In my previous posting, I chatted a little about some of the more comong ailments that can plague us as a result of spending hour upon hour on the bike.

I am now going to look at a couple of things that will help you either reduce the likelyhood that one of these issue will arise, or limit any further impact they will have on you.

Each of these Exercises should be completed 12-15 times, twice (2sets, 15 repetitions), with a movement speed of 3 seconds concentric (Up) and 3 seconds Eccentric (down). Slow and Controlled - always!
1: Lets start at the top of the body and have a look at the Trapezius - Shoulder Girdle.

With the following exercises we are aiming to open (Lengthen) the Pectoral region (Anteriorly), and at the same time strengthen the Rhomboid-Traps 2 area (Posteriorly).

Check out this wall Squat with Scapula Protraction - Retraction.

This is a great exercise for strengthening the muscles between the shoulder blades that often become overused and fatigued after many hours of riding. At the same time, the Mobility of the Shoulder girdle is increased by taking the arms into overhead flexion.

A couple of things to remember while doing this exercise:
1> Be sure to keep the Shoulders back and down at all times - don't let the Trapezius come up to the ears.
2>Keep the head looking straigh ahead of you.
3> Keep the heels on the floor.

The second exercise requires you to be lying on the floor on your stomach (the Prone position), and is aimed at opening the Pectoral (Chest) girdle, while strengthening the Rhomboids, Lower Trapezius and the muscles of the Lumbar Spine.

It is an excellent exercise for strengtehning the weak posterior muscles , and lengthening the strong anterior muscles.

A couple of pointers for this exercise include:

1> The key in this exercise is to keep the spine in alignment at all times.
2> As you lift the face and chest off the floor, exhale your breath.
3> Make sure the toes remain on the floor.
4> As you rotate your palms outwards, bring the shoulder baldes together.

2: Moving down the body, the Pelvic girdle is also an area that requires attention.

We are looking at exercises that lengthen out the Hip Flexors, and strengthen the muscles of the Lower back (Erector Spinae) and the Gluteus Maximus muscle.
This is an especially great exercise because it also requires you to work on your balance, which as an exercise in itself is really good for improving joing stability.

A couple of things to keep in mind while attempting this movement:
1> Make sure the knee tracks directly over the supporting foot - you do not want the knee "collapsing" inward (Valgus loading).
2> The leg being "kicked backwards" (extended) should not lead to the lower back becoming excessively rounded - focus on using the Glute Max (bum muscles) to pull the leg back.
3> Ensure the shoulders do not get pulled up into the ears.

The final Exercise I have decided to included is a great strengthening exercise for the muscles of Core, while at the same time, challenging the Shoulder stabilizers and some of the muscles of the lower limbs.

The front Bridge (or Plank) with Hip Extension, noy only strengthens, but also lengthens. A pretty functional exercise.

Start holding for 15-20 seconds on each side, and repeat twice. The hold time can be increased as desired.

A few pointers for getting the most out of this exercise are:
1> Do not allow the hips to drop.
2> Keep the leg that is lifted off the floor straight as possible and use the Glute to pull it up.
3> Make sure the Elbows are directly underneath the shoulders.

Next time we will have a look at running and some issues associated with it.

Check out for more exercises and downloads to make you perform better as an Athlete, and a Human.

James Greenwood is a competitive tri and multisport athlete currently training for Ironman Canada 2009. A level 1 Triathlon Coach, he holds a post graduate degree in Exercise Science, and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the NSCA. James is also currently the resident health and fitness programs expert at, and has starred in a number of multisport specific fitness videos.
blog comments powered by Disqus