riding posture question

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Kbh, Apr 29, 2003.

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  1. Kbh

    Kbh Guest

    I don't intend for this get into a massive thread on lower back pain, so I want to keep
    this focused:

    After about an hour and a half in the saddle, my lower back (upper ass?) muscles invariably start to
    get sore. Standing up straight immediately relieves this discomfort.

    Have those of you with lower back pain had better luck letting your back relax and bend forward
    somewhat (the natural slouching position, a little like Lance's arc'd back position, but not as
    severe), or by forcing your belly button towards the top tube and maintaining a straight back? Saw
    this suggestion in the FAQ and wanted to solicit some opinions. I think this may help but it doesn't
    seem natural.

    (disclaimer - my bars are near the same height as the saddle, I often get out of the saddle to
    climb, I stretch and do back excercises regularly - all these things help to some degree)

    Thanks,

    Kyle
     
    Tags:


  2. << After about an hour and a half in the saddle, my lower back (upper ass?) muscles invariably start
    to get sore. Standing up straight immediately relieves this discomfort.

    Have you had a bike fit with a good bike fit person? With special attention to your problem?

    Peter Chisholm Vecchio's Bicicletteria 1833 Pearl St. Boulder, CO, 80302
    (303)440-3535 http://www.vecchios.com "Ruote convenzionali costruite eccezionalmente bene"
     
  3. Kbh

    Kbh Guest

    > << After about an hour and a half in the saddle, my lower back (upper
    ass?)
    > muscles invariably start to get sore. Standing up straight immediately relieves this discomfort.
    >
    > Have you had a bike fit with a good bike fit person? With special
    attention to
    > your problem?
    >

    No, but I've spent a lot of time myself trying different positions - high stem, low stem, short
    stem, long stem. Short of riding a stright upright hybrid or a recumbent, nothing seems to make much
    of a difference. I'm pretty much in the Rivendell recommended position (although I don't ride a
    Rivendell, bummer).

    http://www.rivbike.com/html/bikes_riv5.html

    I think I'm going to try my damndest to keep my back flat for the next couple of rides - just wanted
    to see if anyone had similar successes/failures with that.

    >
    >
    > Peter Chisholm Vecchio's Bicicletteria 1833 Pearl St. Boulder, CO, 80302
    > (303)440-3535 http://www.vecchios.com "Ruote convenzionali costruite eccezionalmente bene"
     
  4. Paul J Pharr

    Paul J Pharr Guest

    > After about an hour and a half in the saddle, my lower back (upper ass?) muscles invariably start
    > to get sore. Standing up straight immediately relieves this discomfort.

    I ride on average 200-300 miles per week. I've had this problem. I bought a new saddle (not because
    of my back hurting) and in doing so, positioned it differently at my bike fitters recommendation.
    This helped quite a bit. He had several suggestions on posture. Get out of the saddle for a short
    distance before my back began to hurt much, and keep my elbows a little more tucked in to help keep
    my back straight. In my case, more riding made my trunk stronger, helping my back to stay
    straighter.

    If you haven't already, consider getting refitted on your bike. As I got stronger and my body
    changed, slight changes in the fit were beneficial to
    me.

    Cheers

    Paul J Pharr
     
  5. Openworld

    Openworld Guest

    Flexability issue- sounds like it anyway! Careful if your hamstrings are to tight the back is forced
    to flex where it does not want to. Leading to swolen disks..bad bad bad. Do not ride through pain
    (unless racing), it is a warning. Extra stretching may be needed, if you cant hold a flexed position
    off the bike do not go near it till you can.

    "KBH" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > I don't intend for this get into a massive thread on lower back pain, so I want to keep this
    > focused:
    >
    > After about an hour and a half in the saddle, my lower back (upper ass?) muscles invariably start
    > to get sore. Standing up straight immediately relieves this discomfort.
    >
    > Have those of you with lower back pain had better luck letting your back relax and bend forward
    > somewhat (the natural slouching position, a little like Lance's arc'd back position, but not as
    > severe), or by forcing your belly button towards the top tube and maintaining a straight back? Saw
    this
    > suggestion in the FAQ and wanted to solicit some opinions. I think this may help but it doesn't
    > seem natural.
    >
    > (disclaimer - my bars are near the same height as the saddle, I often get out of the saddle to
    > climb, I stretch and do back excercises regularly -
    all
    > these things help to some degree)
    >
    > Thanks,
    >
    > Kyle
     
  6. KBH wrote:
    > I don't intend for this get into a massive thread on lower back pain, so I want to keep this
    > focused:
    >
    > After about an hour and a half in the saddle, my lower back (upper ass?) muscles invariably start
    > to get sore. Standing up straight immediately relieves this discomfort.
    >
    > Have those of you with lower back pain had better luck letting your back relax and bend forward
    > somewhat (the natural slouching position, a little like Lance's arc'd back position, but not as
    > severe), or by forcing your belly button towards the top tube and maintaining a straight back? Saw
    > this suggestion in the FAQ and wanted to solicit some opinions. I think this may help but it
    > doesn't seem natural.
    >
    > (disclaimer - my bars are near the same height as the saddle, I often get out of the saddle to
    > climb, I stretch and do back excercises regularly - all these things help to some degree)
    >
    > Thanks,
    >
    > Kyle

    You'll notice that women seem to ride with a flatter back and men with a more rounded back. I don't
    know why but I suppose we all ride the way we are built. I do a lot of back and upper body
    strenghtening in the gym and have never had any problems except for my neck. That's an old whiplash
    thing that seems to be getting better now I started seeing a chiropractor and also raised my
    handlebars a little..

    --
    Perre

    You have to be smarter than a robot to reply.
     
  7. Peter Cole

    Peter Cole Guest

    "Openworld" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > "KBH" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...

    > > After about an hour and a half in the saddle, my lower back (upper ass?) muscles invariably
    > > start to get sore. Standing up straight immediately relieves this discomfort.

    > Flexability issue- sounds like it anyway! Careful if your hamstrings are to tight the back is
    > forced to flex where it does not want to. Leading to swolen disks..bad bad bad. Do not ride
    > through pain (unless racing), it is a warning. Extra stretching may be needed, if you cant hold a
    > flexed position off the bike do not go near it till you can.

    Perhaps this sympom can come from a variety of sources, but mine seems to come from the "tight
    hamstrings" mentioned above. Regular stretching seems to help, about the only thing that does.
     
  8. Kbh

    Kbh Guest

    I probably need to do that. One issue is that I'm currently using a RockShox road suspension
    seatpost to soften the bumps on my poor spine, therefore my saddle height is a bit nebulous,
    although I know I get about 1 cm of compression while seated. I've always gone with a SH of about
    79, with a PBH of about 91.

    I know that an inch or two behind KOPS is good for me - maybe if I went with KOPS that would help
    straighten out my back.

    I guess I'm just avoiding the $50 for a proper fitting.

    Thanks again,

    Kyle

    "Qui si parla Campagnolo" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > kbh-<< No, but I've spent a lot of time myself trying different
    positions -
    > high stem, low stem, short stem, long stem. Short of riding a stright upright hybrid or a
    > recumbent,
    >
    > Have you had your seat height and knee position checked? I think that is
    the
    > place to start. If that is not proper, the rest of the fit is somewhat arbitrary.
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > Peter Chisholm Vecchio's Bicicletteria 1833 Pearl St. Boulder, CO, 80302
    > (303)440-3535 http://www.vecchios.com "Ruote convenzionali costruite eccezionalmente bene"
     
  9. Mike S.

    Mike S. Guest

    "KBH" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > I probably need to do that. One issue is that I'm currently using a
    RockShox
    > road suspension seatpost to soften the bumps on my poor spine, therefore
    my
    > saddle height is a bit nebulous, although I know I get about 1 cm of compression while seated.
    > I've always gone with a SH of about 79, with a PBH of about 91.
    >
    > I know that an inch or two behind KOPS is good for me - maybe if I went
    with
    > KOPS that would help straighten out my back.
    >
    > I guess I'm just avoiding the $50 for a proper fitting.
    >
    > Thanks again,
    >
    > Kyle
    >
    That $50 for a proper fitting is probably the best investment you can make in your riding career.
    Beats all the Ti widgets you can hang on your bike hands down!

    Go get fit.

    Mike
     
  10. As others have mentioned bike fit and stretching may have their place in your problem. I have this
    issue on long rides going up steep hills. What I found to work well is an exercise for the lower
    back. Backward Leg lifts (the half locust pose in yoga, only I add reps). You lay down on your
    stomach, arms at the side of your body, hands under your thighs with your palms on the floor. Lift
    one leg up as high as comfortable and hold it (leg is extended), do a few reps, then the other leg.
    This exercise has helped to eliminate my lower back pain on long steep climbs. For some reason
    though I couldn't get there just by doing the climbs. Now, even though I don't do the exercise that
    much anymore, all the steep climbing rides I do keeps me quite capable at this exercise.

    "KBH" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > I don't intend for this get into a massive thread on lower back pain, so
    I
    > want to keep this focused:
    >
    > After about an hour and a half in the saddle, my lower back (upper ass?) muscles invariably start
    > to get sore. Standing up straight immediately relieves this discomfort.
    >
    > Have those of you with lower back pain had better luck letting your back relax and bend forward
    > somewhat (the natural slouching position, a little like Lance's arc'd back position, but not as
    > severe), or by forcing your belly button towards the top tube and maintaining a straight back? Saw
    this
    > suggestion in the FAQ and wanted to solicit some opinions. I think this may help but it doesn't
    > seem natural.
    >
    > (disclaimer - my bars are near the same height as the saddle, I often get out of the saddle to
    > climb, I stretch and do back excercises regularly -
    all
    > these things help to some degree)
    >
    > Thanks,
    >
    > Kyle
     
  11. Tim McNamara

    Tim McNamara Guest

    > I don't intend for this get into a massive thread on lower back pain, so I want to keep this
    > focused:
    >
    > After about an hour and a half in the saddle, my lower back (upper ass?) muscles invariably start
    > to get sore. Standing up straight immediately relieves this discomfort.

    When you stand up, you restore the normal lumbar curvature and the pain goes away. In the riding
    position, I'd guess that your lower back is arched and causing your pain.

    If I were you, I'd check for a saddle that's too high and/or far back (especially the latter);
    and/or handlebars too far away. And I'd check for overly tight hamstrings and glutes (try some
    gentle stretching). Ab strengthening (e.g., crunches, situps, etc) may help.
     
  12. Bosaci

    Bosaci Guest

    "one of the six billion" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > As others have mentioned bike fit and stretching may have their place in your problem. I have this
    > issue on long rides going up steep hills.
    What
    > I found to work well is an exercise for the lower back. Backward Leg
    lifts
    > (the half locust pose in yoga, only I add reps). You lay down on your stomach, arms at the side of
    > your body, hands under your thighs with your palms on the floor. Lift one leg up as high as
    > comfortable and hold it (leg is extended), do a few reps, then the other leg. This exercise has
    > helped to eliminate my lower back pain on long steep climbs.

    I tried your suggestion but I have a hell of a time keeping my hands under my thighs on long
    steep hills.

    Descents are no problem though.

    > For some reason though I couldn't get there just by doing the climbs. Now, even though I don't do
    > the exercise that much anymore, all the steep climbing rides I do keeps me quite capable at this
    > exercise.
    >
    >
    > "KBH" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > > I don't intend for this get into a massive thread on lower back pain, so
    > I
    > > want to keep this focused:
    > >
    > > After about an hour and a half in the saddle, my lower back (upper ass?) muscles invariably
    > > start to get sore. Standing up straight immediately relieves this discomfort.
    > >
    > > Have those of you with lower back pain had better luck letting your back relax and bend forward
    > > somewhat (the natural slouching position, a
    little
    > > like Lance's arc'd back position, but not as severe), or by forcing your belly button towards
    > > the top tube and maintaining a straight back? Saw
    > this
    > > suggestion in the FAQ and wanted to solicit some opinions. I think
    this
    > > may help but it doesn't seem natural.
    > >
    > > (disclaimer - my bars are near the same height as the saddle, I often
    get
    > > out of the saddle to climb, I stretch and do back excercises regularly -
    > all
    > > these things help to some degree)
    > >
    > > Thanks,
    > >
    > > Kyle
    > >
    >
     
  13. On Tue, 29 Apr 2003 12:16:03 +0000, KBH wrote:

    > Have those of you with lower back pain had better luck letting your back relax and bend forward
    > somewhat (the natural slouching position, a little like Lance's arc'd back position, but not as
    > severe), or by forcing your belly button towards the top tube and maintaining a straight back?

    I don't even think about my back when riding, but this idea of forcing your belly-button down
    towards the top tube (mine is low enough as it is!) sounds very, very painful because of other
    things that would be forced downward as well, but which would run into the saddle. You want to keep
    your hips upright enough so that you are sitting on the "sit bones" on the sides of the back-bottom
    of your hips, and not sitting directly on your balls.

    --

    David L. Johnson

    __o | Deserves death! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve _`\(,_ | death. And some that die
    deserve life. Can you give it to (_)/ (_) | them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in
    judgement. -- J. R. R. Tolkein
     
  14. On Tue, 29 Apr 2003 14:39:55 +0000, KBH wrote:

    > I know that an inch or two behind KOPS is good for me - maybe if I went with KOPS that would help
    > straighten out my back.

    Maybe. "An inch or two" behind KOPS is pretty far back.
    >
    > I guess I'm just avoiding the $50 for a proper fitting.

    It would be a good investment.

    --

    David L. Johnson

    __o | We have a record of conquest, colonization and expansion _`\(,_ | unequalled by any people
    in the Nineteenth Century. We are not (_)/ (_) | to be curbed now. --Henry Cabot Lodge, 1895
     
  15. "Mike S." <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > "KBH" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > > I probably need to do that. One issue is that I'm currently using a
    > RockShox
    > > road suspension seatpost to soften the bumps on my poor spine, therefore
    > my
    > > saddle height is a bit nebulous, although I know I get about 1 cm of compression while seated.
    > > I've always gone with a SH of about 79, with a PBH of about 91.
    > >
    > > I know that an inch or two behind KOPS is good for me - maybe if I went
    > with
    > > KOPS that would help straighten out my back.
    > >
    > > I guess I'm just avoiding the $50 for a proper fitting.
    > >
    > > Thanks again,
    > >
    > > Kyle
    > >
    > That $50 for a proper fitting is probably the best investment you can make in your riding career.
    > Beats all the Ti widgets you can hang on your bike hands down!
    >
    > Go get fit.
    >
    > Mike
    Complete rubbish Mike. Anyone who can ride a bike can fit one to himself. Read the book or look at
    the pictures. One more thing to separate cyclists from their money.
     
  16. John Everett

    John Everett Guest

    On Tue, 29 Apr 2003 12:16:03 GMT, "KBH" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >I don't intend for this get into a massive thread on lower back pain, so I want to keep
    >this focused:
    >
    >After about an hour and a half in the saddle, my lower back (upper ass?) muscles invariably start
    >to get sore. Standing up straight immediately relieves this discomfort.

    I see there are already a bunch of responses about bike fit potentially being the problem. Let me
    add my $.02.

    I too have been experiencing lower back pain lately after an hour and a half or two hours. I haven't
    changed my position on the bike in over ten years. What's different; I've gotten lazy over this past
    winter about doing crunches.

    I swore many years ago because of back problems that I would do crunches regularly for the rest of
    my life. Somehow I've lapsed. After getting home from yesterday's 40 mile ride, the last 10 miles or
    so in pain, I got down and did some crunches. My stomach muscles started protesting after about 40,
    so I only did 50. I used to do over a hundred at a time, so I have some work to do.

    If I follow through with my new found commitment perhaps I should post if the pain goes away. :)

    jeverett3<AT>earthlink<DOT>net http://home.earthlink.net/~jeverett3
     
  17. Kbh

    Kbh Guest

    > I too have been experiencing lower back pain lately after an hour and a half or two hours. I
    > haven't changed my position on the bike in over ten years. What's different; I've gotten lazy over
    > this past winter about doing crunches.
    >
    > I swore many years ago because of back problems that I would do crunches regularly for the rest of
    > my life. Somehow I've lapsed. After getting home from yesterday's 40 mile ride, the last 10 miles
    > or so in pain, I got down and did some crunches. My stomach muscles started protesting after about
    > 40, so I only did 50. I used to do over a hundred at a time, so I have some work to do.
    >
    > If I follow through with my new found commitment perhaps I should post if the pain goes away. :)
    >

    I think my regimen will consist of crunches, hamstring stretches, as well as back strengthening
    excercises. I've been told by a back doctor that my spine takes a sharper than normal turn towards
    my pelvis (the turn that allows you to put your hand under you lower back while lying down flat).
    Therefore, my belief is that my lower back muscles are shorter and tighter than most people's, hence
    the discomfort when these muscles are stretched for an hour or two, which led to my hypothesis that
    maintining a flat back while riding would help the situation.

    One way the Dr. suggested to offset this curvature is to strengthen my abs. I also imagine that
    stretching these musles in conjunction with my hams shoudl help. Lying on my stomach over a swedish
    ball stretched the hell oout of them.

    Thanks,

    Kyle
     
  18. John Everett wrote:
    > On Tue, 29 Apr 2003 12:16:03 GMT, "KBH" <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > I swore many years ago because of back problems that I would do crunches regularly for the rest of
    > my life. Somehow I've lapsed. After getting home from yesterday's 40 mile ride, the last 10 miles
    > or so in pain, I got down and did some crunches. My stomach muscles started protesting after about
    > 40, so I only did 50. I used to do over a hundred at a time, so I have some work to do.
    >

    What are crunches? Abdominal or lower back workouts?

    --
    Perre

    You have to be smarter than a robot to reply.
     
  19. Edward Dike

    Edward Dike Guest

    "Per Elmsäter" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    | John Everett wrote:
    | > On Tue, 29 Apr 2003 12:16:03 GMT, "KBH" <[email protected]> wrote:
    | >
    | > I swore many years ago because of back problems that I would do crunches regularly for the
    | > rest of my life. Somehow I've lapsed. After getting home from yesterday's 40 mile ride, the
    | > last 10 miles or so in pain, I got down and did some crunches. My stomach muscles started
    | > protesting after about 40, so I only did 50. I used to do over a hundred at a time, so I have
    | > some work to do.
    | >
    |
    | What are crunches? Abdominal or lower back workouts?
    |
    | --
    | Perre
    |
    | You have to be smarter than a robot to reply.
    |
    Basically, a limited range sit-up...concentrating more on intense contraction of abs, as opposed to
    physically sitting up...many variations...
    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&q=stomach+crunches&btnG =Google+Search

    ED3
     
  20. Kbh

    Kbh Guest

    abdominal workouts

    basically lie on your back, knees up (or calves resting on a bench) and contract your abs just until
    your shoulder blades are off the ground - hold briefly and repeat again and again and again....

    I also do leg lifts, where I lie flat and lift my legs from 0 to 90 degrees and hold. Good for the
    lower abs.

    Kyle

    "Per Elmsäter" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > John Everett wrote:
    > > On Tue, 29 Apr 2003 12:16:03 GMT, "KBH" <[email protected]> wrote:
    > >
    > > I swore many years ago because of back problems that I would do crunches regularly for the
    > > rest of my life. Somehow I've lapsed. After getting home from yesterday's 40 mile ride, the
    > > last 10 miles or so in pain, I got down and did some crunches. My stomach muscles started
    > > protesting after about 40, so I only did 50. I used to do over a hundred at a time, so I have
    > > some work to do.
    > >
    >
    > What are crunches? Abdominal or lower back workouts?
    >
    > --
    > Perre
    >
    > You have to be smarter than a robot to reply.
     
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