AVOID SEIZ­ING UP

Wheels Asia - - Tiesj benoot // q&a -

Boost Physio specialist Steven Berk­man ex­plains how to mix up your ride po­si­tion

Tilt Time

Check your pelvic po­si­tion ev­ery 30 min­utes in the sad­dle, to en­sure you’re not pos­te­ri­orly tilted – slouch­ing with a rounded lower back – which can cause stress to the lum­bar lig­a­ments and discs. Check you’re not slid­ing for­wards on the sad­dle, which often hap­pens if your bike frame is too big, or if your reach to the han­dle­bar is too far. This can lead to an overly flexed lower back.

Hand Over

Pain often re­sults from the wrist be­ing in an ex­tended po­si­tion (bent back­wards) with your up­per body weight go­ing through it. To re­duce the strain through the lig­a­ments and joints around the carpal (wrist) bones when your hands are on the brake hoods or drop bars, aim to keep the knuckle of your in­dex fin­ger aligned with your fore­arm. Change your grip pe­ri­od­i­cally onto the tops of the bar – here the fore­arm is in a pronated po­si­tion (palm fac­ing down­wards), which changes the strain load.

Lum­bar Cruncher

Even on shorter rides you should per­form a se­ries of pelvic tilts to ‘de­com­press’ the lum­bar spine and change the pres­sure and forces through the lig­a­ments, joints and discs in the lower back. Rock the pelvic gir­dle for­wards and back on the sad­dle in a rhyth­mic mo­tion for 10 reps, then do three reps sus­tain­ing each end of the tilt for 10 sec­onds. When stopped at junc­tions do five reps of back ex­ten­sions to coun­ter­act the repet­i­tive flexed pos­ture on the bike. Stand­ing out of the sad­dle will also change the hip flex­ion an­gle.

Shoul­der On

To pre­vent ‘pinched’ nerves around the shoul­ders keep your chin tucked in and the back of your neck long, with your shoul­der blades down (de­pressed) and back­wards (re­tracted). To stretch out a tight neck, stretch the trapez­ius and le­v­a­tor scapu­lae mus­cles by hang­ing one arm by your side and tak­ing your ear to the op­po­site shoul­der un­til you feel a stretch.

Crown­ing Mo­ment

Sad­dle po­si­tion may be key to avoid­ing strain on your ‘crown jew­els’. If your sad­dle is too far back, or your han­dle­bar too far for­wards, over time you’ll slide for­wards tak­ing pres­sure through the per­ineum than your ‘sit bones’. Sit on the wider part on the back of the sad­dle to re­duce strain through the per­ineum.

Stretch out and change po­si­tions to stay com­fort­able in the sad­dle

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