Cycling is a popular sport in the spring and summer. Picture it: flying down a trail on a bright, sunny day with the wind in your hair. But as soon as you get off the bike, you realize your knee hurts, your back hurts, or your neck hurts. How can you prevent these problems?
4 Tips to Prevent Cycling Injuries
1 – Push and pull the pedals
Knee pain is common with cyclists, given the high repetition of knee flexion and extension during a ride. Plus, if you’re pushing the pedals but not pulling them, this can cause quadriceps dominance on your pedaling. Engage your hamstrings by using straps to secure your feet or use clipped pedals. Think of pushing down with one foot while pulling up with the other to even out the flow of pedaling and muscle recruitment.
2 – Adjust your bike to fit
Like any endurance sport, cycling requires equipment that is well fitted and adjusted especially for you. Just as you wouldn’t run in the wrong size shoe, you shouldn’t cycle on a bike that has not been properly adjusted to your height. When you’re sitting on the bike seat and pedal, your knees should not lock into complete extension. Make sure you still have a slight bend to your knees at the bottom of the revolution (5 to 10 degrees). Additionally, the higher your handlebars, the less strain on your neck and back.
3 – Cross Train
Use different methods of exercise throughout the week. We know you love to cycle but try a strength training class or stay off the bike one day and walk instead. Different movements and exercises will prevent overuse injuries and keep you cycling for longer. Target strengthening quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, hip flexors, and your core (including back extensors!).
4- Wear a helmet
It almost seems silly to mention but wear a properly fitting helmet! There’s always a risk of falling off or worse, and a helmet can prevent fracture and serious head injury.
Want to develop a training or strengthening plan specific for cycling, or suffering from an injury?
Come see us! We can prescribe specific home exercises to address any pain you may have and strengthen weak spots to keep you going. Don’t hesitate to call!