Bike Fit? Or Body Ready?
A key method of preventing cycling injuries is to alter your bike to fit your body. Going to a local bike shop and getting your bike personally fitted could play a big role in enhancing performance and preventing injuries, therefore improving your overall health and well-being.
However, what if your body already has muscle imbalances, faulty movement patterns and joint fixations? You would be fitting your bike to an improper framework, reinforcing bad movement patterns, and building on a forgotten injury. Going for long rides can resurface these old injuries, only worsening those faulty movement patterns - sending you back to the bike shop for a retrofit – a vicious cycle!
So, which should come first; bike fit or body ready? Maybe it’s time to get your body in tip top shape and iron out any old unresolved injuries, faulty movement patterns or fixated joints. It makes much more sense to go and see a Chiropractor to make sure your body is working at its optimum, before you get your bike fitted.
A flexed bike posture is almost the same posture many people have resided to at their office desk.
This creates a hip flexed position with a big ‘C’ curve spine, where your pelvis rotates forwards.
This can lead to:
· Tight hip flexors
· Tight quadriceps muscles
· Weak gluteal muscles
· Weak low back muscles
· Disruption of hip biomechanics
· Increased hip capsular and ligamentous adhesions
· Low back ligament and facet joint strains
· Restricted rib cage inhibiting proper diaphragmatic breathing
· Loss of economy and power
Healthy strong gluteal and abdominals are essential to prevent low back sagging and pain.
Here are some exercises to do to help:
· Gluteal bridges
· One leg squats
· Iliopsoas (hip flexor) stretch
· Piriformis stretch
A well fitted bike combined with a well-balanced and functioning body allows for better endurance and performance therefore great enjoyment of cycling!
Eric Dalton, Ph.D. (2012) Dynamic Body Exploring Form Expanding Function: Freedom From Pain Institute.