If you have ever watched professional cyclists as they power across the finish line, they all have one thing in common: they struggle to sit upright. The race is over, they’ve been bent over, and when they need to sit up straight, the strain is clear for all to see.
Given what legs and knees go through as we ride, it is easy to believe that the most common injuries may strike these areas. The truth though is that lower back pain is one of the most common injuries caused by cycling. There are though, some simple steps to take that can help you to prevent this.
Correct bike setup to prevent lower back pain while cycling
How you have your bike set up will have a significant impact on the health and wellbeing of your lower back. If your riding position is wrong, then you are setting yourself up for a whole world of pain. This is pain that you want to avoid.
To prevent lower back pain, in an upright position you should be able to reach your bars with a slight bend in your elbows. A saddle that is too far back, handlebars that are too low, or even a bike that is the wrong size are all going to add to lower back pain.
Strengthen your core
Cyclists who take their riding seriously will make sure that they train and hone their bodies. It is common to work on stamina so you can go the distance as well as focusing on the legs as it is these that help to drive us. Where many cyclists fall short is working their core.
Surprisingly, cycling places as much, if not more, demand on your core than your legs. By carrying out regular exercises, such as reverse crunches, you can strengthen your core and prevent lower back pain.
Knowing your limits
This is something that you may think only applies to novice cyclists, but it applies to the professionals out there too. Sometimes the injuries that we suffer are purely our own fault. We have pushed too far too soon and our bodies have reacted.
To prevent lower back pain while cycling, take things slow and steady. Build up your speed and distances gradually and keep your back health in check. This will allow you to strengthen the areas that are paced under stress rather than overexposing them in an instant.
Change your position
It is all too easy to get yourself into your favourite position, get your head down, and pedal like there’s no tomorrow. The problem here is that you’ll be stuck in the same position for a prolonged period of time and this is only going to add to your lower back pain.
Make a point of chasing your position during your rides. It could be as simple as making a point of standing out of the saddle on a regular basis. This change will stop the onset of chronic lower back pain and will see you enjoying your cycling for longer.