Cycling tips from your Physio

There are many reasons to choose biking as a sport. Commuting to work can help you conveniently find time for exercise, save money on transport costs and is a great way to exercise if you suffer from shoulder pain, hip or knee arthritis. Unfortunately, biking injuries are common, but in many cases, preventable. Here are a few tips from us to help you prevent cycling injuries and improve your performance.

Don’t neglect your upper body strength and trunk stability.

While cycling is a sport that predominantly uses the lower legs, it can be a mistake to think that leg strength is the only factor that matters when it comes to biking performance. 

Increasing the strength, flexibility and balance of your upper body can actually reduce the amount of effort used to cycle and the efficiency of your pedalling. Focusing on your upper body fitness can both improve your riding stats and help to prevent the neck, back and shoulder pain that comes as a result of maintaining postures for extended periods.

Yoga and Pilates are great complementary activities to help build upper body strength and stability while also counteracting the effects of prolonged flexed postures of the bike. 

Don’t skimp on your helmet.

A good quality helmet can mean the difference between a sore head and a life-changing injury. Helmets become less effective with each hit, as they can lose their shock-absorbing capacity, even if they don’t appear to be damaged. If in doubt after a crash, choose to replace your helmet as it may save your life.

Address aches and pains early.

Due to the repetitive nature of cycling, overuse injuries are common. Ensuring your bike is set up corrected to minimise stress on your body while riding and paying attention to small niggles can help to identify and resolve issues early so that they can recover quicker. 

Speak to your physiotherapist for more information about how to improve your performance and stay injury-free while biking.

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