We're loving our bikes this month, but cycling can bring on a range of mysterious aches and pains... which are often hard to pinpoint and impossible to ignore!
John Hartley, our Physiotherapist here at Virgin Care Private, shares his top 6 tips for post-ride resilience.
1) BEFORE: Hip circles, fire hydrants and dynamic lunges mobilise your hips by increasing your blood flow and range of movement. Lateral lunges, scorpion lunges and split squats stimulate your muscles.
2) DURING: Maintain a stable cadence and use those gears to full advantage. Low cadence and heavy resistance from the cogs can lead to undue pressure on the patella-femoral joint (where the kneecap meets the thigh bone) and increase your risk of injury.
3) AFTER: Get back on your bike sooner by focusing on...
- The iliotibial band (running down the outside of the thigh and knee)
- Your calf muscles
- Extend and stretch your neck and back, extremely common sources of aches and pains
4) When recovering from injury, leg strength and hip mobility is key. Focus on your quads, glutes, hamstrings and calves when doing light exercises and stretching.
5) Make sure you have a regular alternative to the saddle. Swimming is a great supplement to cycling. Use the full length of the pool to get in some cardiovascular work and the shallow end to focus on low level strength and mobility work.
6) Explore the great indoors. Turbo trainers, rollers and the watt bike are ideal for rehabilitation. Riders make a smoother transition back onto the saddle after enforced periods of indoor training, returning stronger and ready to ride.