Posture to Prevent Back Pain When Cycling

Cycling is an excellent alternative exercise to high impact exercising like running. Unfortunately like any other sport, cycling has its own set of drawbacks, and in this case it seems to be neck and back pain.

More and more people are cycling for exercise now than ever before, so neck and back pain resulting from cycling is also becoming more common. Most back and neck pain is a result of poor posture, poor cycling technique, or overuse of unfit muscles.

Overuse injuries occur from overusing the muscles with repetitive movements. Overuse injuries are often a result of the cyclist changing the duration or intensity of his cycling program suddenly, thus causing an overload on some of the muscles or bones.

A cyclist who rides upright is less likely to experience back and neck pain. A more stream lined bicycle, like a racing bike will cause the rider to lie low on the bike and poke his head up to see where he is going, and this is half the problem. With the neck being extended and the back flexed for prolonged periods, it is no wonder there are sometimes problems. If you experience neck pain, it may help to raise the handle bars. You can also experiment with moving the saddle forward, but not too much, or you may strain your knees. Neck pain could also, surprisingly be caused by an ill fitting helmet. Make sure your helmet is snug and sits level on your head.

Lower back pain is usually a result of incorrect posture during riding. The rider has to lengthen out his back from the top to the bottom, and not tuck the lower back in or over extend it. A forward pelvic tilt is maybe a better way to describe the posture that you must try and maintain. Make sure the top tube length is correct to allow you to stretch forward over your bicycle.

Changing the position of your handle bars could also help. Handle bars that are more than shoulder distance apart could cause some strain in the spine. If you have a weak back, some exercises to strengthen it will definitely help. Try lying on your tummy and lifting the shoulders off the floor, then your legs and then both. Strengthen your lower spine by holding onto a chair and lifting your legs, one at a time, behind you and holding them up for a count of five.

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