Injuries are part and parcel of a sportsperson’s life, and cycling is no different. Often injuries are caused due to prolonged usage or bad posture, and a simple remedy is to rectify the improper cycling position. However, some injuries can be little more complex, and the help of a medical practitioner may be required. Here, we would list down certain tips for cycling enthusiasts which can help them not only in improving their performance but can also help them in preventing injuries.
Tips for Cyclists
Whether you are just a beginner or an experienced cyclist who wants to improve your performance, read on the following tips.
- Equipment- Having the right equipment that suits your body well is the key for a good ride. Wearing an ill-fitted helmet can harm your vision rather than protecting you. A bicycle saddle that is too low, too high or too far can also become a cause for injury. If the cleats are improperly positioned, it can lead to injury due to overstretching or a muscle injury. Therefore, it is always advisable to buy proper equipment and seek professional advice if required.
- General fitness – Cycling not only strengthens the lower part of the body but is an excellent cardiovascular exercise. It improves the flexibility of your body and generates core strength which helps your leg muscles to work efficiently. The flexibility in your calves and hamstrings can help you to improve your pedal strokes. Therefore, it is essential for all cyclists to do core workout at least two to three times a week. Don’t forget to stretch after warming up your muscles.
- Technique- Improving your technique helps you to improve your efficiency. Good equipment, core strength, and flexibility are just parts of the complete technique of cycling. One should pedal smoothly i.e. by doing full pedal strokes that will keep your muscles engaged, and make a full circle. It is also important to maintain an appropriate posture on the saddle; keep your hips centered, and prevent your knees from drifting outward as you pedal. It is advisable that you shift position of your hands frequently so as to avoid riding in the same position for a long time which can cause stiffness in your back. Paying attention to breathing is vital and doing it correctly is crucial. So, stay relaxed and breathe from your diaphragm.
- Rest – Rest is essential to recharge your battery and improve your performance in the long run. A person should rest well not only after the ride but before the ride as well so as to avoid fatigue. Rest helps the body to recover the strength in the muscles so that they can recharge and become stronger. Ensure that you have taken a good night sleep for 7-9 hours before the extended duration of cycling. Cutting on the intake of caffeine and alcohol also helps you in getting a good sleep.
- Nutritious diet –Good nutrition not only provides fuel to your body but also helps you to recover. Focus on a balanced diet of proteins and carbohydrates. Consuming one to one and a half gram of carbohydrates for every kilogram of body weight at least half hour before the workout helps in improving the rate of glycogen re-synthesis. Similarly, protein in similar quantity per day can help in speeding up the muscle recovery from soreness. It is also important to stay hydrated during your workout. Water helps in keeping your joints lubricated and maintains the body temperature as well.
These were some basic tips, but if you want to get help with your cycling and any injuries you might be carrying, call one of our practices now.