Updated: Nov 16, 2020
Have you ever been at the end of your bike ride and noticed low back tension?
It starts slowly and then becomes this block of tightness that feels like it needs to be stretched. It usually doesn’t bother you at the beginning but about midway through the ride, that’s when it starts to tighten.
When it’s at its worst, your leg feels like it can’t generate enough power.
So now you’re in pain and you're off your pace. What’s worse is that you’ll have to stop to rest the back. You tried resting already and that didn’t help.
You can’t keep going on like this because you’ll never get to enjoy a ride or improve your time.
What’s worse is that if you’re riding with others, you’ll have trouble keeping up with them.
Now what do you do?
Keep going and hope that the pain will go away? It could but that doesn’t usually happen.
If you haven’t had your bike fitted in a while then I’d suggest that is a good starting point. If you’re looking for a place that does bike fittings then try Cycle Paul. A specialty bike shop in the west island.
If you’re confident the bike’s fit is not the issue, then I would check the abdominals. Low abdominal endurance will not help. You want your abdominals to be able to help your body during long rides. This is different from strong abdominals where the goal would be to support the body for a short period of time.
These are a couple of my favorite exercises to improve endurance:
Hip Bridge: Not only are you building abdominal endurance, but increasing hamstring strength. Cycling is a quad dominant sport. If not strengthened the hamstrings can become weak and cause postural changes in the pelvis. The changes can stress the lower back.
Bear plank: Most people would think to start with planks. I like to start here. If your back is particularly sensitive during this exercise then I would recommend giving yourself a rest or getting it checked out (might I suggest us:) ). It’s a simple exercise. The starting position is similar except knees are resting on the ground as well. As soon as you’re ready, simply lift knees off the ground and hold the position.
You’ll notice that as your abdominal endurance increases, your performance will also improve.
These exercises should provide a nice starting point to increase endurance. If the back pain persists, then it is time to have it checked to make sure there is nothing else that could be a factor.