Bike Back

On average, Americans spend 10+ hours per day sitting which is associated with a large percentage of people with low back pain (LBP). But what about YOU, the active population, the avid cyclist? Are YOU immune to LBP? Bicyclists are very dedicated to their sport even in the winter months when others tend to hibernate; however, LBP is one of the most common non-traumatic cycling injuries. Bicycling is known to be a relatively safe, low impact option for endurance athletes, but it is the sustained “flexed” position that can contribute to the onset of LBP. There is a simple yet very effective exercise that can help fend off this problem.
Press-ups work to maintain pain free trunk motion in all directions when we spend most of our work day and recreational time in a seated position. To perform a press-up, place your hands directly under your shoulders then use your arms to elevate your chest while trying to relax your back, abdomen, and leg muscles. When you are at the end of your available motion, as pictured above, exhale allowing your belly to sag. Following a brief 2-3 second hold, return to a resting position laying flat. Especially if you are new to this exercise, it is normal to feel pressure or tightness in the center of your low back initially; however, the discomfort should begin to dissipate after only a few repetitions. To help prevent LBP, perform 10 press-ups immediately before and after a ride. If your rides are typically greater than 2 hours, perform additional repetitions throughout the day. Consult your physical therapist if you are currently experiencing LBP or have a history of back surgery before trying this exercise.

4 replies
  1. Everett Ferradino says:

    Great tip Alisha. I suffer from LBP, so I will definitely dfo this. I’ll add it to my ride days as well as my strengthening days and I’ll let you know how it goes. Everett.


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