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Why your bike is causing you back pain

You are on the most amazing ride with your friends then that dull back ache starts to kick in. What’s worse, is after the ride your back goes into spasms causing you to hobble around like a cripple for a few days. The thing that is meant to give you pleasure is causing you pain.
So the problem is not the bike, nor is it you. It is your preparation for the ride that needs fine tuning. The very nature of riding has its roots in endurance, which means you need to prepare your muscles to sustain endurance-based activities. As your core is what takes the most pounding when you ride, it is important to do your physical prep work off the bike so you can endure long rides pain free.

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lengthened. While simultaneously your hip flexors and pectorals (chest muscles) become shortened. Holding this position over a long period of time, repeated over and over again can cause an imbalance between your posterior chain and anterior chain. This means your body becomes rounded in a C-shape. This unnatural position puts huge strain on the entire back, lower, middle and upper as your posture is misaligned, similarly to those who sit at in offices for most of the day.
Now, I don’t have to explain the difference between a bike and a chair, but realizing that your back is not supported in a hunched over position so it does not take much for the aggressive movement of a bike to jolt the body into a spasm. This is why your back is so vulnerable when you ride.
Your solution is simple. You need to do exercises which counter act the C-shape caused by the riding position. To open your frame up you must lengthen your chest muscles and stretch out your hip flexors. Then you need to strengthen your upper back muscles and allow them to shorten slightly by avoiding to much stretching. You will also need to strengthen your glutes and lower back.
Below are some exercises which I suggest you incorporate into your weekly fitness regime.
1. Lower back – Supermans * Strengthens lower back (primary) and glutes (secondary) as well as stretches out hip flexors
2. Glutes – Glute bridge walk outs * Strengthens glutes (primary) and lower back (secondary) as well as stretches out hip flexors
3. Upper back – Overhead squats* Tightens upper and middle posterior chain while stretching out chest
4. Upper back – Rear delt kickbacks* Tightens upper and middle posterior chain while stretching out chest
As with any sport you need to prepare. Just because you are sitting or standing on a bike, does not mean the bike is doing all the work and you can just coast. The bike is just an extension of you so ensure your muscles that support your spine, as well as the muscles which attach to the spine are strong and balanced.
If you need a program to assist you in relieving back pain please mail me on mandy@basefit.co.za with the heading BACK PAIN

Mandy Thomas – Base Fit

 

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