Lower back strain

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Lower back strain

Postby puffdaddy » Mon Mar 08, 2010 10:16 am

On my harder training rides"110 km" I am getting lower back "strain" I think ,,Both sides of my lower back get painful as hell,but stop riding for 5 min and it feels much better and only a little sore the next day,,"I spend 90 % of the time on the aero bars and appears to be caused at high intensity at lower cadences on hills etc"on the aero bars",I do not want to go down the "cadence rd" Once it starts I cannot get rid of it,sitting up,standing,trying to stretch while on the bike etc,,.The Q I have is how to pin point where the weakness is and how to sort it ,, more stretching,,doing dead lifts,more abb work etc,Bike set up is good,Any advice appreciated ;)
Mike,,,from NZ ;)
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by BNA » Mon Mar 08, 2010 4:32 pm

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Re: Lower back strain

Postby Ant. » Mon Mar 08, 2010 4:32 pm

puffdaddy wrote:On my harder training rides"110 km" I am getting lower back "strain" I think ,,Both sides of my lower back get painful as hell,but stop riding for 5 min and it feels much better and only a little sore the next day,,"I spend 90 % of the time on the aero bars and appears to be caused at high intensity at lower cadences on hills etc"on the aero bars",I do not want to go down the "cadence rd" Once it starts I cannot get rid of it,sitting up,standing,trying to stretch while on the bike etc,,.The Q I have is how to pin point where the weakness is and how to sort it ,, more stretching,,doing dead lifts,more abb work etc,Bike set up is good,Any advice appreciated ;)
Mike,,,from NZ ;)


I doubt your bike setup is as good as you think :wink:

Saddle might be too high, stem might be too long... I'm suspecting the former.
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Re: Lower back strain

Postby toolonglegs » Mon Mar 08, 2010 4:57 pm

I get a lower back strain similar on long hard climbing rides...I can ride with it but it definately sucks some power.My bike set up is spot on...but I think being like my top bro (pictured below...although not on quite as much help) I push a big gear in the hills and use lower back muscles that don't get such a work out when on the flat.
Note to self "must do some hill work before the 11th April....and lots more before my stage race in June with a freakin 12 km climb :lol: .
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Last edited by toolonglegs on Mon Mar 08, 2010 5:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Lower back strain

Postby Wayfarer » Mon Mar 08, 2010 5:25 pm

i'd suggest deadlifts. we were learning about them in university today, and it'll give you better uphill power in your legs too! Perhaps core conditioning (planks and hovers are good) and better warm-ups will be useful too.
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Re: Lower back strain

Postby toolonglegs » Mon Mar 08, 2010 5:54 pm

I think everything can be done on the bike...climb more hills but for shorter periods over a few months.So working the muscles without over loading them to the point of pain.That is what I will be doing.I pedal how I pedal...I could pedal a faster cadence but it doesn't work power wise / sustainability for me.Warm ups don't help for me as I quite often get this after an hour or more warm up (the time it takes me to get to really big hills).A bit of core work may help...I don't think more muscles in the legs translates to more uphill power...it does translate to more bulk to carry up hills.For me more up hill power will come from dropping my weight another 10 kilos :roll: ...which will also take a bigger strain OFF my lower back.
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Re: Lower back strain

Postby puffdaddy » Mon Mar 08, 2010 8:48 pm

toolonglegs wrote:I get a lower back strain similar on long hard climbing rides...I can ride with it but it definately sucks some power.My bike set up is spot on...but I think being like my top bro (pictured below...although not on quite as much help) I push a big gear in the hills and use lower back muscles that don't get such a work out when on the flat.
Note to self "must do some hill work before the 11th April....and lots more before my stage race in June with a freakin 12 km climb :lol: .
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Thanks for the advice guys ;) I done some weights tonight and you guessed it ,,Strained lower back more than I thought,,My bike set up is good,,The reason for the strain I feel is I was working on low cadence high strength workout ,yep for 110 km,,I think my legs are simply too strong for my lower back so I will repeat it again next weekend ;) ,,I still led the club the whole ride so the net result was good,I have gained leg strength faster than my back can handle ,,I feel all will even out eventually or maybe I will snap in half :wink:
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PS;;Have been very slack with warm ups and stretching so am going to devote more time to this,,..
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Re: Lower back strain

Postby Redbull » Mon Mar 08, 2010 9:15 pm

I get the same problem when doing a lot of hills or putting a lot of effort into the ride.

My belief (and its only a theory) is that there is weakness with my core muscles, so when the big ones are working hard they are over loading the one area and there is not enough strength/resistance from the core.

Probably full of it but I may need to work on some planks etc (oh and try to re-renovate the bay window to a more moderate size)
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Re: Lower back strain

Postby puffdaddy » Mon Mar 08, 2010 9:22 pm

Good point I feel you are right,I do very little abb work so going to add that into the new training plan as well,,I have had a change in nutrition which has seen a rapid increase in strength but an uneven one as you pointed out,, :wink:
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Re: Lower back strain

Postby KRG » Mon Mar 08, 2010 10:26 pm

For me I call it over-torquing, putting too much power through the legs when my body is fatigued. I live in the Adelaide Hills and work in the city so hill riding is on my daily commute and doing the same climb day in day out I can get 'lazy' in technique and mash up just to get home. I soon realised it was the discrepancy in strength between my legs and back that were causing the pain, not just simply a lack of strength in the back (although that is the basic issue I need to attend to eventually). By putting too much mashing power down when I was fatigued the torquing motion my back was trying to resist amplified it's fatigue to the point where the pain would show up. You cant stretch it out mid ride, so managing it proactively is the only option. Basically, I can't stretch it out but I can spin it out. By dropping back the gears just one or two for a short period I take all that twisting torque out of my hips/lower back so it can relax and avoid maxing out. Like toolonglegs, high cadence isnt my strong suit so I don't sit spinning up a storm but I do manage my cadence to get the best of both worlds. As my back gets stronger (through riding) I will manage it accordingly. Core stength exercises are probably exactly what is required but I ride to ride, the discipline of an exercise mat is a bridge too far. So for now, all I remember when I get that first inkling in my back is "dont over-torque".
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Re: Lower back strain

Postby puffdaddy » Tue Mar 09, 2010 5:56 am

Exactly whats happening here,I am going to do 1 high torque/strength ride each week and will try the spinning as soon as I get a twinge and see how I go ,,Very happy that I am not the only one leaning on the side of being a masher :wink: ,I can also spin 95-110 rpm so all good ,,I feel my mashing is just being plain lazy in a way but it feels great :)
Mike ,,,from NZ :P
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Re: Lower back strain

Postby Parrott » Tue Mar 09, 2010 9:08 pm

puffdaddy wrote:I spend 90 % of the time on the aero bars and appears to be caused at high intensity at lower cadences on hills etc"on the aero bars"


Are you climbing hills in the aero bars? :?
I don't have much hill climbing experience but suffered back pain on the bike for the first time when I climbed Donna Buang over Christmas. I had my hands on the hoods for most of the climb and ended with cramping type lower back pain by the end of the ride. I went back and did a double ascent a few days later and found by positioning my hands on the top of the bar (which I never use at home where it is flat) and sitting a bit more upright I had no back pain.
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Re: Lower back strain

Postby lethoso » Tue Mar 09, 2010 10:58 pm

Wayfarer wrote:i'd suggest deadlifts. we were learning about them in university today, and it'll give you better uphill power in your legs too! Perhaps core conditioning (planks and hovers are good) and better warm-ups will be useful too.


hyper-extensions and good mornings will also hit the back pretty well, along with dead lifts they reduced the back ache on longer rides for me.

weight training for better power in the hills is pretty dubious though, unless they are very little hills.
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Re: Lower back strain

Postby puffdaddy » Wed Mar 10, 2010 10:34 am

Yes I do lots of climbing on the aero bars,I like them feel comfortable and get good power down ,, Compared several times on the spin trainer ,My h/rate is the same if not better,Peek power is up and I can spin better,"best is 178 rpm at 96 kph on the hardest setting,I cannot achieve that sitting up,I feel this is only because I like the position and therefore have got used to it,I do not use the aero bars on the longer steep climbs like the Waitakere Ranges,or the Coromandel K/1 ,,K/2 hills,
cheers for all the good advice,, :)
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Re: Lower back strain

Postby puffdaddy » Wed Mar 10, 2010 10:49 am

toolonglegs ,,Dood you even make pink look an agro colour ;) love it :P
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Re: Lower back strain

Postby toolonglegs » Wed Mar 10, 2010 5:18 pm

I have a nice Tmobile t-shirt..given to me at the 2006 tour by one of the DS'...but I don't wear it.I am a kiwi farm boy at heart still :wink: .

Interesting what you say about climbing in the aero bars PD.I was the same last year...could hold nearly the same power as on the drops but I was so much more aero...my average speeds increased 3 or 4 kms per hour on my training rides.But in the end I think because I could push so hard for so long in that position that my body wasn't really strong enough to take it...and my hip area blew big time.6 months later I am still having problems...so not sure what I will do when TT season comes around again.Maybe I will try one ride a week on the aero bars a few months out and build up slowly.
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Re: Lower back strain

Postby Parrott » Wed Mar 10, 2010 8:32 pm

Did you move your seat forward a bit also to try and keep your hip angle open a bit. Our tt guru works a fair bit on his flexibility and I have started doing the same and modified my position as flexibility and core strength has improved.

I do a fair bit of riding on my tt bike and no way could I climb well on a steep grade for long on the aero bars, well definately not Donna anyway.
I think you'll find the pros will use their regular roadies on a hilly tt. I'm guessing it's because they are better for climbing because a tt bike is way faster on the flat.
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Re: Lower back strain

Postby puffdaddy » Thu Mar 11, 2010 10:49 am

I do not use the aero bars on extended steep climbs like the Waitakere ranges or the k1/k2 rides as I posted above,As for the bike setup ,,,its an interesting one,It took me literally months to get a good compromise between using the hoods and the aero bars ,5 seats later I am now comfortable either way however I biased the setup to suit the aero position as far as seat height ,fore/aft position etc,I can move 20 mm forward or back on my seat and still be comfortable"Tried a bunch of seats,,$$$" however when I am on the hoods and sitting back a little it effectively lifts the seat height and places me slightly behind the ideal "pedal spindle position" no major as when climbing steep cadence is not super high and it also brings the glutes into the equation which is good,An open hip angle is crucial for both comfort ,,performance and reducing injury,Also 170 mm cranks open up the hip angle a little and I have found spinning is easier ,I stayed in a fixed gear last night getting down to 32 rpm on some hills and up over 130 rpm on the downhills ,No problem with my back, :!: I feel this is because it was only a 50 km ride and fatigue in my back had not set in ,,Most important I am no lower on the aero bars than on the drops,But much rather be on the a/bars like toolonglegs ,,I am going to be a little careful that I do not cause injury after your "blow out" scenario,,if I had the $$$ I would simply purchase a 3rd bike ;)
Mike,,from NZ ,,,funny that :wink:
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Re: Lower back strain

Postby Orbea » Sat Mar 20, 2010 10:14 pm

Lower back strain tips:
-change your bike seat, handles etc setup for more comfortable position.
-Hit the gym: good mornings, deadlifts, hyperextentions, planks, bridges and other exercises to focus on your core and back and making them stronger.
-Have atleast 1 rest day. Everyone is human, and without rest to recover, the body will eventually breakdown.
-massage and rub the back with a good ointment to get the blood flowing through there to repair anything injured.

sorry if things seem abit vague I'm only a cycling newie but studying sport science.
hope that helped! =)
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