At the end of a long ride does your chest drop putting strain on your neck to lift your head up? Does all your weight fall into the front of your arms and shoulders? Does your lower back start to ache?
Cycling is not good for your posture. It requires you to be in constant forward flexion over stretching and weakening the upper back muscles, resulting in the shoulders rolling forward and a shortening of chest muscles. Most of us cyclists have tight pecs, rounded shoulders, are quad dominant with tight hip flexors and tight hamstrings. These imbalances put strain on the spine and joints and could result in hip, knee and back injuries.
Correcting these postural issues is one reason why off the bike conditioning is so important. Don’t just focus on strengthening the legs when you hit the gym. Focus on your postural muscles and developing strength in the deep intrinsic muscles of the spine and abdomen, strengthening the back and shoulder stabilisers to help prevent injury and increase your comfort on the bike.
Pilates exercises are perfect for this., I make sure that all my clients have developed a strong foundation based around the principles of Pilates and functional training. With a good foundation in place, strength and power can then be developed more safely and effectively.
If you would like help in improving your posture I’d love to help.