So what can you do? On one hand you want to improve your cardio-vascular fitness, but on the other, you don't want to end up with muscular pain. You can get expert help to ensure you have the right-sized bike with correct saddle, handle and pedal settings. Plus advice for proper riding technique and position. But still, some may suffer and put their body out of alignment with vigorous cycling.
Roy, our Alexander Technique teacher has a simple 'exercise' you can use after a bike ride to 'take the bike out of your body'.
- Lie on your back on a comfortable surface (but not too soft), with your head supported by a book with the knees up (see photo above). Use a thicker book if your head is tipped back or a thinner one if you feel your throat is constricted.
- Be aware of the main weight-bearing points: the back of your head, shoulder blades, elbows, pelvis and feet.
- Notice the space between your torso and the arms and allow your ribs to move into this area as you breathe.
- Because the weight has been taken off your spine, the discs between the bones will thicken and your spine will begin to lengthen.
- Relax into the parts of your body mentioned in point 2. By releasing the tension from your ‘cycling muscles’, gravity will re-align your body and put the bones back to where they should be.
- Slowly lift one arm and move gently whilst remaining attentive to your shoulder blades resting on the floor. Try a slow rotation with your arm bent at the elbow and think of the ball moving in the shoulder socket. Repeat with the other arm.
- Now let one leg slide across the floor and rest the weight of the leg on the heel, calf and back of the thigh. Be aware of the hip, knee and ankle joints and the three parts of the leg. Let the leg rest in this position for a few moments.
- Return the leg to the starting position but do not tighten your stomach. Think of the knee going up and the heel coming back toward the base of your pelvis. Repeat with the other leg.
- Now rest for another fifteen minutes and practice ‘being in the moment’ by being aware of the movement of your ribs and the parts of your body in contact with the floor. The focus and stillness you can develop in this position can be taken into more and more physical activities with practice.
- When finished, roll onto your front and slowly come up into all-fours and then to standing.
For more information and tips on the Alexander Technique please click here.
Or contact us to book an introductory session.