Balance Body and Bike
People have been riding bikes since the 1800s, however in recent years the number of people cycling (including myself) has surged. No longer is it an elite competitive sport, it’s now a worldwide, mass-participation activity.
Cycling is an opportunity that’s available to most people, regardless of age, size or ability and is an extremely effective form of low weight-bearing cardio (aerobic) exercise. While weight-bearing activity like running is important to maintain good bone health, it’s a very good idea to mix it up with some non-weight-bearing activities like cycling and swimming.
Cycling can also be an adventure, getting out on trails and exploring new areas, taking in beautiful views or just the fresh air. And although your cycling sessions can be solitary if you want them to be, it is also a great sport to do with others, creating lots of opportunities for forming new friendships and building new communities.
And don’t forget – opting to ride a bike instead of using a car keeps pollution and gas related emissions at zero.
But most of all it can be fun and it makes you happy, thanks to the hormones called endorphins, which are released when you exercise.
Cycling injuries are an unfortunate downside to the sport, and some people are more prone to suffering them, than others.
There are two main types of cycling injuries, those caused by falling off (acute injury), often resulting in fractures, contusions, abrasions and concussion. And then the more common overuse injuries caused by the repetitive nature of cycling including overtraining, biomechanical stresses, often due to muscle imbalances, and incorrect bike set-up.
This is why being posturally assessed and having your bike set up checked, are particularly important if you plan on cycling regularly. And just because you have it done one year, doesn’t mean you’re sorted. Everyday activities affect our muscles balances and this can change over time. And it is very frequently these muscle imbalances, that cause injury.
I have put together leaflets on 8 of the most common cycling injuries. Each leaflet is packed full of practical advice on things you can do both in terms of your body conditioning as well as your bike set up, to both prevent injuries happening in the first place, as well as rehabilitate existing ones.
The following injuries, specific to cycling, are covered:
– Burning feet (metatarsalgia)
– Achilles tendon pain
– Knee pain
– Iliotibial band pain
– Hip pain
– Back pain
– Hand pain
– Neck pain
To download any of these leaflets please click link below
Musculoskeletal tissues including muscle, tendon and bone are constantly evolving and with appropriate loading (training) and adequate recovery time, the tissue gets stronger and develops better stamina.
However, over-loading or under-loading can cause overuse injury. This makes monitoring your training load, giving your body time to adapt, and increasing the volume and intensity of your training gradually is an essential component of staying injury free when cycling.
There are three A-B-C components to staying injury free on a bike:
A – Alignment ie. muscle imbalances, weakness, flexibility issues, leg length discrepancies and being flat-footed can all lead to injury.
B – Bike set up – again this is fundamental to get right. Incorrect bike set up can be the cause of injuries that could side line you for months and yet it’s easy to get right with some good advice.
C – Conditioning and fitness – a good stretching and strengthening programme to correct the muscle imbalances and ensure you’re strong where you need to be, is the final component in staying injury free.
Like any repetitive motion sport, cycling can produce a catalogue of niggling aches and pains, which if left untreated can become more serious. Learn more about the specifics of the most common cycling injuries and how you can manage and prevent them using our leaflets at the link
I hope you have found this blog useful
Enjoy your cycling