Tips To Reduce Cycling Injuries
A lot of you may have watched the commonwealth games this year and noticed a familiar location that the mountain bikers raced on. Cannock Chase has provided us with the opportunity to use this track whether to practice or cycle on for the experience. Whether you are interested in mountain biking over Cannock Chase, or road cycling and you want to do so while minimising your chances of injury, then here is some free advice given to you from our sports therapists at Nicky Snazell’s Wellness and Physiotherapy Clinic.
First, there are many ways to decrease your chance of injury and footwear is one factor you should consider.
Compared to running shoes, cycling shoes are designed with stiffer soles to help optimize your energy transfer. You should keep your foot rigid, so there’s no power lost through your feet and all the power from your legs goes directly into the pedal stroke. Additional support from clipping your shoes into your road bike will also help you to feel more secure when you are pedalling and can help prevent you from losing balance. It can also make you more aerodynamic as it has been noted that it is easier to get your torso lower toward your handlebars making you more streamlined increasing your speed.
That said, proper trainers are only part of the solution if you are struggling with any pain when cycling. Strengthening and conditioning the muscles in your legs and core region is essential for injury prevention. We can provide guidance, not only to stop and prevent pain occurring but to increase your cycling longevity and your performance.
What are the most common injury areas from Cycling?
The most common injury areas, more often due to overuse and poor technique are:
- Lower back
Specific diagnoses for these areas are:
- Anterior knee pain
- Lumbar or neck myofascial pain, a chronic condition affecting the muscles
- The iliotibial band running up the outside of the thigh
- Achilles tendonitis
If you are a keen cyclist, the chances are you have suffered from an injury throughout your training. Understanding how and why this is caused and taking steps to strengthen your weakness could be a game-changer for your performance.
Strength and Conditioning
The problem for many of us is that daily life can involve a lot of sitting at a computer screen all day and this can lead to poor posture and the important muscles in our trunk stiffening up and weakening. These core muscles, along with those in the buttocks and thigh are important tant in stabilising you during exercise. If these muscles become weak you are more likely to injure yourself from falls or strains.
What is Strength and conditioning?
The use of dynamic and static bodyweight and resistance exercises to improve your performance and reduce the likelihood of injury occurring. It is also used during injury recovery.
Why should I strength and condition?
- Injury prevention – helps to correct muscle imbalances and improve muscle activation, as well as increasing the efficiency of your running biomechanics which results in improved running performance.
- To be faster/ stronger
- To enjoy exercise more.
If this sounds like something you may need, book an appointment with one of our sports therapists to get the best possible guidance and treatment. As an athlete, you put so much effort into your training, it’s worth putting the effort into taking care of your body too. Prevention is just as important as recovery.
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