There are many reasons to choose a form of cycling as a sport. Commuting to work by bike can help you conveniently find time for exercise, save money on transport costs and is a great way to exercise if you need to avoid excessive weightbearing. Biking injuries are quite common, but in many cases preventable. Here are a few tips from us to help you prevent cycling injuries and improve your performance.
Don't neglect your upper body strength and trunk stability.
While cycling is a sport that predominantly uses the legs, it's a mistake to think that leg strength is the only thing that matters when it comes to biking performance.
Increasing the strength, flexibility and balance of your upper body and trunk can actually reduce the amount of effort used to cycle and improve the efficiency of your pedalling. Focusing on your whole body fitness can both improve your riding performance and help to prevent the neck, back and shoulder pain that can come as a result of maintaining postures for extended periods.
Yoga and Pilates are great complementary activities to help build upper body strength and stability while also counteracting the effects of prolonged flexed postures of the bike.
Don't skimp on your helmet.
A good quality helmet can mean the difference between a sore head and a life-changing injury. Helmets become less effective with each hit, as they can lose their shock-absorbing capacity even if they don't appear to be damaged. If in doubt after a crash, make sure you replace your helmet as it may help to save your life.
Address aches and pains early.
Due to the repetitive nature of cycling, overuse injuries are common. Ensuring your bike is set up correctly to minimise stress on your body while riding and paying attention to small niggles before they become bigger problems can help to identify and resolve issues early so that you can keep cycling without discomfort.
Speak to your physiotherapist for more information on how to improve your performance and stay injury-free while biking.