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Old 04-30-13, 06:03 AM   #1
ochizon
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neck strain from sprint intervals/standing start training

Do any of you guys get sore/stiff necks from doing repeated sprints/standing starts? I seem to be prone to getting a really stiff trapezius muscle from that. I'm wondering if anyone has advice on preventing it going forward, and getting it to recover more quickly when it does happen (seems to persist for weeks on end when i do get it).
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Old 04-30-13, 07:11 AM   #2
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Sounds like you need to get into the gym and work your upper body! During standing starts, your upper body (read hands, arms, shoulders - and what they are connected to, i.e. your traps/ neck) need to pretty much equal the force you are putting through the pedals, if you want to stay attached to the bars. Thats why sprinters are generally big all over, and not just big-legged with weedy little arms like most endurance/ road pros.

Just make sure you dont have any spinal misaleignments or whatever, (go see a chiropracter if you are concerned), because you can set up spasms and things like that. (I speak from experience - a mountain biking accident had knocked my back out of alignment; i didnt even realise it until a session of cog sprints put me into complete spasm).
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Old 04-30-13, 08:21 AM   #3
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I'm no doctor but a few thoughts here. My guess is that you ride your "other" bikes in an upright position. Now you have to ride LOW in the drops and even lower than a road bike set-up.

Bottomline? Time to do some stretching and weight training to build that upper body.
Traps & Shoulders are the bad boys here especially the Trapz neck muscles. Also Bi/Triceps Back/Chest and CORE will help balance that HEAVY head of yours. When You start to pull up in the standing sprint you are activating all these things and they are not as strong (yet) as you want or need.

In anycase, some Advil, Heat and a nice massage will help speed relief
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Old 04-30-13, 10:23 AM   #4
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I agree with all that has been said above.

Consider specifically adding some Deadlifts to your routine: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deadlift Notice that the Trapezius muscle is listed as one that gets worked.


(Victoria Pendleton)

Bear in mind that the deadlift is a technical lift. So, make sure to start with very low weight and get proper instruction.

You don't need fancy gym equipment:

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Old 04-30-13, 11:40 AM   #5
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I knew rock climbing would help my cycling in some way.
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Old 04-30-13, 12:51 PM   #6
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And when you are going fast, but not accelerating hard, be conscious of relaxing your upper body and giving it a break. Just wiggling your fingers a bit makes a difference. Even your hand position in the drops can change the tension in your upper body. It is easy to stay tense during the whole session, so make sure you look for times when you can consciously relax that upper body.

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I knew rock climbing would help my cycling in some way.
It is good for all kinds of things, especially being smooth and purposeful with your movements. Its like a vertical Tai Chi.
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Old 04-30-13, 01:11 PM   #7
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Thanks for the replies, guys!

i am quite large all over. Im a big burly dude. I do lift upperbody, but because of some spinal issues, I am barred any lifts that load the spine (shrugs, deadifts, squats, OHP). I do bench press, seated row, lots of core, leg press and leg curl. Im not allowed (or, advised against) much else in the weightroom.
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Old 04-30-13, 11:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ochizon View Post
Thanks for the replies, guys!

i am quite large all over. Im a big burly dude. I do lift upperbody, but because of some spinal issues, I am barred any lifts that load the spine (shrugs, deadifts, squats, OHP). I do bench press, seated row, lots of core, leg press and leg curl. Im not allowed (or, advised against) much else in the weightroom.
Well...unfortunately, the Standing Start uses similar identical muscle recruitment patterns as the Deadlift, which is why it is good training for starts.

Maybe you can do some targeted trap exercises, but by all accounts, training multiple muscles at once offers better results. So, maybe doing more starts on the bike will help. Add starts to every road and track workout just like people do squats on every gym day.

Sprinting, done right, is controlled violence. I try to break my bike during every standing start.
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Old 05-01-13, 05:52 AM   #9
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That is good advice, and what i was figuring id do, once my neck is good again. Pepper is a sprint or two, or a standing start or two, to my warm up routine. That way my body just gets used to that.

I try to break my bike on standing starts, too. It just sucks when you succeed!
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Old 05-02-13, 05:19 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ochizon View Post
Thanks for the replies, guys!

i am quite large all over. Im a big burly dude. I do lift upperbody, but because of some spinal issues, I am barred any lifts that load the spine (shrugs, deadifts, squats, OHP). I do bench press, seated row, lots of core, leg press and leg curl. Im not allowed (or, advised against) much else in the weightroom.
You missed out some pretty important information there, from your initial post!

if you've got the cash for it, could be worthe seeing a biokineticist. They do a lot of rehabilitation stuff, and can give you exercises that will help with the muscles that stabilise your neck and upper back, without putting stress on it.

I' say its almost a given that this is why you're struggling.
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