5 Exercises to Prevent Common Cycling Ailments

mountain biking _ATB2348 by Dai Williams is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License

We all know that cycling is a great form of exercise. Unfortunately, it can have a negative effect on the body by creating a variety of ailments

“At the crux of cycling is the riding posture. Riding puts our body and spine into a ‘c’-like pattern, which is excessive flexion,” says Todd Sinett, NYC-based chiropractor and author of the upcoming book, 3 Weeks to a Better Back (October 2015).

To make matters worse, we spend most of our non-cycling moments in this potentially harmful posture as well.

Cycling, when added to long periods of sitting and being hunched over our desks, smartphones, and tablets, can really compound this forward flexion, resulting in poor posture, alignment, and function, explains Dr. Sinett.

Chiropractic treatments can be helpful to not only treat injuries from cycling, but also to help with your performance.

“A balanced spine with well-functioning joints is a necessity,” he says.

Dr. Sinett notes that frequent cycling ailments include:

Neck pain:  The cycling posture carries a lot of tension in one’s neck

Wrist and forearm pain: Because cycling causes you to have your arms extended in front of you for a prolonged period of time you can develop tendonitis in the wrists and elbows

Shoulder:  Bending forward as you ride will place a lot of tension in your shoulders

Lower back pain:  Being in one position for a prolonged period of time can really carry a lot of tension in the lower back

Hip: The repetitive movements of cycling necessitate loose and great functioning hip joints

“So the question may be raised – should I stop cycling?” asks Dr. Sinett. The answer to that is no, as there are specific exercises and stretches that you can do to prevent the harmful effects of excessive flexion, which can be done before and after you bike, such as:

1. Standing abdominal stretch: Stand with your feet about hip distance apart, knees slightly bent; Lift arms in front of you until they are extended straight overhead; Bend back slightly, stretching the abs; Repeat 10 times

2. Cobra stretches – Lying on your stomach, place your hands under your shoulders with your fingers spread out, palms down; Push yourself up so your arms are bent and your chest is lifted off the ground, but your pelvis is still on the floor; Tilt your head up and hold for a count of five; Slowly lower yourself down and repeat

3. Thumbs to pits: Sit on a chair with your back straight; With your fingers spread out, place your thumbs under your armpits and push in with slight pressure; Tilt your face up with your sternum out to feel the stretch across your chest

4. Bruggers relief position: Sit at the edge of a chair; Place your feet directly below the knees and then separate them slightly and turn them slightly outward; Roll the pelvis slightly forward to lightly arch the low back; Ease the sternum forward and upward slightly; Rotate your arms outward so your palms face forward; Separate your fingers and point your thumbs backward; Draw the chin in slightly; Hold this position while taking a deep breath in through your abdomen; Repeat several times per hour if you are sedentary

5. Backbridge – Designed specifically to reverse and correct the issue of excessive flexion, sit at the base of the Backbridge™; Lie back so that the highest point of the Backbridge™ is between your shoulder blades and your head touches the floor; Rest your arms behind your head and hold this stretch for two minutes; Do this twice a day—once in the morning and once in the evening – for 2 minutes each time

3 Weeks to a Better Back (October 2015) addresses back pain from a unique, three-pronged perspective known as “The Sinett Solution.” Dr. Todd Sinett, a NYC-based chiropractor, not only looks at structural issues, but also addresses nutritional and emotional factors people are facing, which are attributing to their pain. A 21-day lifestyle guide, the book first helps readers identify where their pain is coming from (more often than not back pain isn’t actually stemming from the back itself) before leading them through a plan to address their unique issues.

To help sufferers combat their discomfort and live their best life possible, 3 Weeks to a Better Back provides an easy-to-follow guide to treat, reverse, and eliminate all the factors that can lead to back pain.