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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

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Old 04-04-05, 10:27 PM   #1
Comatose51
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Back Excerise

My back right now is my biggest limiting factor in how far I can go. At around 30 miles, it starts to ache. The most I've riden is 65 miles and only by stopping ever 9 miles or so to rest my back. What can I do to strengthen it? And how can I adjust my bike so it will take the pressure of my back. I've noticed that it tends to hurt more if I pedal harder. So it might not be posture related. It could just be my back aching from excertion. Any idea or suggestion would be appreciated.
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Old 04-04-05, 10:30 PM   #2
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It really depends on how your bike is set up. When I first got my bike they had my bars close in and up pretty high. Then I got a pro fit and told him about my lower back pain. He put me on a much longer bar stem, and lowered it to a more traditional racing position.... it took awhile for my arms and hands to adjust to having more weight on them, but it considerably helped my back out.
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Old 04-04-05, 10:31 PM   #3
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if you want to exercise your back do deadlifts.

heres a helpful link I got from another forum member:

http://www.exrx.net/Lists/WtMale.html
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Old 04-04-05, 10:34 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jakey
It really depends on how your bike is set up. When I first got my bike they had my bars close in and up pretty high. Then I got a pro fit and told him about my lower back pain. He put me on a much longer bar stem, and lowered it to a more traditional racing position.... it took awhile for my arms and hands to adjust to having more weight on them, but it considerably helped my back out.
Hm....

My stem right now is only 90mm. Should I go to 110 mm instead?
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Old 04-05-05, 09:49 AM   #5
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Paradoxically, quite often a tired or sore back is because of weak abdominal muscles.

You doing your crunches??

Take a look at this site: CLICK ME

Here's one that's more cycling specific: CLICK ME

Good luck!
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Old 04-05-05, 10:01 AM   #6
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Hi,
http://www.rivendellbicycles.com/html/rr_raisestem.html

Skip the deadlifts. Go to a gym, do crunches, seated rows, and after a month of rowing, Roman Chair. Work your arms, too. They can help indirectly.
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Old 04-05-05, 10:12 AM   #7
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I have found that I get back pains. Although cycling provides great exercise for the legs and butt, it is a lot more enjoyable if the arms, back and belly are in good shape too. I have found that a few push ups and crunches every day makes a big difference to my cycling comfort.
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Old 04-05-05, 10:17 AM   #8
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If some of the previous ideas don't help, I've done all those too, it may be time to see the doc. I have had low back pain for years and finally got it checked out. He called it degenerative joint disease (arthritis) with scoliosis. Now, this was in no way caused by cycling but was work related. I've had to change the way I ride, no more pushing big gears for long periods uphill. Instead I pedal at a higher cadence in an easier gear. The good thing about riding like this is it actually makes my back feel better when it comes to daily living.
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Old 04-05-05, 10:43 AM   #9
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I have had two extrusions of my L5/S1 over the last 10 years. That's a herniated disk for the laymen. I love skiing bumps. I still do. I can't let it stop me from doing what I love.

In this area of Colorado, we have the very cream of the crop for orthopedists, chiros and pt people. I have spent a lot of time under their care and getting an education on back problems. However, I'm not a doctor ...I just play one when my wife dresses in a nurses outfit. Another story...

Here's what I can share that is cycling specific:

Most people have tight Iliopsoas muscles. That's the hip flexor. We humans tend to work the front of our bodies more than the back. Go figure... our eyes, ears, toes, knees, mouth, nose are in front. So it stands to reason that we would be front body dominant. There's a word for that ...I forget it.

Cycling is a lousy way to hit all the leg muscles. It is like saying nut butter has protien. It does ...but it predominantly is fat. Cycling hits all the leg muscles too. But it is predominantly a quad dominant exercise. So you lose ground on the hams and glutes and gain on the ilipsoas and quads.

Anyhoo, tight iliopsoas muscles will rotate the bottom of the hips forward. This will reduce the lumbar curvature of the spine. Without less curvature, there's less shock absorption and spinal misalgnment problems. This is what set me up for the herniation ...twice. Now I know better.

The solution is this:

Loosen the hip flexors every day ...especially after riding. Do a static lunge and focus on squeezing the buttocks and pushing the hip forward. You don't need a deep lunge to hit the hip flexor. You just need to focus on moving the hip forward. Also, this isn't a quad stretch. Just focus on the front of the hip.

Strengthen the glutes. Forum*rider is right. Dead lifts are a great move to hit the glutes. I prefer a backward lunge with weights. I also hit the core at the same time by coming out of the lunge to a standing position on one foot. The leg that I knelt on comes forward of the standing foot and I balance on the standing foot. I do this with about 50 lbs of weight. Balancing hits the core. The core is a critical area for strengthing the back too. Make sense?

As mentioned, the abs are important too for a strong back. But I'll bet dollar to donuts that you have tight hip flexors and a weak butt (not to say that it isn't a cute butt.)

This regimen has put me back into skiing bumps hard all day long. It works.

Hope that helps.
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Old 04-05-05, 12:30 PM   #10
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After reading through this I feel like keeping my mouth shut and just reading.
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Old 04-05-05, 02:13 PM   #11
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okay, give this a try after you give your back some rest. I call it a reverse sit up. you need to either have someone hold your legs or put your feet under a table and stablize yourself. set up two chairs and lay down facing the ground with your hip on the edge of a chair. with your feet stable by either someone holding it in place or bend your knees to stablize yourself on the underside of a table. if you're going to support yourself, you will only need one chair. from you hips, lower your head towards the floor, then with your lower back, raise up until level to the ground, you might want to put hands on the back of your head.

do this only when your back is rested and start out by doing 4 or 5 reps. when stronger, increase reps.
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Old 04-05-05, 02:44 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by telenick
However, I'm not a doctor ...I just play one when my wife dresses in a nurses outfit. Another story...
TTIWWP
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Old 04-05-05, 02:56 PM   #13
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I have the same problem. I have found that stretching my gluts and hamstrings (all connected to the lower back.

also, when you pedal hard, try not to use your back. sometime when the legs get tired, people will hold on to the handle bar and push with their back down on the down stroke... if you look at a rider doing it, you will see that their back bobs up and down.. That contributes the lower back pain..
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Old 04-05-05, 04:48 PM   #14
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TTIWWP
You want pics? That's gonna cost.
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Old 04-05-05, 04:53 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by telenick

However, I'm not a doctor ...I just play one when my wife dresses in a nurses outfit. Another story...
Nice.
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