Since the current situation with a pandemic going on, more people are starting to ride a bike for transportation and travelling. Now, I would like to hop on and talk about the three most important things that you'll need to know, in order to ride a bike without injuring yourself.
The reason why a lot of people are starting to develop back pain because they’re not used to it and it’s a new form of exercise for them. They’re not used to riding a bike for 30 minutes every single day.
For any types of exercise, we need our body to be fit enough to have certain endurance or fitness level in order to perform those activities. And because it’s a new form of exercise, we’re not used to using those muscles as much developing endurance, stability, and fitness in order to do an exercise that takes time.
Then, all of a sudden, we started doing that, it causes some injuries.
So here are 3 points to know before cycling to avoid getting injuries:
Grade yourself up.
Make sure you’re in the gradual process. It shouldn’t be like having been riding a bike for 10 years, and then all of a sudden, you are riding 10 miles every single day, and that's a very huge jump.
That's the first thing to do; you need to make sure you are doing different forms of exercises to have that influence.
You cannot just jump into that activity without any training. Your body won’t be able to get used to just doing that, you need the flexibility, endurance, and fitness in order to build your body into the level that's required for you to ride a bike.
Ride the bike properly.
In terms of the form of riding the bike, we put our hands on the handlebars, which means we are putting our hands right there then stabilize our body. That way, you need all of your stability from the neck and the shoulder blades to stabilize your arms.
So, you won't be putting too much pressure through your arms causing any back or arm injuries. The first thing we need to pay attention to is the proper form and stability of the shoulder blades in that shoulder region. Also, the lower back from the spine, we need to be able to maintain a neutral curve.
Too much of a curl or too much of an arch can put too much stress on the lower back. And if you are riding a bike for 10 miles a day, that can accumulate and eventually create some injuries or stress to the lower back to the spine, or even cause problems for other body parts.
Also, the pelvis and the hip are very important. We know that when we are riding a bike, we are constantly doing the paddling motion. During the paddling motion, it's repetitive. While you're doing that, you also need to make sure the pelvis and hips are stable.
So even though the legs are paddling, the proximal part and the pelvis have to be stable, that's the way to do it. To minimize the stress, you're going to put your back into your pelvis into your legs. These are the proper forms that we need to pay attention to.
A lot of time, we don’t have insurance, or we just don’t know the proper form how it should be. And then repetitively, over time it can accumulate and develop into injuries. Then, that's a bit of a problem. But by doing proper training, or other types of exercises, you are able to build up your endurance that way.
Sometimes it’s not the body, sometimes it’s the bike that doesn’t fit your body.
The bike’s build is either too big, or it’s either too small. You got the bike from somewhere else that used to be somebody else’s bike, so it doesn't fit into your body type. In that in that case, definitely, you will want to see somebody to able to do bike fitting assessment for you to see if you need any adjustment.
Sometimes, even if the size doesn't really match into your body type, you can still do some adjustment to make it fit into your body better, like adjusting the pedal position, adjusting the saddle position, adjusting the handrails.
By doing that, you might be able to get better alignment, but then you definitely need to find somebody to do the bike fitting if that's the case.
Nowadays, more and more people are riding bikes and if you want to stay injury free and be away from any back pain or any other injuries, you will definitely want to pay attention to these when riding a bike.
But I also want to specifically point out that everybody's situation is a little bit different. You definitely need somebody to give you an individualized care in order to know what your body needs.
It might be because of a certain pattern like hitting certain mileage, that you are starting to having issue. It might be like when you are making certain terms in certain ways that's creating certain issues, these specific patterns are very important in terms of what you actually need.
So, in that case, I definitely suggest you to look up for a licensed professional; ideally, a physical therapist, to do a thorough assessment to see whether it's what we need to strengthen our body in certain ways, or that we need to make any adjustments in terms of the forms of how we ride the bikes.
But it's actually the bike that doesn’t fit your body, then definitely a thorough assessment to see how you're riding a bike is necessary.