The word beginner in the title is important, because that is what I am. Of course I have ridden a bicycle almost my entire life, but not for very long stretches of time at a constant speed. I have recently taken up more serious cycling, both to help improve my running and to allow me to possibly compete in some triathlons. Quite frankly, I have really enjoyed the process of getting out and riding more. There is something very therapeutic about riding a bike, in addition to some great exercise. Based on some research, it also is supposed to enhance my running times.
What I didn’t fully expect when I started biking was that the muscles I used would be quite different than those I used while running or swimming. After running the OKC Memorial Marathon, my quads were by far the sorest muscles post-race. Cue the need for biking, which helps to build up the quad muscles. However, my quads weren’t the muscles that ached the most following my first long bike rides. The muscles that ached the most were in my upper and lower back. Big surprise? Not really. Being bent over handles bars for a couple of hours is sure to put a strain on your lower back and even my upper back, right between my shoulder blades.
The reoccurring back pain and lower back muscle tightness I experienced quickly brought on a need for some back stretches. The good news here is that I have access to one of the premier back stretching devices available, the CoreStretch. The CoreStretch’s simple but unique design easily targeted the stiff areas including my upper and lower back. There have been some great reviews from cyclists about the CoreStretch, but now I really get it. Not only do I see the additional need for core strengthening when it comes to cycling, but also for core stretching as an integral part of biking.
There were a few stretches that really helped me get rid of my post-cycling back pain. These included; the crossed hands stretch and also the lower back/hamstring stretch. Those two in particular seem to give me the most relief for the areas that take the most stress while I cycle. My future biking plans will definitely include pre and post ride stretching with the CoreStretch to make sure I get the most out of each ride both physically and mentally!
For more information on the CoreStretch or for instructional videos or brochures visit www.medi-dyne.com.