As an avid cyclist I love watching the pro’s race. To the uninformed it looks like a bunch of guys riding around on their bikes without much organization but to those who watch the sport regularly know there is a method to the madness.
Cycling actually has teams (similar to football), and each team member has a job to do. Some are supporting cast members (like linemen) and others are the stars (quarterback or star running back).
The cycling supporting cast members (called domestiques) are responsible for protecting the main rider by helping him stay out of trouble and making sure he had food and water bottles. Their job is to block the wind or keep him near the front of the group where a crash is less likely to happen.
Professional cyclists ride their bike 5-6 hours a day (that is their office) and it takes tremendous stamina along with a very strong midsection or core.
So what do the top cyclists do to keep their core in tip top shape so they can ride for hours at a time and avoid back pain?
The “core” is basically your lower back and abdominal area. Think of it like the foundation of your home. There has to be a balance of strength plus flexibility to be able to maintain that hunched over position for hours at a time and provide the stable base from which the legs have to push.
This is the conundrum! When cycling the core must be able to hold strong otherwise the cyclist can develop pain and lose power. This can have devastating consequences for a pro not only on the bike but off.
In addition to riding their bikes a ton, the average pro cyclist spends a minimum of 30 minutes daily working on the general flexibility and core strength.
Since cycling is such a one dimensional motion (vs other sports) they are prone to develop stiffness in the neck, shoulders, mid-back, hips and hamstrings.
What positions are you in on a daily basis that leads to muscle stiffness and imbalance? Maybe you have a desk job or have to work repeatedly overhead.
While cyclists may develop powerful leg muscles this usually at the expense of the core and upper body.
The ultimate lesson from the pro cyclist is balance. This is why they invest the time in daily strength and flexibility training to maintain an appropriate balance between the stability they need to produce power on the bike yet remain flexible enough to not cause overuse injuries.
You face the same problem in your daily life. If you have a core made of “sand” then it becomes a poor foundation which can lead to problems above and below.
For example, having an unstable mid-section can lead to difficulty with walking, pain with everyday tasks or trouble raising your arms overhead to reach into the cabinets. A poor core can lead to neck pain and headaches.
It is like the old song, your hip bone is connected to your knee bone. Well the core is the central focus of the body, let it get weak or stiff and you are in for major trouble.
So what can you do?
If you are not having symptoms right now then that is great.
If you are exercising then keep at it, however if you are not doing some type of maintenance work (stretching and strengthening) at least 3 times a week it is only a matter of time before you start to have some issues.
If you are currently having pain and are looking for back pain and sciatica relief then you don’t want to miss this previous blog. You can read more about The First Step in Dealing with Back Pain HERE.
Make sure you are proactive and don’t ignore the little aches and pains you are feeling.
This is part of The 3D’s principle I adhere to. Don’t Ignore it, Don’t Mask It, Do Something About It.
When it comes to health issues (aches and pains) you definitely want to have it looked at quickly. Don’t be like most people who start to experience back or leg pain (also called sciatica) and ignore the pain pretending it will go away on its own.
This is what I call the Biggest mistake. By ignoring your pain you are potentially setting yourself up for larger and more costly problems in the long run. The faster you address the problem the greater chance of success which leads to your ability to return to normal life.
When you have an expert look at your back (like the ones at MOSS) we can help design a program specific for your condition. This helps cut down on the time and money you will waste trying to do it on your own fiddling with the wrong solution to your problem.
For example, maybe you need some stretching exercises for your hips which are tight. Tight hips can create more stress in the lower back which then results in pain. If you only try to address the symptoms of pain in the lower back and don’t address the root cause, your back will continue to hurt and you will experience repeated flare ups.
If you are like me, then you might have an issue with tightness in the mid-back and hips along with some core weakness. In that case there are multiple regions to work on each with a specific purpose.
Ultimately we NEED a strong yet flexible core but that is NOT what we truly want.
What you and I both want is to be able to live our life pain free and without limits. For you it might be gardening, playing with your grandkids or taking long walks on vacation.
For me it is playing with my kids, riding my bike and not feeling grumpy because my back hurts.
Regardless of your reason and severity of symptoms, the team at MOSS Rehabilitation Center is ready to help you get what you really want so you can thrive and not just survive.
If you feel you would really enjoy helping yourself find relief from that annoying, nagging lower back pain, get off the pain pills and avoid surgery then I have something for you.
Act now – call the office NOW 817-220-6677 to request my 100% FREE Report Top 10 Burning Questions for Back Pain and Sciatica. Or if you want the report right now, please CLICK HERE and you can download it instantly.
“A healthy man has thousands of wishes, a sick man has only one”. –Agnes Karll Schwest Krankenpfleger
Remember the KEY is to start so small that it is impossible to fail. –Kaizen
We love helping everyday people get back to doing the things they love to do.
At MOSS Rehabilitation Center we make it easy for you to get started. We even have a simple 3 step process.
1. Schedule a FREE NO Obligation, Discovery Visit with one of our experts. During this visit, you will talk with one of our friendly experts about your issues. This is a safe and confidential visit, you can trust that your safety and privacy is important to us. 2. Receive a Customized (Individualized) Treatment Plan. Based on your free discovery visit, we will put together a custom, unique to you plan that will address all of your nagging pains and issues. The goal is to get you back to your healthy self as soon as possible while also addressing your issues for the long term.
3. Get Your Life Back and Do What You Love. The best result for us is a patient who tells us they can finally do what they love without the constant pain, stress, or issue they were facing. Together we can get you back to living life without worry.
NEXT ACTION: If you are really serious about your lower back pain and want to do something about it, start by calling 817-220-6677 today to schedule your FREE NO OBLIGATION Discovery Visit or talk to one of our experts to find out a proper next step.
To your health,
Dr. Robert Moss PT, ScD, OCS, FAAOMPT
PS. No one will ask for any money for anything when you call 817-220-6677 to request your free report which is perfect for those who are suffering with lower back pain and sciatica.