Cycling is great exercise but as with everything it comes with risk of injury. Many cycling injuries are down to the fit of your bike and cycling posture. The good news is that these issues tend to be easy to fix!
There are a few main painful areas associated with cycling.
If your knees hurt during or after a ride your saddle may be too low. This forces your quads to work harder, leading to irritation around your knee cap. Try raising your saddle a little.
Alternatively you may be using too heavy a gear. Try going down a gear or two so you don’t have to pedal quite so hard.
Back or buttock pain could be a sign that your saddle is too high or at a funny angle. Your body accommodates by leaning side to side as you pedal, straining the muscles of your low back. Check your saddle and try lowering it a little.
Anther potential cause of back ache is poor posture. Try not to slouch forward onto your handlebars. Engage the core muscles in your back and tummy to support your weight.
Hands & Shoulders
There are a couple of potential causes of pain in your hands, arms or shoulders. As above, poor posture is a big one. Your arms are simply not designed to support heavy weights for long periods, so leaning on your handle bars is bad news.
You could be gripping the handlebars too hard. Try relaxing your hands and forearms.
Your bike may not fit you properly – your saddle might be too high or handle bars too low.
Lastly, you could try wearing padded gloves to relieve some of the pressure on your hands.
If you try the above tips and still don’t feel comfortable, it may be worth getting your bike fitted by a professional. Ask at your friendly local bike shop.
You should also work on your core strength and stretch regularly to prevent stiff muscles – check back next week for a post on exercises for cyclists!