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3 Exercises to Decrease Pelvic Pain with Cycling

Updated: Jul 13, 2023

You don't have to have pelvic pain with cycling. It is possible to cycle pain free. If you never have had no pain with cycling that seems impossible, I know, but once you cycle without pain you will wonder why you never knew this was possible before.

I have worked with many cyclists in my practice and there are some common themes I see in the way they move if they have pelvic pain with cycling and these are the 3 most common exercises I give people to decrease pelvic pain with cycling.

Spine Stiffness Creating Pelvic Pain on the Bike

The most common thing I see is they are not flexible in their spine. If the spine is not flexible, then whatever movement the spine cannot do, gets translated down to the pelvis.

When that pelvis is sitting on a saddle to cycle for long distances, then that can create friction and pain in the pelvis.

The first thing I look at and have my cyclists work on is spinal mobility. Cat-cow is one exercise I have cyclists work on often.

Hip Flexor Tightness Creating Pelvic Pain on the Bike

The next most common thing I see is limited hip mobility. The hip needs to be able to flex and move a lot in order to get the pedal around each revolution. Limitations in hip mobility will translate to the pelvis again having to make up for lack of movement in the hip.

This may seem counterintuitive but often the hip flexors are tight and when we stretch tight hip flexors they just get irritated. I have my clients work on relaxing their hip flexors instead with hugging their knee to chest and letting the leg relax.

Sometimes these hip flexor muscles are overly active and they need to be reminded how to relax and turn off rather than being stretched.

Core Weakness Creating Pelvic Pain On the Bike

The last thing I look for in my patients is core stability/strength and trunk control. Most of my athletes are really fit and strong, however even a little instability or asymmetry in trunk control over many miles and hours of riding can again translate down into friction of the pelvis and create pelvic pain while cycling.

I also notice that most of my cyclists, triathletes and endurance athletes, aren't cross training. They spend all their time on their sport. Cross training is good for every athlete so that these small asymmetries don't become a bigger issue and the body will have balance in the muscles for longevity.

Here's one exercise I like for core stability. Sit ups aren't bad but they aren't my favorite. Same thing with planks; they're ok but there are better exercises. I like the deadbug exercise because you need to control your core while moving your limbs, much like what happens on a bike.

How Do I Learn How to Not Have Pelvic Pain While Cycling?

Since I have had so many cyclists with pelvic pain and so much traffic to my blogs on cycling, I decided to create an online exercise program specifically for cyclists and more specifically designed to decrease pelvic pain with cycling.

Here's a preview of the course.

The course goes more in depth with exercise videos for each of the three areas that I mentioned above: spinal mobility, hip mobility and core stability.

You can get the course here.

I want cycling to be enjoyable for a long time. It is a great sport and a great form of exercise that can be a lifelong activity, and I want people to feel good while they cycle.

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