Why are are ITB stretches important for cyclists

One of the most common stretches for cyclists is an itb stretch.  ITB syndrome is common in athletes and is caused by an overtight itb band.  This can result in knee and hip pain.  While it is commonly known as runner’s knee, itb syndrome does not spare cyclists.  If you are riding long distances there is a chance you have experienced itb pain.  As a result, itb pain is associated with prolonged and repetitive activity.  If you pedal at 80 rpm on a 2 hour cycle, the ITB will cross the knee 29,200 times.  That is why it is important to make sure the itb and the muscles are working properly.

Can muscle imbalance contribute to itb pain?

Many factors contribute to itb muscle pain. If some itb muscles are tight and other muscles are weak or fatigued you can imagine the imbalance on the knees and hips. Pedaling up and down hills can put pressure on the joints.  Also the basic cycling position can affect any muscle imbalance.  There are quite a few muscles attach to the itb.  The quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes are the main ones.  So it is important to stretch these itb muscles.

 ITB stretches for cyclists

Athletes want to know the best stretch that can help a tight itb.  In actual fact it is best to use a mixture of exercises and stretches.  Here are some ideas.

  • Stretching the cycling muscles like the hamstring, quadriceps and hip flexor is beneficial.  It will help with an increase in the range of motion in the hip joint.
  • Using an itb foam roller on the side of your thigh can be painful.  Remember to start rolling out on the itb slowly and allow the fascia to release.  You can also roll out on the quads and hamstrings.
  • Use a tennis ball or a spikey ball to release the glutes and deep buttock muscles.

ITB tips for cyclists

Here are a few tips for those of you training hard and wanting to have an easier climb.

  • You can get your a bike fitted correctly.  Checking the height of the seat, handle bars and position will help with equal distribution of pedalling power.   At Kurilpa Chiropractic we work closely with the coaches at Cam’s cycle in West End.  You can check out Cam’s Cycle Coaching and they will help you with a proper bike fit.  They also have pilates classes to help cyclists with itb pain.
  • Kurilpa Chiropractic & Sports massage is based inside Cams’ cycle coaching.  We can help by assessing your posture, correcting the imbalances and releasing muscle tension.

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