AN OUNCE OF PREVENTION
Prehab is a hot topic right now. Taking a small amount of time to correct postural problems and flexibility issues could be a hidden tool for improved year-round performance, according to Paul Hough, lead Physiologist at St Marty’s University. “On the surface, when you’re doing yoga or basic prehab exercises, it feels like there’s no real gain. But after a while you get benefits in terms of feeling better, moving better and recovering better between sessions. Most cyclists have a forward shoulder posture from their time in the saddle, and really tight hip flexors. Fixing these takes time and persistence: if you just stretch for a couple of days you might only get an acute benefit, but if you do it over the long term you feel the all the benefits, and it enables you to get further into riding positions. The rhomboids and rotator cuffs, the upper back muscles, tend to be quite weak in cyclists, so doing exercises such as pull-aparts with a resistance band everyday is a good place to start.” Try holding a resistance band in front of you in an underhand grip (palms upward) and, with your shoulders relaxed and your elbows at your sides, spread your hands apart horizontally so your shoulder blades gently squeeze together.