17 April 2013

Top 5 Tips for Staying Injury Free on the Bike

Riding a bike is all about joy!
The last thing any cyclist wants—racer or commuter—is an injury that could keep you off your bike for who knows how long. Fortunately, there are a number of ways you can prevent serious cycling injuries. We dig the tips from ORICA-GreenEDGE's resident physiotherapist Robert Brown. Check out the video below, but here's the gist of what he suggests:

  1. "Train smart. It's all about quality, not quantity." While you, naturally, want to be the fastest and fittest out there, training and building speed takes time; rushing into any new program can cause a lot of pain and very little gain. Brown suggests you find a good coach or physiotherapist to help you manage your training load specifically for your needs.
  2. "A good bike fit." When everything on your bike is adjusted right for your body, it's going to be a lot more comfortable and will also keep injuries at bay. Make sure your cleat position is set in such a way that the line of force is underneath the ball of your foot. This'll help keep your Achilles and your knees happy. Also, be sure your seat is neither too high or too low—both are bound to cause pain. If you're not sure what the best alignment is for your body, head to your local bike shop and get some help or, if you know a physiotherapist who have bike fit experience, give 'em a call.
  3. "Stretching to maintain good range of motion and muscle length." Check out the video at 2:18 for some stretching recommendations.
  4. "You must have good movement patterns and muscle activation." Click to 4:05 to see Brown's recommendation for a squat exercise to be sure your posture is right and you're activating all of the proper muscles. Not only will this help prevent pain and injury, but it will also result in increased performance.

  5. "And the number one tip for staying injury free on the bike is road safety." Pay attention, pay attention, pay attention. You can do all the stretches in the world and have the best fitting bike you can find, but a road accident, be it with a vehicle, another bicyclist or a pedestrian, can cause serious injury. One of the most important pieces of this is wearing a helmet that fits right.

1 comment:

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