Saturday 24 February 2018

Giro d'Italia? No thanks, but I still want to steer clear of pain

Karl Henry

I HAVE been using the city bikes recently and find them fantastic for getting around town; however, I am getting some backache from using them, just wondering if you had any advice?

Karl replies: I AM a huge fan of city bike schemes, and they have been incredibly successful! Healthy living is all about getting exercise in during the day whenever you can and this is such an effective way to do it.

Dublin is expanding the bike scheme and it is being rolled out all over Ireland, too. But there is one essential point to remember when using them and I would imagine it is what's causing your back pain.

You have to adjust the saddle to the proper height to avoid your back being put into an uncomfortable position. As always, it's super simple to measure. When you are sitting on the saddle, extend your right leg on the pedal so that the right pedal is close to the ground. At this point, your leg should never be fully extended, there should always be a slight bend in the leg, at the knee.

So you lower or raise the saddle until your leg is around 85pc extended. Once you do this, your back will be relieved of any pressure and you will be able to enjoy your cycling all the more. If you are still getting pain, then the chances are you need to do some core work to improve the muscles in the middle of the body or your hamstrings may be very tight. Both of these can lead to back pain and some simple stretches or ideally a yoga/pilates class will improve both of these.

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