Whether you’re a commuter rider or an athlete, massage can benefit you and even make you a better cyclist.
More and more of us are taking to the saddle, either as part of our regular commute to work, joining friends on a weekend ride, or training for a sporting challenge.
But along with the right bike and kit, massage should also form an essential part of your cycling regime. ‘Cycling is a low-impact exercise, compared to running, for example, but it involves a limited range of motion which places stress on particular joints and muscles,’ says Christopher, a massage therapist.
Which muscles are used during cycling?
Although your legs inevitably carry the greatest burden when cycling, other muscles and joints suffer, too. ‘Being hunched over a handlebar puts strain on the lower back and hips,’ says Christopher. ‘Hands can be an issue – as cyclists climb uphill, gripping puts strains on fingers.’
Back pain from riding your bike
Even if you’re cycling on a flat road to work, you’ll still encounter problems. ‘Athletes get their bikes professionally customised to fit their body shape, whereas people using bikes for everyday use might choose one that’s reasonably priced, regardless of whether it’s comfortable for them,’ says Christopher. ‘This can place strain on knees, glutes and back. Plus they may sit at a desk all day, meaning extra pressure on the back.’
What type of massage can benefit cyclists?
No matter which type of cyclist you are, there’s a massage to help and even enhance your performance. ‘Regular massage can make you a better cyclist,’ says Christopher. ‘It keeps your muscle tissues in an optimum state and your joints mobile and healthy.’
For event riders, he recommends a sports massage immediately after your cycle. ‘This will stimulate blood flow, moving lymphatic waste that develops from a long workout, and push it out of major muscle groups so you get faster recovery time and less soreness post-workout.’
A commuter has different needs. ‘In this case massage should be restorative, keeping the joints and muscles healthy and flexible, particularly if they are moving from bike to desk and back again,’ says Christopher. ‘A weekly or, at least, monthly Thai yoga massage – where the body is moved, twisted and stretched into different positions and angles – is really effective if your body is used to being set in certain positions.’
Who are we? We’re Urban Massage – on a mission to make wellness rituals convenient and accessible without compromising on quality. So from just £49 an hour, you can enjoy a range of massages from an expert therapist at a time to suit you. Download the app or go to urbanmassage.com to book 60 minutes of restorative me time.