Summer Riding with Dr. Jeannette M. Anderson
My goal is to give you some easy tips for your riding kit so you can maximize experience by improving technique, decrease any risk of injury and ensure you’re digesting the necessary nutrition and hydration.
1) Regardless of where you are riding and whether you are stationary or not, proper form is essential. Sit at a 90 degree angle in the saddle so you can maximize your airway for more efficient breathing. Engage your core for stability in the saddle and remember to pull up on the pedals as this is just as important as pushing down.
Your heel should actually be lower than your toes at the bottom of the pedal stroke. Think about the motion of wiping mud off your shoe. As you increase your speed or tension on the bike, try NOT to rock your torso back and forth. If your shoulders and arms are moving excessively, this is exactly what you are doing! To remedy this, try to avoid a white knuckle grip on the handlebars- keep your shoulders facing forward in a relaxed position with an elbow angle of 15 degrees. Taking tension out of your riding technique helps to reduce injuries.
2) Since you now have proper form to help reduce injury, I recommend a warm up to increase your heart rate and riding muscles for a minimum of 5-10 minutes. The post-ride warm down is also 5-10 minutes to reduce heart rate and to begin to cool down muscles before you dismount. Stretching out your muscles post ride is the best way to prevent injury and unnecessary aches and pains. Check out Nicole Morell’s 5 Post-Ride Stretches.
3) Now that you have the form and stretching technique of a pro cyclist, let's talk about bike nutrition. The following tips are for rides under one hour.
Pre-charge: you need about 75-100 grams of carbs. Cereal with dried fruit, oatmeal with bananas or scrambled eggs on toast- honey and milk are also recommended. Timing is everything when it comes to refueling. Make sure you have a water bottle and take a swig every 10 minutes. You may not need to consume carbohydrates or electrolytes to maintain energy or regulate mineral loss on a ride under an hour.
To replenish and recover: consume protein, carbohydrates, a rich drink or snack within the first 15-30 minutes after exercise. This is the time when you’re riding muscles use the carbs and protein most efficiently and effectively.
Your summer riding kit is now complete. Have a great workout and may The Tour be with you!
By Dr. Jeannette M. Anderson
High Performance Chiropractor
Anderson Peak Performance
39 West 56th Street, 4th Floor
New York City, NY 10019