On the surface, cycling might not seem like the most dangerous sport in the world. But did you know that more than 80% of all sports-related spine injuries that take place in the U.S. each year are the result of bicycle-related accidents?
For this reason, you're going to need to protect the spine during cycling as best you can. You'll also need to aim to protect your spine during motorcycle riding. Otherwise, going out for a ride could result in you feeling a lot of pain in your spine and the rest of your back.
So, what are some things to keep in mind while riding a bike or a motorcycle to keep your spine safe? We're going to run through them today so that you're able to take cycling and motorcycling safety more seriously.
Keep reading to find out how to protect your spine while you're on a bike or motorcycle ride.
Learn Why Cycling and Motorcycling Impact the Spine
The good news for those who enjoy cycling or motorcycle riding is that neither of them will put that much of a strain on your spine. Sitting on a bike or motorcycle as you go for a ride won't put pressure on your spine like, say, going for a jog will.
But that doesn't mean that cycling or motorcycling isn't going to impact your spine at all. Every time you hit a bump in the road, it'll shock your whole system, including your spine. This can jar and compress your spine and cause you to experience pain.
You might also find that your spine will hurt when you're on a bike or motorcycle ride simply because you'll be in the same position for a long period of time. It can cause the muscles in your back to tighten up and eventually cause spinal pain.
Additionally, there is always a chance you might fall off a bike or motorcycle. You may run over a rough patch and fall over, or you might get hit by someone on another bike or motorcycle or even a car, truck, and SUV.
If this happens, it could put your spine at risk. Practicing bike and motorcycle safety at all times should help reduce the chances of you getting into an accident and protect your spine.
Pick Out the Right Bike or Motorcycle for You
Before you begin riding around on a bike or motorcycle at all, you'll need to choose the right one to ride. It'd be worth test-driving as many bikes or motorcycles as you can so that you're able to find one that'll fit you comfortably.
If you buy a bike or motorcycle that's too small, you'll need to contort your body to get on it. This could put too much pressure on your spine and make it impossible to protect your spine if something goes wrong.
At the same time, a bike or motorcycle that's too big might also cause spinal issues. You might not be able to practice good form when you're on a bike or motorcycle like this, and it could leave you wide open to back and spinal injuries.
Put the Right Tires on a Bike or Motorcycle
No matter which bike or motorcycle you go with, it'll be important for you to inspect its tire prior to going for a long ride on it. The tires on a bike or motorcycle will play a key part in enabling you to protect your spine.
How so? Well, remember how we said that a bike or motorcycle is going to send shockwaves up your body when you hit big bumps? The wrong tires are going to make this even worse and cause more jarring and compression to your spine than they should.
Ideally, you'll want to get your hands on a set of shock-absorbing tires that'll stop bumps in the road from wreaking havoc on your back. You'll want to be especially diligent about doing this if you plan to ride around on your fair share of rocky roads.
Adjust a Bike or Motorcycle to Fit Your Frame
As we alluded to earlier, buying a bike or motorcycle that's the right size will be imperative. But it'll be just as important for you to make adjustments to a bike or motorcycle so that it fits your frame perfectly while allowing you to maintain great form (more on this in a moment!).
You should be able to adjust everything from the height of the handlebars to the height of a seat on a bike or motorcycle. By adjusting these things even just the slightest bit, you can protect your spine during every ride you take.
Use Good Form When You Ride a Bike or Motorcycle
Whether you're riding a bike or going motorcycle riding, using good form will be of the utmost importance. If you slump down on a bike or motorcycle, it can cause issues with your spine and other parts of your body, including your buttocks.
So, how can you make sure you're using good form on a bike or motorcycle? Try to take these steps:
- Sit on a bike or motorcycle with your backside all the way on your seat
- Straighten your spine and keep your chest up to maintain great posture
- Relax your shoulders
- Allow some of your body weight to come down on your handlebars
- Shift your behind ever so slightly on a regular basis to switch the position of your spine and your other body parts
- Keep both your feet on the pedals for your bike or motorcycle and relax your hips
You'll feel so much more comfortable when you ride a bike or motorcycle when your form is good. You'll also be less likely to suffer spinal injuries while cycling or motorcycle riding when you utilize good form.
Invest in a Riding Cushion for a Bike or Motorcycle
Unfortunately, most bikes and motorcycles don't come with the best seats in the world on them. Even if you pay a pretty penny for a bike or motorcycle, you're still going to find that the seat won't provide you with much shock absorption.
Because of this, it would be a fantastic idea to buy a riding cushion for a bike or motorcycle. One of these riding cushions will work wonders for your behind and your spine when you're on a bike or motorcycle. You won't need to worry about the shockwaves from your bike or motorcycle doing damage to your spine anymore.
Get Off a Bike or Motorcycle to Stretch Your Back
If you love nothing more than going on a ride on your bike or motorcycle, you might spend hours on end riding around on it. Regardless of how good your form is or how many times you shift your weight around, this isn't going to be good for your spine or your back as a whole.
You should make it a point to pull your bike or motorcycle over every so often during long rides so that you can get off it and stretch. Spending even just 10 minutes or so stretching your back out will make it feel so much better at the very end of your ride.
Build Up the Muscles That Surround Your Spine
When is the last time you did any exercises to help strengthen the muscles that are situated around your spine? If it's been a while since you've done them or, worse, if you haven't ever done them, this could turn into a problem.
These muscles might not be strong enough to support your spine on long bike or motorcycle rides. It's why you'll want to give thought to trying to build them up so that they're ready for long rides.
Back exercises like the curl-up, the side plank, and the bird dog will work out the muscles in your back and promote better spine health. You'll find that your spine will be able to put up with more wear and tear when you're on a bike or motorcycle. Your back muscles will provide it with plenty of protection.
When you pair up a strong back with a comfortable riding cushion, you'll protect the spine during cycling and motorcycle riding like never before. You'll enjoy riding a bike or motorcycle more than you have in the past.
Shop For Bike and Motorcycle Riding Cushions Here
Do you want to invest in one of the best riding cushions for motorcycles or bikes? Cyclemate has you covered.
We carry the best riding cushions in the business. They'll protect your spine and get rid of any unnecessary pain you might feel during a bike or motorcycle ride.
Contact us today if you'd like to ask us any questions about the riding cushions we have in stock.