Exercises and Hamstrings stretches for cyclists for a neutral spine
Stretches for Cyclists
Hamstrings stretching, neutral spine
Why?: tight hamstrings will cause the pelvis to rotate back while in the saddle, creating a tremendous load on the lumbar spine to counteract that force. This can manifest as lower back pain and soreness. Maintaining adequate hamstring length allows for neutral lumbopelvic posturing while in the saddle. Stretches for cyclists can be very benificial for a neutral spine.
Feel free to contact our highly trained physical therapist at MoveMend.
Follow-up strengthening exercise: lumbar spine erector strengthening, neutral spine
Why?: The erectors of the lumbar spine work to maintain a neutral spine while in the saddle, preventing the pelvis from rotating posteriorly, but can only be activated properly if the opposing hamstring tightness has initially been relieved.
For increased challenge, add a thera-band around the wrist and ankle of working extremities
Abdominal stretching for cyclists, cobra pose
Why?: Cyclists spend a lot of time in an inefficiently forward flexed torso posture while in the saddle, shortening the muscles of respiratory inspiration and further causing a posteriorly flexed pelvis in the saddle. This can manifest as lower back pain as well and additionally neck pain due to the compensatory reversal of the curvature of the cervical spine that must occur to keep vision fixed on the horizon.
Follow-up strengthening exercise: thoracic extension with thera-band
Why?: Maintaining thoracic extension while in the saddle allows for the muscles of inspiration (diaphragm and external intercostals) to function ideally to drive air into the lungs. Additionally, the cervical spine will be spared by not having to hyperextend maintaining your eyes fixed on the road ahead. Contact us at our office or come see us in Seattle, WA for more information.