Mastering Movement for a Better Ride: Upper Spine Flexibility
By Dr. Andy Rosser, Downtown Olympia
One frequent complaint that cyclists come to me about is pain at the base of the neck and in the upper shoulder blade region, especially on longer rides. Many of these people have a extremely tight muscles and joints in these areas that rarely seem to loosen up. Cycling, for all of its benefits, tends to create a flexed/forward rounded posture through these areas that contributes to stiffness. I’ve recently started teaching a new exercise/stretch to more and more patients in my office, and it’s not just for cyclists. The upper back is subjected to tremendous daily stresses through hours of desk sitting that are then magnified over years of schooling and work. Compounding the cyclist’s plight is that the arms bear some of the upper body weight while we are riding. Good positioning can minimize, but not eliminate this stress. For this reason, doing something daily is necessary to recover from the stresses of cycling. The exercise in the following pictures is a slightly modified version of an exercise that I described several years ago in this newsletter. It provides a nice stretch to the hip at the same time, giving it a little more benefit for the effort.!