Friday, November 14, 2008

Put Those Legs UP!!!

" Put those legs up!" That's one of my greatest pieces of advice for all athletes. Your arteries carry your blood away from your heart and your veins pump the blood back up to your heart, against gravity." Draining your legs " by placing them higher than your heart after you train hard is a technique used to increase recovery rate by serious sportsmen. This will enhance the venous return of your blood to your heart which is a muscle too! In the world of professional cycling where I worked in Europe," the cream-of-the-crop" put their legs up on the wall daily, in their hotel rooms while resting on their beds after each day's stage. I am talking about a very small percentage of the 1000 ranked professionals in the world. Of that 1000, only 220 race the Tour de France each July, and of that 220, only about 11% regularly drain their legs. Those are usually the boys who you see up on the podium at the Champs-Élysées in Paris!! Now what does that tell you?! Working as a Soigneur for years has taught me priceless things that I could talk about for a lifetime. Bike racers are supposed to train/race/recover.....that's it, pedal! Anything else would make their legs bloat. It is common to see the boys shuffling their feet in their cycling sandals 'post-race' in the hotels and even 'stalling' while climbing the stairwells to their rooms after talking to the mechanics about what gears they want on their bikes for the next day's stage. Their legs are 'stalling' because they are climbing stairs and not mountains! They are used to pedaling, not stair climbing, or shopping in malls or being on their feet at a concert for three hours. They are used to being in a hard saddle pedaling in the Pyrennes or in the Alpes for 4-7 hours. The most elite cyclists in the world DRAIN THEIR LEGS so they can PUMP THEIR PISTON LEGS like animals day in and day out!!! This gets rid of that bloaty, lymph accumulation. They can do 'other ' activities after the season......a little bit! But I'm tellin' ya, the legs up thang.......You can do it after a race, a training ride, while you are watching TV, or on the phone. You can do it after you shopped til you dropped, or after you travelled and have swollen 'jet-legs'. You can do it with your legs up on your wall or up on pillows on your couch. Put 'em up on the table, on the dashboard, on someone's lap! Just PUT THOSE GAMS UP, MAN!!! You,ll never stop once you start......and shake those quads with your hands while their up there. Shake the meat on that bone!! Your legs will feel fresher and so will you.

1 comment:

Drew said...

I'm a coach who used to coach this to my CC runners, we did it religiously, and it always helped alleviate soreness. Ice baths (for my football players in high school) seem to also provide the same type of relief.

Do you know of any science behind this? Are there any articles I can find that refer to exactly "what happens" when you drain? thanks!