I’m currently doing a sports massage course and I’m learning a lot about muscles, joints, posture etc. The course tutors are brilliant and their knowledge is unreal! I’ve never really paid that much attention to the way I swim/bike/run as I’ve taken more notice of the results, paces speed etc.
Well part of the course is postural analysis. I was really keen to dig deep into my posture and know what my muscles are doing while I swim, bike and run. Well the course tutor pretty much knew straight away what sports I do and found some pretty common “tight spots” on my muscles and what areas I can improve on.
After the postural analysis on me it was found that I have slight kyphosis on my spine. This basically means my upper spine slightly curves forward and I have a “hunch” in my back.
As soon as the tutors said this and showed me a picture and explained it, it suddenly clicked to me that of course this actually makes sense, especially on the bike! When I’m in the time trial position on the bike I struggle to look up enough for long periods of time to see where I’m going! And after a while it feels like it’s straining on my upper back and neck and causes fatigue and tightness. After the tutors palpated my neck she found a lot of abrasions and tight spots in my supinates, trapezius and rhomboids. The reason for this is that I’m trying to maintain a position on the bike and stretching these muscles trying to hold the position, and then they are trying to contract to lift my neck up to see where I’m going! On the front my anterior deltoids and pectorals where found to be tight as they are holding me in that position causing weakness in my back.
I found this to make complete sense to me and it basically boils down to me being in an incorrect position on the bike! I was fitted on this bike nearly 3 years ago when I bought it. Maybe I was fitted incorrectly; maybe I just need my position reviewed, as a lot can change in 3 years!
It could definitely be one factor for me struggling on longer bike rides and gives me focus on my flexibility session Ray plans for me on a Tuesday. I’ve been doing this flexibility session ever since I started with Ray and just done a generic stretching program. Now I can focus on what is going to make me more comfortable and hopefully faster on the bike ultimately!
As I mentioned above I could also do with a bike fit on the bike which I’m going to look into when funds allow. Bike fits aren’t by any means cheap but it’s going to be the best bang for buck I’m going to spend on the bike I think this year. So hopefully I’ll have this done sooner rather than later.
– Mike Catton
Mike is training for some triathlons and half Ironman in 2019. Check in next Monday for his next article about his training journey.
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