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Avoid the cycling hunchback

If you ride a bike and have found yourself concerned with your posture - then read on….

Cycling is a very popular sport - it keeps you fit, it is low impact, fun and gets you outdoors.

As a general rule we see lots of clients who ride their bikes. From mountain bikes, road racers, triathletes and even those that just ride down the street for a coffee on the weekend.

But one thing that you start to see on those people who spend a lot of time on their bikes is the rounded forward posture of the mid back and a forward head position.

Now there are many ways you can improve your posture on the bike - in fact there is a whole bike fitting process you can go through - but what about some of the simple things you can do off the bike to help?

One of the best and easiest things you can do is a simple “chin tuck” type exercise.

As you may have noticed, when riding you are in a position where your neck is extended and your chin is pushed forward to look at the road. This creates tension in the muscles of the back of the neck, shoulders and skull - and with enough repetition it may even lead to weakness of the deep neck flexors at the front of the neck.

People with this type of imbalance often complain of neck tension and headaches - and as far as posture is concerned - they are the ones with the typical forward head posture.

The Chin tuck is a simple exercise that reverse this position. It engages the deep neck flexors, it stretches the skull away from the upper neck and it even opens up the joints of the lower neck.

It is often used as a way to improve posture - but it is also a great reliever of neck tension.

Here is how you do it:

The second thing i would try to add to my routine is an exercise aimed at improving the mobility of the mid back. The bent forward posture that you have on the bike is often mirrored throughout your day with a slumped sitting posture. Put these together and you have a recipe for a very stiff mid back that no longer likes to extend (straighten out).

This is where a foam roller and a few minutes of your time can make a world of difference. It improves your posture, decreases muscle stiffness and even makes breathing easier.

Here is how you do it:

Being proactive and incorporating these tools into your routine before too long can be a great way to keep you enjoying your cycling - whilst avoiding the potholes along the way.

Until next time - keep moving better


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