Cycling and the benefits of strength training.
Since the beginning of lockdown and after certain restrictions have been lifted, a lot of us have increased our activity levels and taken up new sports.
NK Active’s Exercise and Rehabilitation Instructor, Natalie Green tells us that one sport that has skyrocketed over the last few months has been cycling.
This is great as cycling has so many amazing benefits which include:
- increased muscle strength
- increase in cardiovascular fitness
- decrease in body fat
- low impact exercise
- decrease in stress levels through releasing endorphins
However, cyclists can be prone to hip pain, groin pain and buttock pain for a variety of reasons.
Some of the more common injuries to these areas can include:
- hip flexor tendinopathy
- impingement syndrome
- piriformis syndrome
- hip bursitis
These types of injuries can occur from the repetitive nature of cycling but can also be caused by an improper bike fit.
Reducing the risk of injuries.
One way that we can reduce the risk of these types of injuries occurring can be through strengthening exercises. Cycling does naturally build some level of muscular strength (more so in the calves and quadriceps) but we need to make sure that we encourage more strength to develop, especially in the hip area.
Strength exercises for cyclists.
Below are some great exercises that are useful at targeting specific hip areas and can be completed in the comfort of your own home.
Ideally you would want to complete your strengthening exercises 2-3 times a week over an 8-10-week period to start to see improvements. Don’t forget to progress the exercises as you start to feel them becoming easier. If you need to buy some tone loops, we sell a range of them in our online shop.
If pain does persist in your hip, please feel free to contact us and we will do our best to help you get back to exercise pain free.
Glute bridge with squeeze
Lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor and a ball between your knees
Whilst squeezing the ball lift your hips off the floor by rolling up from the pelvis
Hold, then slowly lower and repeat
Stand and place a resistance band around both ankles
Using one ankle as an anchor point, move the opposite leg outwards against the resistance band
Slowly lower the leg to the floor
Stand with your arms on your hips
Take a large step forward and lower your body towards the floor, keeping the knee above the floor
Lower the opposite knee to the floor with good posture
Drive through the leg to return to standing. Repeat with the other leg.
Knee drive with resistance band
Stand with a resistance band around both ankles
Raising one leg off the floor, bend the knee and drive forwards against the resistance
Slowly release the leg down to the starting position
Body weight squat
Lower the hips back into a squat, moving the arms forward for balance
Drive the hips forward into standing with good posture