As the Tour De France wraps up with Chris Froome winning his second title in the midst of the seemingly inevitable storm of doping allegations, it’s difficult not to notice the huge surge in interest in cycling here in the UK. In fact both Peter and Josh have just invested in some new two wheeled toys, and Lucy puts us all to shame having once competed in a half Iron Man!!
Getting people up and active is one of our main aims, and as such we love seeing so many more people out on their bikes every weekend. Because it is low impact but still weight bearing, cycling is a great way of improving strength and fitness without putting too much strain on your back and joints.
There are, however still a few things you should watch out for if you are looking to get on your bike:
1: Correct bike set-up= Improved efficiency
There are no hard and fast rules, but making sure you are riding a bike that is the right frame size is a good place to start! Your saddle should be placed at a height where your knee is just bent when the pedal is at the bottom of its cycle. A little lower is not a problem, but higher than this and you can start to put your lower back and pelvis under strain as you reach down towards the pedals.
2: Warm down stretches aid recovery
Stretching after a ride is key, and cycling tends to make your hamstrings tighten up. Give this stretch a go to relieve tension in the hamstrings and avoid soreness after a ride. But most importantly get out there and have fun!
Stand about a foot away from a step and place your right foot on it.
Hinge from the hips, pushing both hips backwards until you feel a pull on the right hamstring.
From here, gently engage your right hamstring, as if you were trying to bend the knee, to push your foot more firmly into the step.
Hold this for ten seconds, then repeat on the other side.
Performing three ten second holds on each side will lengthen the hamstrings causing less pain and avoiding injury.