If you don’t ride year-round, you know the outcome of those first rides in the saddle as summer approaches. Ouch: lower back and glute pain, hamstring, hip flexors and quad aches. How do you lesson the strain in these first rides? There are some simple answers that require a stability ball, some floor space and, most importantly, your motivation.
Try this one: Lie with the middle of your back on the stability ball with knees bent 90 degrees and feet flat on floor. Place hands behind head (don’t pull on neck). Squeeze belly button toward the spine, lift upper back off the ball. With your shoulders off of the ball, make a circular motion with your torso while applying pressure with lower back to ball through motion. Clockwise 15 ovals, counterclockwise 15 ovals. Works the transverse abdominus (inner abs), stabilizes lower back, glutes, hamstrings and hip flexors.
“Why It Works: Despite the straightforward motion of the bike, your body moves in three directions: forward as you head down the road, vertically as your legs pedal up and down, and laterally as your hips and upper body rock side to side,” writes Bicycling author Dimity McDowell.