Become a Better Cyclist Painfree
Your cycling shouldn’t be a pain in the butt – literally or otherwise. While it doesn’t mean it has to be easy, there are simple things you can do to ensure you get the most power out of your body on your bike.
These changes will ensure you get maximum power output with the same or even less energy input. You’ll also be able to cycle for longer.
Simply put, cycling is about body, bike and balanced input/output.
Cycling is a very repetitive action – think about how many pedal revolutions you make in a minute (cadence) then times that by 60 (equivalent to 1 hour cycling) and then times that by however many hours you usually ride for. Yes, cycling can easily be 10000 pedal revolutions each session. This means that even just being a little unbalanced in technique in each revolution, by just 1 or 2 degrees, can quickly turn into a major pain or injury during or after the ride. Add to this the fact that almost every joint is involved and it opens up the door to many different areas of concern. Injuries do happen but there is a lot you can do to minimize, prevent and manage them.
Hence, the most common injuries seen here among cyclists are microtrauma and overuse injuries. These can result from any combination of body imbalance and joint mal-alignment (technique), unsuitable training (load and/or session), and/or an improper bike fit.
Good news is that the injuries can be fixed and changed in even the most seasoned cyclist. At the end of the day, the best cyclists (professionals to weekend warriors) are those that match their bodies to its needs in terms of equipment, input and training.
While injury prevention is best, quality injury management is key to long term change. As an experienced physio and cyclist the main areas treated to help clients be better cyclists are:
- Analyse musculoskeletal balance and alignment at rest and cycling
- Examine control and technique in terms of length and strength – remember most athletes want more power with less energy
- Lengthen muscles that are too tight otherwise you won’t get range but you will get incorrect biases. Remember, high reps mean more chance for microtrauma and injury
- Strengthen muscles that are too weak and lack control. This could be a key factor in why you fatigue early. Without control through movement you’ll lack power and endurance
- Correct flexibility and mobility. Too much and too little can be equally detrimental to your performance on and off the bike!
- Review your training demands and schedule to fit with your needs
- Examine your bike fit and suitability for you and your demands.
Ultimately, cycling should be fun and not damaging to you or your bike. While it’s not always easy, the challenge should be rewarding whatever your goals and plan.
If you have a cycling injury or just want to put on the right track make a time to see a physio now.