Got a New Peloton? Here’s How To Avoid Injury
Home fitness is all the rage today and no one has taken off faster than Peloton. While working out with a personal trainer either in person or virtually at home (a great way to avoid injury) is not going away any time soon, many people have augmented their home with a mini gym so they can get their fit on.
As a personal trainer I’m all for it! More people are fitting out little home gyms or purchasing cardio equipment to keep themselves fit… some are even getting in shape for the first time! No matter which category you fall into, I say “kudos to you!”
However, I’d be remiss if I didn’t throw out a word of caution. With more people exercising at home there has been an uptick in exercise related injuries due to overuse and repetitive strain injury. In this series of articles we’ll explore various overuse injury (and how to avoid them) from the most popular forms of exercise today
Your Ticket To Ride – Peloton
By far the most popular pice of equipment that people have purchased is the Peloton Bike. This stationary bike has skyrocketed in sales because of it’s “Live” streaming classes that connect you with other virtual riders in a competitive race to win the affection of the instructor. Along with its popularity, however, brings the rick of overuse injuries. Here are the most common.
Lower Back Pain:
This is the most common injury. Why? With riders spending an hour per day up to seven days per week, every single week hunched over the handlebars of the bike’s handles can easily lead to lower back pain. To make things worse, most of us spend our working hours sitting at a desk and most of the rest of the day seated in a chair or a couch. Over time this constant posture leads to tight and weak hips, hamstrings and glutes (your butt).
Tight glutes in particular cause you to experience sharp or burning pain in your lower back all the way down the back of your legs and into your feet. Typically this is when the piriformis starts to strangle or irritate your sciatic nerve (see image).
The Cure: Make sure your bike is set to the appropriate seat height and distance from the handlebars. Stretch your glutes and hamstrings to release the muscle tightness that is squeezing the nerve. Strengthen the weakened gluteus medius and core muscles where appropriate.
Often times the bike isn’t adjusted correctly for your body’s height and limb length. For example, pain in the front of the knee is usually from the saddle being set too low. If you’re suffering from pain behind the knee, then it’s most likely from the saddle being set too high. Another cause of knee pain could be a tight IT band. Foam rolling and stretching can help reduce symptoms, but a good strong massage can help release it with just the right amount of pressure along the entire IT band. A word of caution: foam rolling and self treatment can make IT Band syndrome MUCH worse. Seek the help of a trained professional to treat the condition.
Foot pain is very common injury among cyclists for many reasons. Hot Foot is one of the most common foot injuries that is caused from pressure being placed from the ball of the foot through the toes. If you’re getting hot foot in the summer, then it’s quite possibly because your shoes are slightly small to accommodate the amount of foot swelling that occurs. When this happens, try to loosen the shoe if possible or find a slightly wider shoe. If hot foot happens during the winter, then try wearing slightly thinner socks.
Plantar fasciitis can result from poorly constructed or flexible shoes. The plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue which runs along the underside of the foot, its job is to tighten as we step, to allow for the distribution of power through the sole of the foot. It is affects riders often, but can be alleviated by rolling the sole of your foot over a frozen water bottle. The shape of the bottle provides even distribution of pressure and the ice reduces inflammation. A permanent fix is getting the proper shoes or insoles for your foot.
Riding Into The Sunset Pain Free
Although overuse injuries are common these days for Peloton riders, there are many ways to prevent these injuries or treat them once they occur. The goal, of course, is to perform these preventative and corrective therapies prior to feeling pain.
Practice safe exercise techniques and you’ll be able to ride into the sunset on your new Peloton bike.
If you’re currently experiencing pain, then STOP and get professional help. Self diagnosing a symptom and performing a corrective treatment thereafter could cause permanent injury and pain. First, contact a professional who can properly diagnose the problem and then provide treatment or suggest an appropriate healthcare professional. We here at Out Run Your Fork Personal Training do just that. We’ll help to identify the root cause of your pain and, with the right partner, treat and diagnose the condition to help fix the issue and get you out of pain. Our personal trainers are experts at knowing when we can correct a syndrome and when we need to refer out to one of our top-level, highly acclaimed team off health care professionals. If you’re in pain, then contact us to seek help so you can go back to living your most healthy, vibrant life.
Yours in health,
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