short HIIT session before work to get a little spritz for cycling. At the time I had a lot going on at work and sat at my desk day in and day out (not always ergonomically correct of course), but I believed that with my 10-15 minute stretch program I would be fine. Apparently, that was not the case! As I found out later: stretching is not just stretching. If that sounds confusing, bear with me here.
It was a cool, gray morning in February 2021. On this particular morning I skipped the stretching program and went straight into HIIT and — bam — I went down. After being falsely diagnosed with a blockage I decided to stop training for a while only to be diagnosed with a slipped disc a few weeks down the road. Unfortunately, at the age of 28, this was already my second slipped disc. This was the absolute last warning shot for me. Something had to change urgently!
Dynamic Cyclist – It’s a Match!
After being frustrated with myself for not learning from the first herniated disk, I got my act together and looked into what I could change in the future in a sustainable way so I could avoid another slipped disc. I had to approach the whole thing from a holistic perspective.
What did this involve for me? Acutely and also in the long term a good physio, of course. However, I also had to change my own behavior. In addition to a balanced diet this included active regeneration and stretching. My herniated disc is partially genetically inherited (one more reason to take preventive action). As luck would have it I found the “Dynamic Cyclist” program. It was a match!
Give Yourself a Break From the Daily Madness
The first time I tried the program I was hooked by the concept and presentation. Dynamic Cyclist only includes the most important aspects of mobility and stretching without any unnecessary fluff. It has a logical structure and a stretch program that is designed to guide you through the process of gaining mobility and flexibility over time. I can confirm that it does not get boring. I can easily find where I left off in the program from my home screen and the exercises have become my daily routine. Now my 15 minutes of stretching each day is more efficiently invested than before my herniated disc. So it is not the time that matters most, but the selection of the right exercises and the logical sequence they are performed in. I enjoy the videos so much that some days I even complete two videos, especially after cycling when my hip flexors are tight. This is another great aspect: you can easily find the relevant cycling “pain points” within the app and therefore work areas that compromise your mobility.
Vary Your Training and Discover New Ways
I have yet to find a comparable program that is as strong in content as “Dynamic Cyclist,” both in depth and breadth. In addition to the Stretching & Mobility portion, there are numerous other training focuses you can use in the app such as Strength Training, Roll & Release, or Challenges. Before I found Dynamic Cyclist I found stretching boring, but necessary for me to continue doing my sport in a performance-oriented way. With Dynamic Cyclist I feel I am at the leading edge again. Everything is more fun with good instruction! In person instruction is nice, but you are much more likely to take 15 minutes and stretch efficiently through an online video program than drag yourself to your local yoga studio every single day. I’m glad I found Dynamic Cyclist. It has a permanent place in my daily routine and should be considered by everyone who loves to ride.
Written by Felix Rähmer – Endurance Cyclist