Cycling has seen a massive boom over the last few years, with the London 2012 Olympic Games and the Tour de France coming to these shores last year having a huge effect, along with the Bike to Work Scheme. Of course, this is great for the health of the nation and for the sport itself as we produce more cyclists to compete at every level. However, it also means that the number of people getting injured as a result of cycling is also on the rise.
At Physiofusion we have seen a rise in clients who are keen cyclists but end up overdoing it or not preparing properly for the long rides that they are doing. Alternatively, we do see a lot of people as a result of an accident while on their bike, with impact injuries such as broken bones, or twists and sprains. However, one of the most common causes for injuries is the wrong bike for your body type or the right bike but not correctly set up for you.
Here are 8 Top Tips from our clinical director, Sam House, on how to prepare properly for a ride, avoid common injuries, and how to recover post ride.
- If you have an injury to the knee or ankle be careful which toe clipless pedal/cleat system you choose as it could irritate the injury. Saddle height and gear selection can also be critical.
- Read up about cycling training and find advice appropriate to the level of cycling you want to achieve and what terrain you have on your doorstep. Better still, join a club or ask advice of one – the good ones are very approachable.
- Consider compression garments to aid muscular force but also muscle recovery post ride. Protein-based recovery drinks can also help repair your muscles and prepare them for their next workout.
- Train your glutes – they often get forgotten.
- Hamstrings are often too short for the ideal bike set up position and will benefit from a stretch either after a ride or after a gentle warm-up.
- Alter the height and reach of your bars using a different stem or more/less spacers to balance your weight distribution. Think 60% saddle and 40% handlebars and you won’t be too far out.
- Core is almost always forgotten about – leg force needs to have a stable pelvis and spine to get the most out of each revolution, making you more efficient. Training on rollers can also help by improving your core/balance and pedalling technique. A rocking torso will fatigue you faster than a stable one.
- If you think something is wrong, talk to us! We have a free Ask-A-Physio service on our website and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
At Physiofusion we believe in the prevention and management of injuries so that your time off of the bike is as limited as possible and so you can get back to doing what you love. For more information you can call our clinic on 01282 453 110 or visit our website www.physiofusion.co.uk.
Happy Riding 🙂