September 2017: Primal Posture

August 24 2017

How can you ensure that cycling is not only healthy for your back, but will also train your core and torso muscles to engage better, retain length in your hamstrings, and lighten pressure on your hands, neck and shoulders?

Bikes ‘n’ Backs 

 

How can you ensure that cycling is not only healthy for your back, but will also train your core and torso muscles to engage better, retain length in your hamstrings, and lighten pressure on your hands, neck and shoulders?

The racing cyclist below is an example of compromising healthy posture for performance gain. His tail is tucked under, placing the spine in a flexed position, over-stretching his back muscles and ligaments and compressing the front of the discs. At the neck the effect is reversed, compressing the back of the cervical spine. 

Though he is crouched like this for aerodynamic advantage, even recreational and commuter cyclists often round their backs simply because they are used to sitting in a slumped, curved position.

 

This cyclist takes stress off her spine and maintains an open front-of-body by sitting more forward on her sitting bones. Tilting the saddle down a little can help keep the pelvis well positioned and the behind behind. Unlike rounding over, it invites the long back muscles to work in harmony with the core muscles to maintain the length and strength of the whole torso. 

Pressure on the shoulders, neck, arms and hands is also reduced as she no longer rests as much weight on the handlebars. Engaging the torso muscles means no twisting shoulder girdle or pelvic movement dissipating energy that needs to go down to the pedals - far more efficient.  

This is extra effort at first if you are not used to hip-hinging in this way, but it is the same muscle recruitment you want to use when bending over for daily tasks such as making a bed, washing at the sink, or picking something up. Good posture trains you for life, including cycling! 

To find out more about how posture can support your activities and leave back pain behind, come to a free workshop:

Sunday 10th September, 3pm, Spicer+Cole, Gloucester Rd 

Sunday 15th October, 3pm, Bakesmiths, Whiteladies Rd

Please book at: www.gokhalemethod.com

Further information: 07982 231317