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Bike-a-Boo 09-16-06 09:31 PM

Sore arms/shoulders
I'm pretty new to cycling and today I tried a 90-minute ride. I went on a local multi-purpose recreational trail which turned out to be poorly maintained. Boy, my arms and shoulders are sore now! Less of a muscle ache, and more of a general tenderness. I'm wondering if this is a sign of poor riding technique or is it just something I have to get desensitized to (kind of like saddle-butt syndrome).

hackybiker 09-16-06 10:04 PM

I'm just getting used to a road bike, and find that I've been tensing my arms and shoulders, especially when I go over a difficult or anxiety-provoking stretch of road. That might have something to do with your soreness.

So I try to consciously pay attention to keeping my shoulders relaxed (not hunched up to the ears); I don't lock my elbows, but keep them slightly bent. It's interesting, because I find I only need certain muscles for keeping myself steady, for braking, etc... so I try to just use those, and avoid using the unnecessary ones.

Just something you might try.

mlts22 09-17-06 12:24 AM

Pretty much everyone offroading for the first couple times gets that. I'd consider the above poster's advice of keeping limber and not locking elbows, as well as maybe taking an anti-inflammatory to lesson the soreness.

Another reason for tenderness is sometimes dehydration. I live in Texas, so one of the most important things you can do when doing any outdoor excercise (other than using suntan lotion) is to keep hydrated. Drink lots of fluids, and drink often, as when you feel thirsty, its pretty much too late. Pure water is fine, but I like Gatorade, ice tea, or Nuun.

slowandsteady 09-18-06 08:48 AM

Are you lifting the front end up over the bumps or just slamming into them?

jcm 09-18-06 10:32 AM

A white knuckled grip tenses everything up. If you are locking your elbows and hunching your shoulders, you'll get sore. If this continues on otherwise smoother rides of the same duration, I'd suggest a different bike fit. If that doesn't work, consider different bars and/or saddle height.

AndrewP 09-18-06 11:25 AM

Do some exercises, like push-ups on the edge of a table, to put a bit of strenght into your shoulders. Although you dont work your upper body when cycling it makes the ride a lot more comfortable if you build upper body strenght to match the exercise that your legs receive.

Caspar_s 09-19-06 06:16 AM

Which MUP was this? Most of the ones around here were pretty good, I thought.

Yeah, when you're going over bumps, you need to have your arms loose, not all tensed. Use them like shock absorbers.

barba 09-19-06 06:22 AM

Stay loose and use your legs and arms as shock absorbers. You want your upper body to stay loose and limber, so don't grip the bars tightly or lock your elbows. Lift you butt a little going over the bumps. Your knees will held smooth out the shock.

Buy a good set of padded gloves. Oh, and keep it up! 90 minutes is a good hurdle to get over.

DMF 09-19-06 10:27 AM

I got real knot in my right shoulder just above the blade while doing my first century on the 10th. Couldn't get a massage appointment right away and I figured it would work itself out like the knots in my legs, but it hasn't. Every ride since it comes back after about a half hour. I tried untensing (I've always tried to ride with my elbows flexed, but I guess when you get tired you start to take more weight on the arms) and that seems to help, but it hasn't solved the problem.

Got a massage appointment tomorrow. Hope it works out.

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