This time of year with the beautiful weather you may notice the amount of motorcycle and bicycle riders on the roads have increased. Their long leisurely rides may seem relaxing but those long rides can take a toll on the body. Sitting for hours on end on a bike can be tiring. The following has a few tips for preparing yourself for your long bike rides this summer.
Stretching is important. When traveling long distances stopping and taking a break to stretch can be very beneficial. When you stretch you increase your flexibility which in turn helps with the common aches and pains received from riding. The following are a few stretches that can get you ready for a long bike ride.
- Calves: point your feet forward with one foot slightly in front of the other. Have a slight bend in the front leg while keeping both feet firmly on the ground. Push your hips forward slightly until a stretch in the calf is felt.
- Quadriceps: Bend your knee behind you and prop on a chair or bench and a stretch should be felt in the front of the leg.
- Hamstrings: Sit in a chair with leg propped out in front of body. Keep back as straight as possible and reach for the foot. A stretch should be felt in back of thigh.
- Neck and shoulders:
- Look side to side and hold for 30 seconds each way.
- Look down to each arm pit and hold for 30 seconds each way.
- Tilt ear to shoulder and hold for 30 seconds each way.
Posture can save you from ending the day in pain. For motorcycle riders small adjustments such as making sure your wrists are slightly extended and your elbows are bent can help keep your shoulders in a better position. Make sure to hold your neck in a neutral position and do not strain your neck. If your knees are a little below 90 degrees it allows you back to be in a better position for long rides. For bicyclists changing your seat height and pedal position can help better your posture which in turn eliminates pain from biking.
However, if you do come back from your long ride with an injury, Mathis Physical Therapy and Hand Center excels at treating a wide variety of injuries. Our six licensed Physical Therapists and physical therapy assistant are more than qualified to help with any neck, back, or extremity pain caused by biking (or other factors). They will do their best to get you back out riding as soon as possible.