Cycling tips to keep you happy in the saddle

Physio Pilates ProactiveCycling, Sports & RecreationLeave a Comment

Spring is in the air and that means 2 things, better weather and longer days.

For those of us who like to get out in the great outdoors and move our bodies, it might be a good time to dust off the bike in the shed. Cycling is an excellent means of aerobic exercise, plus it’s a fun and social way to clock up your recommended 30 minutes daily if done with others. It’s also a lovely way to get out and enjoy the wonderful scenery we are so lucky to have on our doorstep here in Adelaide, a city and its surrounds renowned as a mecca for cycling enthusiasts worldwide.

If you are new to cycling or cycling a bike over extended periods, you may be prone to postural pain. Tightness on the front of the hip, the hamstrings and mid back are the most common areas of discomfort. The neck and lower back can also sometimes ache due to sustained poor positions. Good bike setup and stretching habits can lead to a more pleasant experience and avoid those aching necks and shoulders.

To maintain musculoskeletal harmony on your bike this season, here are some ideas:
  1. Ensure your bike setup is correct.
    • This will be different depending on your type of bike but generally you should have a slight bend in your knee when pushing the pedal fully down, handlebars should be positioned so you don’t have to overreach to hold them or strain your neck to see in front of you, and not too low that your low back is rounded.
  2. Make friends with your foam roller, and if you don’t have one it might be an idea to get one.
    • Rolling out the 3 main areas prone to stiffness – hamstrings, hip flexors and the thoracic spine (or mid-back) will help prevent injury and pain.
  3. Move regularly whilst on the bike.
    • Mix it up, stand up, wiggle your hips, move your head from side to side, up and down, flex and extend through your mid-back (so long as it’s safe to do so of course). Also getting off the bike at regular intervals will allow a chance to stretch your leg muscles such as hip flexors, quads, hamstrings and calves.
  4. Ensure you have the basic kit.
    • Padded shorts, a bottle holder and bottle, and quality approved helmet.

If you’d like more information on any of the information above or more tips please get in touch with us for an appointment.

Orla Timmins


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