Monday, May 8, 2017

Posture Tips For Cyclists

Not the best title, I admit.

Maybe one day I can be the Bike Fit writer for Buzzfeed.

Let's accept the bad title in the hope more folks that need this will find it.

I see lots of advice on how cyclists can correct their posture. Terrible posture. So bad. I tried to find a picture of myself fresh off the bike but came up short. Below is the closest I could find.

Image result for gollum

I apologize for those who don't appreciate my sarcasm. I thought it was pretty good.

I think the importance of posture is pretty overblown. Take a quick look around the internet and you can quickly find any number of articles on "text neck" and other maladies of modern chairs and cell phones.

Why do I think it is overblown? Give this video a quick watch.

Fine, I will admit cycling isn't really ideal to cultivate textbook "perfect posture"...of course, if that was the goal we would all quit our sport and be security guards or something like that.

I think a variety of postures during the day are good and losing the strength or mobility to have options there is probably not a good option. The items I'll go over below are actually applicable to everyone, not just cyclists, which maybe means I AM writing Buzzfeed clickbait now.

Here we go. Posture Tips. I don't think these are in really any order because importance will depend on what YOU are missing.

1. Go for a walk - I really think 10,000 steps a day is a great goal. Get a dog. That will help. Maybe walk 30 minutes during your lunch break.

2. Stand up straight - Just like Mom told you. All the strength and mobility in the world is useless if you are creeping around like our friend Gollum above. Good posture should feel relaxed and easy. If you can snag a standing desk or one of the variable ones, go for it.

3. Stretch breaks - Build some short stretches into your day. Which ones? Lots of options and consistency goes a long way. How long to do them? Just do them. You'll figure it out.

4. Prioritize - Get some mobility work in early.

That's it. Nobody needs perfect posture but if you want to improve yours this should be a good start.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Foot Strength and Mobility. A Simple How To Guide

Between the PT clinic and fit studio, I see lots of feet. Some weird, some normal, most of them clean enough to let out in public.

I am writing this as I feel like lots of advice on foot function (meaning strength and flexibility) is overly complicated and ultimately aimed at selling something or proving how smart the dispenser of the advice is.

One thing I have learned is never assume anything about a client...TEST IT.

I had a fit client a few weeks ago who has had recurring calf issues for a couple years and asked me during a session if her feet might be weak or limited in some way. This gave me two options.

1. Go on a diatribe about the plight of modern footwear and how she needed to get back to nature and read three books on working the core muscles for her feet get the idea


Turns out strength and mobility were fine and we resolved the issue quickly after with a minor equipment tweak and some pedaling technique advice.

If you want a whole list of the maladies of wearing shoes, go elsewhere. There are plenty of sensational things written on this. I'm not doing it. I want to put forth a few things I have found easy to check for yourself at home.

The basic idea here is to test ALL OF THESE and work on whatever you suck at. Easy, right?

I am listing them in the order that I think makes the most sense. Importance of each will depend on your particular goals and athletic pursuits.





*With these many people will have feet that are not in perfect alignment due to individual variation. Don't roll an ankle or anything but perfection isn't super important either. Hold on to something with your hand for balance.

I think the above tests are the main things to focus on. 

If you are bad at one of them, well, I think working on that thing will help it!

Feet are stuck in shoes all day. It isn't a death sentence for them, but maybe not their perfect home either. 

Let's make the best of it, yeah?