9 tips for cycling without back pain

22 million French people say they cycle during their holidays. If you are one of those summer cyclists, here are the chiropractors’ advice for pedaling all summer long without back pain.

In 10 years, bicycle tourism has become an increasingly popular tourist and leisure activity. As pointed out at the beginning of the year the Ministry of Economy and Finance : “Between 2016 and 2020, the number of passages of cyclists on cycle roads and greenways had already increased by +15%, and in 2020 we recorded +28% growth in traffic compared to 2019, excluding periods of confinement.52 % of French people who say they are more attracted to cycling tourism than before the crisis”.

Do you also want to get started this summer? L’French Association of Chiropractic (AFC) gives you some advice on how to best adjust your bike and avoid back pain.

Cycling is health!

Scientists are unanimous: cycling is good for your health! Thus, in 2018 a study showed that seniors who pedal regularly have a younger and better immune system than others. And two other studies found that cyclists have on average) 2 times less risk of developing a cardiovascular disease – such as a heart attack, stroke, hypertension… and that cycling is a booster for women’s libido. In short, the bike is all good.

>> Cycling is also excellent for the line. At moderate intensity (understand: you pedal regularly, but you are able to speak), one hour of cycling burns up to 400 Kcal, the equivalent of a balanced meal. This healthy activity works the legs (it fights cellulite on the thighs, for example), the calves (which quickly become tapered) and the buttocks (which firm up after a few outings).

There are 1001 ways to ride a bike. Beyond “classic” cycling (that of the Tour de France), we are in favor of cycle tourism, which consists of (re)discovering the most beautiful French landscapes by bike. It is practiced in family and/or in group, on the 17,000 km of itineraries laid out in the country. The less sporty/-ives will be seduced by the electric bike, more expensive to buy, but which allows you to get less tired. Summern winter (or when it rains…), you pedal on an exercise or indoor bike, spinning, elliptical trainer or even aquabiking are practiced in groups to burn as many calories as possible.

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2/9 – Remember to adjust the height of the saddle
A saddle that is too high or too low can lead to injury or pain in the back and knees. The height of the saddle should allow you, when the tip of your foot is placed on the pedal at its lowest level, to have your knee slightly bent. For this, we raise / lower the saddle.

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3/9 – Also adjust the position of the saddle
To check that your saddle is in the right position, sit on your bike, holding yourself against a wall to stay static, in balance. Rotate the pedals until they are aligned horizontally. If your saddle is properly adjusted, the knee of your front leg should be perfectly aligned with the axis of the pedal, when the tip of your foot rests on it. If this is not the case, review your settings!

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4/9 – Pay attention to the inclination of the saddle
In general, the saddle of your bike should be straight. With your bike balanced on the ground, use a level to make sure your saddle is straight. If this is not the case, review the adjustment or change the saddle model. Indeed, if your saddle leans forwards or backwards, unnecessary pressure will weigh on your arms, shoulders and lower back.

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5/9 – Everyone has their own handlebar position
The position of the handlebars is the most personal of the adjustments and must be made according to the comfort felt at the level of the shoulders, the neck and the neck. Generally, for amateur cycling, the handlebars are set high enough to roll with your back straight.

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6/9 – Remember to warm up
Even if we tend to consider it only as a means of transport, cycling is also… a sport! Also, it is imperative to warm up well before hitting the road – even when you are not riding for long. The goal: to prevent aches, cramps, muscle pain (myalgia) and joint pain (arthralgia). We therefore begin our cycling session with 5-10 minutes of gentle stretching targeted on the legs, shoulders and arms.

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7/9 – Work on endurance
No question of pedaling at full speed at the risk of getting tired or even injured. On a bike, pedaling must be flexible and regular: you play with the gears to always pedal at the same pace. And one must be able to speak/breathe deeply while driving. In addition, to be more and more comfortable on the bike, it is recommended to ride regularly: we favor several short outings a week rather than a long outing at the weekend… Beginners will start with rides ” flat” from 1h30 to 2h, 1 to 3 times a week.

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8/9 – Do not forget the useful accessories
To make bike rides even more comfortable, investing in a few inexpensive but useful accessories is recommended. First, shorts: these “special cycling” leggings are designed to limit friction, especially in the crotch and thighs. It protects the lower back (practical when it rains!) and is padded at the buttocks (for even more comfort). Two, a fanny pack or a jersey with pockets for storing your phone, camera, water bottle… Third, a helmet is essential for safe pedaling.

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9/9 – Ride in a group
It’s still “the” best idea to get (back) on a bike without giving up after a few weeks: practice in a group! In France, there are many cycle tourism associations to discover France by pedaling; you can also sign up as a family for “bike rides” or buy a guide to the most beautiful bike rides around your home… or further afield. With nearly 13,600 km of developed cycle routes and greenways and routes such as La Vélodyssée (Atlantic coast), La Loire à Vélo (Val de Loire2) or Le Tour de Bourgogne à vélo, our country has serious advantages on the international market. cycle tourism.


Source: Topsante.com by www.topsante.com.

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