7 Hip & Lower Back Exercises For Cyclists | Emma’s Workout To Beat Back Pain

7 Hip & Lower Back Exercises For Cyclists | Emma’s Workout To Beat Back Pain


(swooshing) – A lot of cyclists find that they get a sore lower back on longer rides or harder climbs, and when you think about it, it’s not all that surprising, because on a bicycle, you’re having to work
hard whilst hunched up, with your gluteus muscle
of your bum extended. Now, that’s a long way from a natural running position that we evolved over millennia of chasing mammoths through the plains, or whatever we chased through the plains. Now, I know these kinds
of exercises take time, and you’re busy, but if it helps you to avoid injury, then it is a good time investment. Personally, I find that
doing a routine like this twice a week really
helps me to feel better and to ride better by helping me to activate
my gluteus muscles, because it turns out that I literally have a lazy bum, as apparently do many of us, according to physiotherapists. So, here we go. A series of active stretches and simple strength exercises to help loosen off tight hips and reactivate lazy bums. The only equipment you will need is a rubber band like this. Now, they come in various strengths. And if you don’t have one, you could try knotting
a punctured inner tube into a smaller loop to
make a homemade bunch. First exercises is a simple bridge, but with the added complication of having a band around your knee. So, put the band around your legs, just above your knees. Start off with an easier strength band, so green or blue. You can move up to red
or black if you’d like. Lie on your back. Make sure that your sacrum is pressed against the floor, so that means that you should have no arch in your back and you shouldn’t be able to get your hands under
the small of your back. So your back should be totally flat against the floor. Heels on the ground, toes off the ground. Engage your stomach muscles, tense your bum slightly, push your knees outwards, against the band, and then slowly roll your back, vertebrae by vertebrae off the ground, nice and slow, that makes it harder, until you’re in a straight line from your shoulder blades to your knees. Hold it there for a few seconds, squeeze your knees outwards. Don’t forget to breathe, very important, and then slowly roll back down again. Try to do it vertebrae by vertebrae, which I’m not very good at. And just try and repeat
that five to 10 times. If you do yoga, you will probably be
familiar with this position. So, toes on the ground, heels together, knees together, hands under your shoulders, maybe slightly behind them, and then just lift your
knees off the ground whilst tensing your glutes and tucking your tummy under too. If you had a tail, imagine it was tucked under. So you’re tucking your tailbone under, and that activates your glutes and makes you really work your lower stomach muscles. And you should feel a stretch in the front of your quad and your hip flexor. For the next exercise, you have to get on all fours, with your hands, again, under your shoulders, knees hip-width apart, and just to get your spine
in a neutral position, try arching your back, and then arching your back the other way, like a cat, and then try to get so that your spine is neutral and flat, right from your shoulder blades to your tailbone. And then, raise one leg behind you, keeping the other foot flat on the floor. Try and have your shin vertically and your thigh horizontal. And then just use your glute to do tiny little raises of the extended leg, up to 10. You don’t have to move very far. The point is that you’re
feeling your glute work. And again, if you do this exercise slowly, it’s actually harder than rushing it. And don’t forget to swap sides. Next up is an active stretch for your quadriceps and your hip flexors. So, lie on your front, bend your legs behind you, and grab hold of your ankles, not your feet, if possible, just your ankles, and if that’s too much for you, you can try it one leg at a time. If you can reach both feet, what you want to do is pull on your ankles whilst resisting that pull, tensing your quads, so you go pulling with your legs, away from your arms. Tense like that for 10 seconds, and then relax your legs and pull this stretch and you pull your heels closer to your bum for another 10 seconds. Then 10 seconds, and 10 seconds. (grunts) Relax, and pull the stretch further for 10 seconds, and repeat that three times. At the same time, you want to think about keeping your knees closer together. So it gets easier if you let your knees drift apart, but holding your knees together will help keep that
stretch on the quadriceps. For this strength exercise, again, you need the exercise band around your knees, just above your knees. Stand up nice and straight and tall. So, you should feel your lower back is not arched at all. So your glutes are engaged, your lower tummy is nice and tight, so you feel like you’re pulling your belly button towards
the back of your body, and tuck your tailbone under. Squeeze your knees
outwards against the band. Have your weight on your heels, arms out in front of you, and slowly sink down until your bum is just below the level of your knees. Hold that position for a few seconds, pushing outwards with your knees against the band, then slowly rise up tall again. You can make this exercise slightly harder by involving a bit of weight, so you could use a water bottle or a heavy book. Hold the weight out in front of you. It helps with your balance, but it makes it harder strength-wise. Next up, we have a great stretch for your lower back, and your hamstrings, and your glutes. So, lie on your back with the whole of your back pressed against the floor. So there should be no
arch in your lower back. There should be no space to fit your hands under
the small of your back. Cross your right leg over your left leg. Place your left arm on your right knee. Right arm out to your side, and slowly roll your
knees over to your left, whilst turning your gaze to your outstretched hand, and you should feel a really nice stretch down the outside of this
glute and hamstring. And hold that for up to 10 seconds, longer if you like. Next up, we have a lunge
combined with a stretch. So, stand up with your feet level. Take your right leg, raise it in front of you, and step forward. Your ankle should be below your knee. Sink down at the back, and if this is really working your quadriceps too hard, you can rest your knee on the ground and release your foot. But if you’ve got the strength, try and keep that back left knee just a couple of inches off the floor. You should be tucking your tailbone under, so you should feel your glute engaged on your left side, and you should feel a stretch here. So you should be tensing your tummy and your glute at the same time. It’s quite hard work. Raise your arms above your head and gently sway to the right hand side. That will help you feel a stretch all down the left side of your body. Hold that for five to 10 seconds, all the while keeping your glutes and your lower stomach nice and tight. Back to the middle, straighten out, and push back. Don’t forget to do it on the other side too, of course. I really hope that
these exercises help you if you get a sore back or sore hips. Please let me know down in the comments if you have any other favorite stretches that you like to do. In the meantime, share it with your friends, give us a thumbs up, and if you’d like to see another video with slightly tougher core exercises that I do before a big climbing race, check it out up there.

62 comments on “7 Hip & Lower Back Exercises For Cyclists | Emma’s Workout To Beat Back Pain

  1. Mike Smith Post author

    The cobra stretch can be very damaging, please be careful! I think it varies from person to person – I used to do that stretch a lot, but ever since I stopped my back hasn't felt better.

    Reply
  2. John Rogers Post author

    Ah Emma! Why is it always you who gets lumbered with these stretching and core strength videos? Really helpful but always feels like its just an excuse for us to see how good you really are at…. well everything! Only problem that I have is that by the time I come to do these stretches in the gym… I have forgotten what I am supposed to be doing! I think that we need some diagrams at the end to show what you need to do… just so you can remember.
    Thanks again and really loving this series Emma… though it probably should be called how to suffer off the bike with Emma!

    Reply
  3. Alexandre Sartori Post author

    O did phisioterapy here in Brazil, I was with "lombalgia" and I used a ball that used on Pilates amanhã exercises that help me a lot! And this new exercises will help me too. I had multiple exclerosis, so they told me I have to do always those exercises because my muscles has a tendency to stiffen. Thank you and congratulations from Brazil 🙏🇧🇷

    Reply
  4. standardlamp Post author

    Great Vid, Love the way you’ve grown into your role at GCN Em but surly those legs should still be competing! 👍🏻

    Reply
  5. Dylan Johnson Post author

    Just doing normal squats and deadlifts are also hugely helpful for you back and core as well as making you faster on your bike. If you’re not lifting in the off season you’re missing out!

    Reply
  6. BKGboy Post author

    I’m a 40 year old 4 season daily commuter and have been meaning to get back into a regular yoga practice. This video really helped me see which moves to build my routine around to help with the soreness around my hips and I.T. band. Thanks a lot and keep up the good work!

    Reply
  7. Meyer Speary Post author

    Some of these could be problematic if you have back problems. I find planks work well for me, standard, side and supine. Marching bridge and modified bicycle are good ones too. For hips, I prefer side raises and clam shells, with or without bands, and side stepping with bands. Search IT Band Rehab Routine and Jason standard core routine for demonstrations of these.

    Reply
  8. Derek Smith Post author

    A good one I like that helps the whole back is stepping on the center of a exercise band, stretch both hands out about shoulder high, like Jesus on the cross, with the handles in each hand and twist back and forth for a couple of minutes. I do this five times. Thanks for showing some new ways to help the back, it's so important.

    Reply
  9. Joseph Laguna Post author

    I am certainly a lazy bum myself! I found that as I get older this area requires more care. Thanks Emma.

    Reply
  10. Jonathan Payne Post author

    Note to self, don't use bands if you have harry legs. Wear sweats or shave legs. Lol. Great workout though. Thanks Emma. 😁

    Reply
  11. Melmel B Post author

    Emma is so good at explaining and I just love watching her. Very inspiring, I want to ride with her.

    Reply
  12. Will Clark Post author

    I've been doing yoga since getting a new job which involves bending forwards repeatedly, it's sorted out the back pain I was getting and has really helped with my cycling!

    Reply
  13. Jeff Mcilroy Post author

    I disliked the video because Emma said she had a lazy bum… I happen to think your bum is just perfect Emma!😍just sayin.. lol

    Reply
  14. mark ankone Post author

    You don't have a lazy bum,
    Your under(whole) body is a dream body i want to have.
    I put these one in my schedule for my 5k running race tomorrow. keep going. 👊

    Reply
  15. Khadi I Post author

    Lazy bum here 🤷🏻‍♀️ Great vid Emma, also kudos for exercising with your specs on, people look at me funny at the gym…

    Reply
  16. Kasper Hauser Post author

    This is proper advice from a serious athlete. Thanks GCN. Seems to be a good blend of banter, tech advice ( great that guy) and performance/injury advice at the moment.

    Reply
  17. Benjamin Zachwieja Post author

    Thanks Emma + GCN for reminding us that strength and flexibility is essential to performance and enjoyment on the bike. I appreciate the thorough lessons in technique. I needed the mind eraser watching Dan do Dan things on his hands and knees 🙂 My bouncy ball is in the mail.

    Reply
  18. Joseph Pardue Post author

    i can't remember if i commented on the previous video about how awesome these videos are but they are

    Reply
  19. melbman43 Post author

    Excellent video, thank you. My GP has always said to me that its not natural for the body to be on a bike the way we ride. But who listens to them anyway?

    Reply
  20. Suresh Chinnappa Post author

    Em this is great. I am going to give this a go . When climbing I suffer back pain; I am sure these exercises will help me. Thanks again. BTW You should consider publishing a book on this Em.

    Reply
  21. Derek Newton Post author

    What (brand) bands are you using and are they classed as “mini”. There’s a confusing array online and the prices vary wildly.

    Reply
  22. Wardie Leppan Post author

    Thanks! I think one of the problems for cyclists, particularly for me, is weak gluteus which not only exacerbate back pain but make one less effective as a cyclist. While I've being doing exercises to wake up and strengthen mine, I can't figure out how to get them to turn on when cycling. Any ideas how to do that? (I presume they should kick in somewhere near the top of the stroke but not sure how to train them to do that.)

    Reply
  23. OneCyclist Post author

    Yo. I have a problem – during the second exercise, when I pulling my legs something in inner side of my knees (between them) start hurting and that is little scary to countinue. What could be wrong?

    Reply
  24. Josiah R Post author

    It's bad practice to give broad suggestions to people who generally need more tailored advice based on their personal circumstances, which are almost always unique. Did I miss the disclaimer?

    Reply
  25. Todd Donovan Post author

    Emma, you are so good at these exercises – even though you say you don't like stretching – clearly that doesn't stop you from doing it! Excellent workout for counter acting the crouched position on the bike.

    Reply
  26. davidangellvoiceover.com Post author

    Excellent. At 70 though…old injuries prevent me from doing some especially when it involves the shoulder. I'm a candidate to get sliced and diced. Rotator cuff. But those that don't involve the shoulder I 'm giving it so. Thanks.

    Reply
  27. Christian Borrman Post author

    thanks for this and other videos on “re-engaging these muscles” can you now tell us how to deal with disengage / rollout the aftermath of firing up these muscles again please! rolling alone is not working! One in particular is probably the piriformis??!

    Reply

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