Quick Tips for Cycling
Summer is practically here and cycling is a great way to get outdoors and exercise during these warm months. But how can you do it safely and avoid any aches and pains? Here are a couple key things to keep in mind.
Make sure you have the proper bike fit
Knee pain is often related to saddle and/or cleat positioning in over 85% of cases. Because cycling involves the repetitive pedaling, small adjustments in positioning can make a dramatic impact on knees. Your seat height should allow for slight knee bend at the bottom of the pedaling motion and keep your hips from rocking back and forth on the saddle.
Mobility/Flexibility and Strength
Cycling is not just about the knees. Because the knee is a simple hinge joint, the position and control of the knee occurs at the hip, ankle and even low back. Similarly, 65% of the total work to propel your bike comes from hip extensors, your gluteals (butt muscles) and hamstrings along with your quadricep. Decreased mobility and strength deficits in these areas can result in compensatory patterns which can lead to improper pedaling technique and pain.
While your power may come from your hips and knees, endurance and stability comes from a strong core. Poor deep abdominal strength and endurance can lead to loss of proper form and increased low back pain. Further, as the posture at the trunk decreases, weight is shifted onto the arm which can lead to increased shoulder and neck pain.
Consult a Physical Therapist at Mana Physical Therapy! They can provide you a comprehensive evaluation of mobility/flexibility, strength and stability which may be causing pain or increasing your risk for injury in the future. They can also help to discuss proper training techniques and refer to a bike fit professional in order to keep your riding through the beautiful summer months!
Set up your consultation today by calling 732-390-8100.