In Southern California, cycling and spinning are popular forms of exercise. They provide a great cardio workout with minimal impact on your joints. However, if you spend a lot of time on a bike, you’ll want to take precautions to keep your spine healthy. Remember these tips next time you’re headed to spin class.
Set Yourself Up For Success
First, make sure that your bike fits you properly. If you go to a spin class, check with your instructor and get some help adjusting your bike. You want to make sure you are in the proper position to move freely. A limited range of motion can cause an imbalance in your body. Make sure the seat of your bike is level with your handlebars. When the handlebars are too low, it forces you to lean forward, placing excessive strain on your back.
Keep Your Upper Body in Check
Have a friend from class observe you while you are cycling. They should check that your knees stay tucked in, and that you aren’t swaying from side to side as you pedal. If your knees pop out to the side, your hips tilt, or your body sways to one side, your spine will have to compensate to keep you on the bike. To correct a side-to-side movement, focus on keeping your hips over the seat and your pedaling strong. If you have to pedal a little bit slower in order to keep your body in alignment, it’s worth it to avoid putting stress on your spine.
Focus on Your Core
A strong core is essential for a strong back. Your core is the major stabilizing center in your body. Core strength and stability protect the spine from injury during various movements; it will keep you steady while cycling, and functioning better throughout your day as well. Try to build some core exercises into your workout routine. If you develop a strong core, you will increase the stability of your back and be less prone to injuries.
It’s tempting to focus only on your heart rate during a cycling workout, but while you feel the burn, don’t ignore the position of the rest of your body. You may get a great cardio workout, but a compromised spine can lead to more pain, and increased potential for injuries down the road.
Our chiropractic team of wellness doctors, Vasili Gatsinaris, DC, QME, James Kim, DC, Adam Abulghualya, DC, BS, ART and Caprice Leonard, MA, ATC specialize in chiropractic and wellness care. Our Irvine chiropractic office is located near John Wayne Airport, convenient for people living in Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, Tustin, Santa Ana and other surrounding Orange County communities.
Let our Orange County chiropractic team make a plan and treat your injury so that you are not restricted from your active lifestyle. To learn more about our variety of services or to schedule an appointment, take advantage of our Facebook new patient special and contact us or call 949-263-9003 today.