Forum home Road cycling forum Training, fitness and health

Lower back exercises?

bobtbuilderbobtbuilder Posts: 1,537
This year I have found that on longer rides (3 hours+) I am getting a lot of lower back pain. Yesterday it got so bad that after 3 hours I had to keep getting off every 15 mins or so to try and stretch it out.
I am not riding any more than in previous years, nor have I altered my bike set up since last year.

At the gym I do lower back hyper-extensions to try and keep a strong lower back, but something is not right. It doesn’t hurt at any other time.

So, does anyone have any ideas for other exercises I could do to strengthen my lower back or ideas how to avoid the lower back pain?

Thanks.

Posts

  • ut_och_cyklaut_och_cykla Posts: 1,594
    HAve you started doing hyper extentions recently? They might be making a small back problem much worse!
    See a physio to rule out other issues?
    Check bike set up? Too low front or too far away from saddle?
    Check rest of life - work position?
    I have a theory that low back pain can be teh result of 'weak ' muscles elsewhere and after 3 hours tired thigh muscles - bike fit issues make this worse... but it is just my pet theory.
  • mrushtonmrushton Posts: 5,182
    Often it's core strength and a suitable stretching regime that's required. there are lots of books and stuff out tere but you actually have to do the exercises. As a sufferer myself I ignore my advice but find that when I don't exercise/stretch and wake up at 3am with an aching back that 15 minutes of stretching and bending eases things
    M.Rushton
  • dennisndennisn Posts: 10,601
    A Chinese friend of mine got me into the habit of sitting on my heels for, at least, a few
    minutes each day. Great for stretching out the lower back muscles. Like I say, couple of minutes, a couple of times a day. Good stuff.
  • bobtbuilderbobtbuilder Posts: 1,537
    Thanks folks - will give some of these a go.
  • de_sistide_sisti Posts: 1,242
    dennisn wrote:
    A Chinese friend of mine got me into the habit of sitting on my heels for, at least, a few
    minutes each day. Great for stretching out the lower back muscles. Like I say, couple of minutes, a couple of times a day. Good stuff.

    Can you show us a picture of this? Might be worth trying.
  • I sympathise big time having gone through similar off the bike. Dorsal raises using an exercise ball are good but you need to do them right to focus on your lower back. Also stiff leg dead lifts are good too, you can do these unweighted to start with which is good especially if you have pain at the time. Going to physio is a great idea but they will probably tell you to work your abs which in my experience did not help, but they should be able to make a diagnoses of some kind.

    YouTube has some good video of exercises above with commentaries
  • ut_och_cyklaut_och_cykla Posts: 1,594
    Not a doctor or physio BUT - Please dont start doing a whole load of back exercises found on the internet before you have worked out what is wrong - you could make an issue that is only tiresome when cycling a pain in the behind big time!
    By all means do some research but get to a physio who is bike interested before doing even more back stuff!
    And until you have got it sorted - stay off back extensions - they do just that extend/stretch out muscles, fixing points and spine jointing - overdoing them might havve caused some inflammation and may actually be causing more problems than they fix right now!
  • Garry HGarry H Posts: 6,639
    De Sisti wrote:
    dennisn wrote:
    A Chinese friend of mine got me into the habit of sitting on my heels for, at least, a few
    minutes each day. Great for stretching out the lower back muscles. Like I say, couple of minutes, a couple of times a day. Good stuff.

    Can you show us a picture of this? Might be worth trying.

    Sitting on heels = kneeling
  • This year I have found that on longer rides (3 hours+) I am getting a lot of lower back pain. Yesterday it got so bad that after 3 hours I had to keep getting off every 15 mins or so to try and stretch it out.
    I am not riding any more than in previous years, nor have I altered my bike set up since last year.

    At the gym I do lower back hyper-extensions to try and keep a strong lower back, but something is not right. It doesn’t hurt at any other time.

    So, does anyone have any ideas for other exercises I could do to strengthen my lower back or ideas how to avoid the lower back pain?

    Thanks.


    Hello there, I would put money on the fact your glutes are causing the problem, and if you stretch them daily, and especially before riding, this will dramaticaly improve your back pain. I had the same problem, strong back but after a couple of hours the lower back would just seize up.
  • bobtbuilderbobtbuilder Posts: 1,537
    Thanks again everyone for your suggestions.

    I'm going to start with the glutes stretches and sitiing on heels exercises and these are unweighted and fairly safe.

    ut_och_cykla - I'm a pretty seasoned gym veteran and I'm confident that the hyperextensions are not the problem. I feel rock solid when doing squats with 1.5 x bodyweight, etc.

    It just seems to be a length of time in the saddle problem. I'm in the process of changing the saddle on my Winter bike, as I find the Fizik Arione uncomfortable after 3hrs+. I'm wondering whether I am contorting a bit trying to find relief from the uncomfortable saddle.
  • ride_wheneverride_whenever Posts: 13,279
    I would place good money on tight hip flexors...

    This causes glute deactivation leading to increased load being taken in the lower back. See it all the time!

    Your best bet is to see a physio to locate any muscle weakness, then determine the cause of it. Deal with the underlying problem whilst also dealing with the symptoms (in hip flexor case it would be glute strengthening exercises and stretching out your back and hamstrings which have gotten tighter due to overuse) and your problems should disappear.
  • CrimmeyCrimmey Posts: 207
    I'd say ut_och_cykla has covered virtually everything and he has given very sound advice which you should not dismiss so quickly and his 'theory' about other muscles being weak isn't just a theory. Why would you think its your saddle as you said you have not changed your bike set up and your mileage has not altered and you hadn't had problems then, now you say its uncomfortable. So that would be the last thing to change?

    From personal experience it has been a combination of things that caused back pain. I needed a post with no set back, I needed a comfortable saddle, I needed to tilt the saddle downwards, I needed 25mm tyres on the rear and I also needed to work my abs which has helped my upper,lower back muscles and neck. I have now totally cut gym work out of my regime for the past 6 months. I regularly do ~ 7hrs with no problems at all. I used to struggle with 2 hrs. I'm not sure how good physios are at finding underlying problems ( Michael Owen had to go abroad after seeing loadsa psysios in UK to diagnose him),which sounds a great idea as suggested but I could 'feel' areas of weakness whilst doing bench press, pull downs and other exercises, it wasn't the arms/back that was stopping my progress. Your body tends to grow in 'proportion' so if you neglect an area other areas get put on 'hold' or 'slow down' until you play catch up. Stretching is a great idea too which you said you will implement.

    It's nasty stuff back pain and I hope you find your solution quicker than I did.
Sign In or Register to comment.