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Updated 25 February 2015

Tips on posture for cyclists

Dave Giloi, Director of Body Excel Gym gives some tips for cyclists on their posture.

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Dave Giloi, Director of Body Excel Gym gives some tips for cyclists on their posture.

Cycling is a low impact sport, which generally carries with it low risk of injury. This, being the case, cyclists have pushed the durations and times in the saddle to extremes.

Cycling for hours and hours on a weekend ride for a social rider is not uncommon. Elite and competitive riders, even more so, have pushed these extremes. This has opened such cyclists up to developing postures which are moulded around their position on the bike. Shear time spent in these postures will cause muscle balances to change.

These deviations from “normal” posture can lead to injury and breakdown. It is therefore important for cyclists to be aware of good posture while riding and also spend time correcting and strengthening weaknesses.
 
Strength training in the gym can not only aid in attaining athletic strength and stability for cyclists but also begin to address these imbalances.

Strengthening muscles that have become weak over time, or better yet, preventing weaknesses in the first place should be a dominant part of a cyclist’s gym programme.

“Core” work cannot only include crunches.

It needs to strengthen erector spinae muscles, transverse abdominals, internal and external obliques, your rhomboids (between the shoulder blades) and external shoulder rotators.

Focus also needs to be given to the glute muscle group. The whole muscle group needs to fire properly.

They need to be “switched on” and strengthened effectively. Without them, knee tracking will go ( normally resulting in injury) as well as other muscles having to work over-time to compensate for their lack of contribution ( resulting in reduced performance even injury).

 Examples of good exercises to include in a workout: 

  • Back extensions, done on a Swiss ball
  • Lying glute bridging, single leg
  • Single leg balancing exercises
  • One leg squats (progress to balance on bosu)
  • Cable/band rowing exercises, e.g. squat pull
  • External shoulder rotation with band

 These are some exercises to be used in conjunction with a properly balanced strengthening programme.
 
Stability always needs to be challenged. And movements should be varied (depending on the time of the season and the level of athlete) to ensure range of motion is always good and a variety of joint angels are strengthened. Gym work should not dominate or detract from a training program; it should complement it and form part of a well-balanced and structured training puzzle, especially if mileage on the bike is already high.

 For more information contact Dave at 073-427-9499 or email dave@bodyexcel.co.za  

Source: Dave Giloi, Body Excel Gym

 
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