Living and working within arms reach of one of the most ridden stretches of road in Australia if not the southern hemisphere it is almost impossible not to have spent some time riding a bicycle along Beach Rd.
Whether or not you’re cycling competitively, to work or for leisure, the enjoyment of riding a bike can quickly dissipate when our body hurts.
Back pain can be a common occurrence for cyclists across all levels. Reasons for this can include a poorly fitted bike, pre-existing injury/s and or lack of fitness, particularly in the moving muscles such as the gluteals, hamstring and quadriceps.
Like any other exercise, cycling requires some conditioning and I wish I could say that its as simple as pumping up your tyres and putting a helmet on. At times it can be easy to brush off the small aches and pains after a ride. Yes these can be a result of activating those dormant muscles but if the pain last more than a day or two, you have awoken a previous underlying problem.
There are also some simple adjustments you can make to keep riding easy, prevent injury or prevent an existing injury from progressing to a more serious problem. Often, simple fixes like adjusting your seat or correcting your posture could help. Here are some other tips.
- Ease Into It
We have all heard the saying “It’s like a riding a bike” but this can only be taken so far. Progressively increase your time and distance on the bike. Also make you are not pushing too hard. Being able to maintain a comfortable conversation whilst riding is a good indicator of your effort.
- Staying Relaxed
By bending forward and maintaining a neutral spine you take a lot of pressure off your upper body, particularly your shoulders. You can always alter the position of the bars or levers on your bike to make sure you’re not over-reaching. Keep your shoulders relaxed and keep a slight bend in your elbows to reduce placing too much weight and pressure on your hands.
- Core Strength
Engaging your abdominal and back muscles will help to support your upper body. If your core strength is something you have always felt needed work, we can help with some gentle and easy exercises you can do at home.
- Adjust your bike to your frame
Small adjustments on your bike can make a huge difference. We have found simply lowerering your seat 1-3cms can make a huge difference on your pedal stroke and thus your overall comfort on the bike.
During exercise the body sweats to reduce your overall increase in body temperature. These fluids should be replaced and replenished. Sometimes it can be hard to drink water whilst continuing to ride. By having a glass of water or two even prior to your ride will go a long way to reduce fatigue.