Cycling is one of the oldest and proven sports that is known to combine benefits towards health and the passion of a sport into one. With cycling being one of the most famous sports activities, it is also one of the healthiest, as reported by major bloggers and newspapers. With its millions of health benefits aside, it is also highly environment-friendly. But the ones who cycle can vouch for it that common cycling injuries and issues come as a part and parcel with cycling!
Cycling Injuries: What to do to Avoid Them
Cycling injuries are rather common as well. However, it is more likely to have sores and cramps due to your ride than actually falling off the bike or colliding with another. There are several exercises available that can be used to deal with cycling injuries.
Statistically, only about 7-8% of bicycle injuries are caused by collisions or falling.
Lower Back Pains
Lower back pains are usually regular among bicycle riders caused mostly by long hours of riding or issues with the fit more often than not, in an aggressive riding position. In a rather extreme condition, where the lumbar nerves of the spine have been stretched for too long, medical attention may be necessary.
Having weak muscles can lead to frequent pains in the lower back.
This can also be traced to the lack of warming up before the actual ride.
The best way to avoid lower back pains would be engaging in exercises that help strengthen your core muscles. Make it a part of your warm-up regimen and make sure never to skip it before a ride.
Strengthening your core will allow you to withstand the pressure of riding for long hours and help you maintain a position on your bike.
Well, the best exercises for the core:
The go-to exercises can be a plank, side plank, crunches and kneeling extension!
This refers to a sharp or dull pain in the tendons just below your knee.
A patellar tendonitis can result from the seat of your bike being too low or due to riding for long hours in larger gears. By doing so, your gluteal muscles do not get used during the ride, putting a lot of pressure on your knees causing the tendonitis.
To avoid this pain, find out the reason behind it.
If it’s an issue with your seat, get it fixed immediately. For other reasons, you may consider changing your pedalling cadence and incorporating your quadriceps while riding.
An important exercise to prevent patellar tendonitis would be a hip extensor stretch. You could additionally engage in calf stretch, quad stretch, hamstring stretch, clam shells, and squats.
These exercises aim at strengthening the muscles near your knee to eliminate the pain. Include these in your daily exercise regimen if you have been experiencing pains in your knee.
This is one of the cycling injuries that are more likely to happen in case your bike crashes. Your collarbone is a weaker point during the crash and is highly likely to suffer. There isn’t much exercise can do to prevent a broken collar bone.
However, in a case of an accident, grab on your handlebars. Usually, people tend to let go of the handlebars and get off the bike, making themselves fall and reach out for the ground to support their bodies.
This exposes the collarbones, usually resulting in a fracture. So, the best thing to do is holding on to the handlebars and allow your entire body to take the hit.
Usual neck pains related to cycling begins at the base of the skull and runs along your neck to your shoulder. A tension in the shoulder muscles, disproportional cycle fit, and sprain related to holding the head in a particular position while riding the bike for a long period of time.
Try to adjust your bike by shortening the stem and moving the seat forward.
You can try several neck exercises like the classic neck roll, the static back, static back extension or the frog. If you do experience neck pain, you could try including these exercises in your regular regimen.
There are multiple basic stretches that you could try to improve your neck and shoulder conditions. Include neck stretches in your regular routine till you can assume control over your neck and shoulder pains.
Saddle sores are extremely common , especially if you are riding a bike fairly recently.
It is usually caused due to the friction of your bones against the seat for a long time and due to sitting in an uncomfortable position for too long.
While adjusting your saddle may help, it is essential to get into the habit of riding to get accustomed to the seating position eventually. You can try to stop moving around on your seat to reduce the friction. You can try to adjust your saddle and tilt it.
And do remember to take small breaks and stand up now and then when you are going for long rides.
Also, check 8 Tips for Uphill Cycling
Muscle tightness is relatively common among people who ride frequently. It is fascinating because you only begin to feel your muscles start to tighten after you unmount the bike and sit down. It takes a while for the soreness to set in. This usually occurs when you have been riding for too long.
Muscle tightness can be dealt with by performing warm-up exercises before cycling every day. Typical exercises include the leg and hip extensor stretches, the superman, plank, side plank, and squats.
You can also try going for a little sprint of about 100 meters before cycling.
With that, we can come to the point that cycling is among the most common and most suggested exercise and transportation habits. Cycling also helps you connect with yourself and the nature allowing you to focus in the here and now. For the ones who love to try new exercises, yoga can also be a great option if you’re looking to avoid the most common cycling injuries. It allows you to relax your muscles and reduce tension and friction which often leads to aches and sores.
Most Common Yoga Postures to Avoid Cycling Injuries (Ache/Pain)
There are three common yoga poses that can prove essentially beneficial for avoiding aches and pains related to cycling.
Assume a seating position and bend the right knee at a 90-degree angle. Keep your left leg straight.
Now bend and try to reach your left foot and grab it. Hold to position for 30 seconds. Repeat the same with the right leg.
For this one, assume a kneeling position. Slowly lean backward and try to support your weight by holding your feet with your hands.
Throw your head back. Hold this position for 30 seconds.
Utthita Hasta Padangustansana
This requires you to stand straight. Stretch your right arm out and lift your right leg up to meet the palm of your right hand.
Remember to keep your leg straight. Hold the position for 30 seconds.
Also, check 5 must-do exercises for cycling routine!
It is essential to remember to maintain the correct posture while riding. Try to have good riding habits and assume the necessary safety precautions.
As far as the aches and pains are concerned, maintain a proper exercise regime to target the specific areas that tend to bother you. Suitable guides to the exercises mentioned above are easily available on most health and fitness sites. Maintain a warm up routine and ride smartly to avoid any foreseeable cycling injuries.