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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What am I doing wrong? I do core workouts 3x a week, I got a bike fit (for my road bike), and I stretch and use a foam roller, but I STILL managed to wrench my back this weekend during a race. So bad that I can barely walk and it takes me 5 minutes to get out of bed!

Am I getting too old for this? I'm 40, and I have friends who I regularly chase on group rides who are in their 50's riding bigger gears than I, so that can't be it!

Is it bike fit? Might be. I just had a pro fit for my road bike, so that is dialed, and I used that to compare against the competitivecyclist and wrenchscience online fit tools, which puts me pretty much right where I am with ETT and stem length. But those tools aren't really taking into account single speed rigid. Plus, they don't specify handlebar width, so what if you're using a wide set of bars (I'm running 711 width).

Is it climbing technique? When the going gets steep, I pull up on the bars. I try to stick my butt out b/c somebody somewhere said to do that, but maybe that's bad advice. Should I be trying to be as "tall" as possible, or better to be hunched over the bars?

Is it poor fitness? Possibly. Been a tough winter here on the East Coast, lots of snow and ice, so lots of indoor trainer time. Plus I'd taken a few weeks off just to recup. Maybe jumping on the SS and riding it like I had been last Fall isn't such a smart idea. Maybe I should give the gearie some love for a while until I get the strength and fitness back?

Anyone have any advice for me? I'd really like to avoid this happening again (I don't do well with pain, ask my wife:) )
 

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Don't compare yourself to anyone else, even the guys older then you because everyone is different. I'd say core work three times a week is great but its hard to simulate the core action you get from cranking a tall gear up a long steep hill. I'd say if it's been a slow winter and you haven't had much time on the SS then lack of SS acclimation is probably your biggest problem.

Also if you push a gear while seated that's going to eat up your power backs endurance much faster then standing in my opinion.
 

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I had been riding my whole life without any back issues, but with a new bike setup they suddenly appeared out of nowhere. I'm 31 years of age so not really an oldie or even middle-aged, but certainly not a young gun either.

Based on how I felt on bikes before and the new bike, I realized that the saddle was tilted back just a wee bit more. This caused me to slip back and semi-consciously compensate by pulling on the bars. Lowering the saddle nose just a little bit stopped my lower back pains as quickly as they had appeared.

Another saddle adjustment to look at is the fore-aft position. I'm not a big believer in KOPS, because it doesn't account for certain anatomical differences between individuals. For example if you have a light upper body, you can move the saddle forward (compared to the position you'd achieve with KOPS-adjustment) without putting too much weight on your arms.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
What are you doing for your "core workouts"?
I was doing this: http://m.bicycling.com/training-nutrition/training-fitness/core
But objected to the crunches and leg lifts, as they put a lot of stress on the back.

Then moved to this: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/193403097X?pc_redir=1395505115&robot_redir=1
Which does less crunches and more planks. But they had some funky exercises like supermans, which really stress the back.

And for the past two months I've been doing this (I have the book): http://www.foundationtraining.com
These are ore yoga inspired routines which really emphasize the back muscles. But maybe there are some exercises I need to emphasize more than others, Like bird dogs, reverse bridge, and hip extensions?

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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I was doing this: Core Exercises for Cyclists: Cycling Training Tips & Workouts | Bicycling Magazine
But objected to the crunches and leg lifts, as they put a lot of stress on the back.

Then moved to this: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/193403097X?pc_redir=1395505115&robot_redir=1
Which does less crunches and more planks. But they had some funky exercises like supermans, which really stress the back.

And for the past two months I've been doing this (I have the book): Back Pain Exercises & Back Pain Relief - Foundation Training
These are ore yoga inspired routines which really emphasize the back muscles. But maybe there are some exercises I need to emphasize more than others, Like bird dogs, reverse bridge, and hip extensions?

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Good call on the situps/crunches. I have a friend who has lower back problems and when I asked what he does for exercises, he said situps. I cringed. Your thought on doing more extension exercises is probably a good idea. Most cyclists would benefit from more posterior chain strength.
 

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Get you butt in and put yourself into a "hiking" or "walking" position. You might need a shorter stem for this. Putting your rear out is an unnatural human movement; get yourself into a natural hiking position. You'll put down more power and really work the lower back. It might hurt a bit after a big climb, but it'll be a good hurt that makes you stronger each ride. My back is messed up from desk work and SSing is the only thing that keeps the pain down. Sitting is bad, standing is good. If you can find that "hiking" position, you can stand all day.
 

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WillWorkForTrail
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Forget making your "back" stronger. I have two herniated discs in my lower back, and opt not to have surgery to correct it. I have a really, truly fantastic doctor who works on my back though something loosely called chiropractics. He was one of the first people to inform me that everything about your back is supported by your abs. Planks are the answer. By all means, continue your yoga and flexibility/mobility stuff. But do 90 seconds a day on your toes and elbows, first like you're doing a pushup, then turn and do it on each side (only right foot, right elbow/lower arm) touching the ground then do the other side. 90 seconds each. It will suck. You will hate me. But I have yet to hurt my back on a bike, and 5 years ago, I couldn't ride a bike because of my back.
 

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Does your back not bother you on your road bike? Sounds like you have your core in order. I'm gonna guess bike fit. If I run a stem that is even 5mm too short for me my lower back will pretty much kill me.

Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk
 

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I'm similar to you in that I do all I should to prepare myself to not have back pain.

However, I still get it. Turns out, I've got a degenerating disc in my low back. Acupuncture makes it feel brand new, though, so I do that every other week and it keeps me going.
 

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Stretch the piss out of your hammies, quads, hips, and glutes. Then abs and obliques.
Aaaaaand stand tall when riding! Imagine standing on the floor, feet shoulder width apart, then bending until your upper body is 45 degrees from horizontal and push the butt out. Then think of pushing downward with the legs hard... You would almost be in deadlift posture = major stress on the back
 

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I delt with this for years. Finaly Figured out it wasn't my back at all but the iliopsoaz. Basicly hip flexors that connect on the bottom to hamstrings and femur at the top to the lower 5 vertebrae . Just about any cardio movment running riding causes them to tighten pulling on the back. I started doing hip flexor stretches daily and most all pain has been gone unless I slack on stretching. Just google hip flexor stretches,or tight
iliopsoaz and start reading up.Total game changer for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Get you butt in and put yourself into a "hiking" or "walking" position. You might need a shorter stem for this. Putting your rear out is an unnatural human movement; get yourself into a natural hiking position. You'll put down more power and really work the lower back. It might hurt a bit after a big climb, but it'll be a good hurt that makes you stronger each ride. My back is messed up from desk work and SSing is the only thing that keeps the pain down. Sitting is bad, standing is good. If you can find that "hiking" position, you can stand all day.
Good advice, good imagery...

Stretch the piss out of your hammies, quads, hips, and glutes. Then abs and obliques.
Aaaaaand stand tall when riding! Imagine standing on the floor, feet shoulder width apart, then bending until your upper body is 45 degrees from horizontal and push the butt out. Then think of pushing downward with the legs hard... You would almost be in deadlift posture = major stress on the back
... and this too. Stand tall. I'm going to hit a local hill with this in mind, and consider handlebar placement - I might need to go shorter.

Forget making your "back" stronger. I have two herniated discs in my lower back, and opt not to have surgery to correct it. I have a really, truly fantastic doctor who works on my back though something loosely called chiropractics. He was one of the first people to inform me that everything about your back is supported by your abs. Planks are the answer. By all means, continue your yoga and flexibility/mobility stuff. But do 90 seconds a day on your toes and elbows, first like you're doing a pushup, then turn and do it on each side (only right foot, right elbow/lower arm) touching the ground then do the other side. 90 seconds each. It will suck. You will hate me. But I have yet to hurt my back on a bike, and 5 years ago, I couldn't ride a bike because of my back.
I do planks as part of my routine, and I definitely agree they're very important.

Does your back not bother you on your road bike? Sounds like you have your core in order. I'm gonna guess bike fit. If I run a stem that is even 5mm too short for me my lower back will pretty much kill me.

Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk
I'm dialed in my road bike, comfy for looooong rides. Not sure exactly how to translate road bike fit to MTB fit. I mean, there's reach from my saddle to the bar, or to the hoods, or to the drops, but I'm more upright on MTB and the bars are much wider (711 vs. 440). Any suggestions?

I'm similar to you in that I do all I should to prepare myself to not have back pain.

However, I still get it. Turns out, I've got a degenerating disc in my low back. Acupuncture makes it feel brand new, though, so I do that every other week and it keeps me going.
This might just be the way it is for me, too. I definitely am glad for the core work that I had been doing, as I'd imagine I'd be in much worse shape if I hadn't been doing anything.

I delt with this for years. Finaly Figured out it wasn't my back at all but the iliopsoaz. Basicly hip flexors that connect on the bottom to hamstrings and femur at the top to the lower 5 vertebrae . Just about any cardio movment running riding causes them to tighten pulling on the back. I started doing hip flexor stretches daily and most all pain has been gone unless I slack on stretching. Just google hip flexor stretches,or tight
iliopsoaz and start reading up.Total game changer for me.
Good suggestion, I'll look into this. Hamstrings and hip flexors are tight from sitting at computer all day.

Excessive "pulling up" on yourpedals whilst climbing can overwear your hip flexors and tighen then up pretty good....lower back compensates, body feels pain.Be sure to do the Captain Morgan stretch.
I can't say that I pull up on the pedals much at all, maybe only when fighting for traction. I dont' think I pull up at all when standing. Good suggestion, though.
 

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I delt with this for years. Finaly Figured out it wasn't my back at all but the iliopsoaz. Basicly hip flexors that connect on the bottom to hamstrings and femur at the top to the lower 5 vertebrae . Just about any cardio movment running riding causes them to tighten pulling on the back. I started doing hip flexor stretches daily and most all pain has been gone unless I slack on stretching. Just google hip flexor stretches,or tight
iliopsoaz and start reading up.Total game changer for me.
I was going to point this out. That tight hip flexors can couse back pain, and tight hip flexors is a common contraindication to cycling.
 

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That's it--you'll need to recondition your glutes to get involved in pedaling. Try to feel your glutes working when you are pedaling--not just pedaling from the quads-knees. Follow Hack's form above when standing. Work on planks, stretching--especially hips, and do leg exercises that will reteach you to engage your glutes. Side squats are good ones. I bet when you feel the glutes come on line your back will feel great!
 

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Oh--make sure your saddle is not too high, that will remove your glutes from the power chain, and possibly start you rocking--which is just crushing your discs side-to-side. Feel your entire leg from the butt to the calf pedaling.
 

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I delt with this for years. Finaly Figured out it wasn't my back at all but the iliopsoaz. Basicly hip flexors that connect on the bottom to hamstrings and femur at the top to the lower 5 vertebrae . Just about any cardio movment running riding causes them to tighten pulling on the back. I started doing hip flexor stretches daily and most all pain has been gone unless I slack on stretching. Just google hip flexor stretches,or tight
iliopsoaz and start reading up.Total game changer for me.
Wow, so glad I came across this post. This sounds like exactly what I'm going through.
 
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