They say you can do it if you put your back in to it but at the moment I am having issues with my back so that saying is not for me right now, but what can I do to change that?
I have had a bike fit but recently I have been having real issues with my lower back when cycling. Tingling even to the point of numbness. Not a terrible pain to stop me in my tracks but more of a dull ache that is uncomfortable and causes me to shift around in the saddle hoping the change in position helps.
So what could be causing it? According to British Cycling there is no one issue but it could be related to poor mobility, conditioning or bike set up. They have some great routines I have started doing for both:
Both of the above take just over 15 minutes in total so should be easy for me to include in my training and hopefully see some good benefits.
As I said I have had a bike fit and the set up on my bike is comfortable so I have spoken to some people around me who are more knowledgeable on the subject.
I have changed my training schedule and replaced my previous gym sessions with CrossFit, which I love and is great but I perhaps need to focus more on my core. A physio I know suggested that the tingling and numbness would indicate it could be nerve related so I will be investigating that further with them.
Back issues on the bike are often related to a weak core and therefore improving core strength can see massive benefits. So what sort of exercises does that include? Things like:
- glute bridges
- planking – all variations including forearm, straight arm, with a leg lift, side plank and adapting to include the thread the needle exercise too
- tabletop leg press
- lying lateral leg lifts
- scissor kicks
- boat pose
- single leg crunches
- kettlebell swings
- bent over rows
Back pain when cycling is also the biggest issue for most cyclists and according to Cycling Weekly:
‘Given how hard your legs work on the bike, it’s natural to assume that when an overuse injury strikes, it’s your knees that will be most vulnerable. Surprisingly however, the research says otherwise. It seems the biggest culprit is not knee pain in cyclists – it’s lower back pain.’
It can also arise from pushing big gears, especially when climbing, and anyone who has cycled with me knows that I am guilty of this and it is a running joke to shout cadence as my husband does to remind me of this very fact!
Cycling Tips have an article on lower back pain when cycling and their finishing quote just about sums me up. So many people say will you stop cycling after an accident or injury – absolutely not!
‘Unless you want to swap your road bike for something with a bell and a basket, you need to be able to tolerate a forward-flexed position. The exercises described above are designed to help you achieve that position for longer and with less discomfort. They’ll also help you improve your performance on the bike. Outstanding.’
So watch this space and I will let you know how I get on and if you’ve experienced something similar get in touch and share your tips please and thank you!