Happy Bike Month! Live Your Life Physical Therapy, LLC would like to welcome our guest blogger, Ryan Buus, SPT. Being an avid cyclist and Doctor of Physical Therapy student from the Mayo Clinic, he has wonderful injury prevention tips for cyclists and weekend warriors.
Spring is here and summer is getting closer by the day. In Minnesota this means it’s time to get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather! One great way to see what the outdoors has to offer is via bicycle. If you are in the majority, this includes dusting the cobwebs off your bike and pumping up the tires up for the first time since fall.
Your bike isn’t the only part of your ride that will need fine tuning before you head out the door to your favorite bike path, trail or country roads. Cycling poses a unique set of demands on the body that we do not experience in our everyday lives. From our head to toes, each part of our body needs to be in good shape to ensure our summer of cycling is pleasurable rather than painful. Here are five tips to help make your summer of cycling is a success:
1 – See a bike fit specialist. The marriage between bike and body is paramount to ensure your bike is set up to best fit your body.
2 – Focus on your core. Front and side planks are a great activity to build strength and endurance in your abdominals.
3 – Stabilize your shoulders. Seated rows will strengthen your scapular stabilizers to provide a solid foundation for your arms as you reach toward your handlebars.
4 – Control your knees. Performing lunges with a discrete focus on minimal medial/lateral movement at the knee are a great way to gain knee control and strength in one exercise.
5 – Gain some range. Add hamstring stretching to your daily routine to decrease strain on your lower back as your ride.
These exercises will get you on your way to preventing the common aches and pains associated with cycling such as low back, neck, and knee discomfort. Muscle soreness for one to three days following your first few rides can be normal as your body adjusts to getting on the bike again. However, pains lasting longer than three days or while you are cycling are more concerning. If this describes you, see a licensed physical therapist to help you adjust to the demands of cycling to enjoy your summer of cycling!
Ryan Buus, SPT