Now that you have your bike set up to fit you to further prevent back, shoulder, and neck pain, you want to ride your bike correctly. These tips should help you have a smooth, pain-free ride.
- Check your pedaling technique. If you glance at your knees while pedaling, they should be going straight up and down. Try to keep them from pointing out to the side as you pedal as this will make you pedal slower, could injure your knees or hips, and could be causing low-back pain.
- Have good cycling posture. Your back should be slightly arched up like a hill, not swaybacked with your tailbone sticking up. This slight arch will allow you to engage your abs, and is also necessary when you hit bumps in the road. Your back will arch up a little more to absorb the shock. If your spine was arched down, hitting bumps would cause your back to bow in even more, which can cause low-back pain.
- While pedaling, make sure not to have your bike set on a gear that makes pedaling really difficult. Switching to an easier gear could ease your back pain.
- Be mindful of your shoulders. Consciously remind yourself to relax them away from your ears. Scrunching them up will cause tension, which in turn can cause neck and upper-back pain.
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- Also make sure that your elbows have a slight bend in them to allow them to act as shock absorbers. This can relieve tension in the shoulders and upper back.
- Wear the right sized helmet. One that doesn't fit well can wobble and cause neck pain.
- Even though bikes have saddles so you can sit, periodically stand since sitting for long periods of time can make for a sore lower back.
- Once your ride is over, be sure to stretch out your hips, hamstrings, and lower back.