Yes, cycling is an excellent cardiovascular workout that will build your lower body strength. Since cycling is an enjoyable sport, more people are likely to stick with it as their exercise routine. Whether you choose stationary cycling, the safest option, or outdoor cycling, you will still engage the same muscles. The good thing about stationary cycling is that you won’t suffer bad weather and poor road conditions while exercising as you would when you cycle outdoors.
Although it’s pretty evident that stationary cycling strengthens the legs, it also needs a strong core and arms to maintain posture. Moreover, cycling enhances the heart and lungs. Cycling keeps your hips mobile, and this is important for the overall hip function and athletic performance.
The workout tones your abdominal and oblique muscles while engaging the back, legs, and hips muscles. Using a stationary bike to cycle will introduce a low-impact exercise that allows your hips to rotate externally. As you do so, the lower body stability improves, which also prevents hip pain and injuries. Moreover, this movement will lubricate your joints and reduce pain and stiffness.
Is Cycling Good Or Bad For Your Hips?
As a cardiovascular exercise, cycling pumps up the heart rate and makes you burn a good number of calories. Regular cycling will also improve your leg strength, and since it’s a fun sport, you can stick with it longer.
Most people turn to cycle exercise because it is easy on the joints, for instance, the knees. Compared to high-impact activities such as sprinting, cycling is gentler. You do not have to pound your joints on the ground, which can cause a lot of pain and injury in some cases.
Cycling also engages the hips a lot. As a result, many people wonder if the workout can cause repetitive motion injuries, damage the hips over time or exacerbate the existing hip pain. Therefore, before you start this workout, it is essential to research more about it and learn the facts about the sport.
Fitness And Safety Factors To Consider Before Cycling
Cycling Is Gentle On The Joints
Many athletes and workout enthusiasts turn to bike as they age, as the joints gently have the workout. Unlike most activities, including running, cycling is easy on the knees, hip joints, and ankles. If your doctor advises you to try out low-impact exercises if you have joint issues, you may want to consider cycling.
Cycling Will Promote Joint Health
Not only is cycling low impact, but it also actively benefits the joint, especially the knees. Every pedal stroke creates a motion that helps to strengthen the muscles supporting the knees. Moreover, it promotes lubricant production in the knees, which reduces pain.
Cycling May Cause Hip Pain
Different types of exercises suit different kinds of people. Every workout has its downsides and the potential to hurt you or make you experience pain. Although cycling is easy on the knees, your hips may suffer and cause pain to their body parts.
Many people spend too many hours daily sitting, which causes tight hip flexors. Your muscles may tighten since the cycling motion doesn’t allow your hips to open fully and extend. Cycling frequently will make the muscles get tighter, which will feel uncomfortable and trigger glute pain.
The hips also have a piriformis muscle which helps your legs move outward, and during cycling, this muscle is not worked or stretched. If the muscle is tight, you may experience significant pain, which may also trigger sciatica. If the hip pain worsens when cycling, the bursa in your hip joint gets inflamed, causing hip bursitis.
Therefore, cycling severally in a week or for longer distances at a time can cause overuse injuries because the ongoing repetitive movement of your hip joint will cause wear and tear and eventually lead to pain and damage.
What To Do If Cycling Is Causing Pain
If cycling is causing you hip pain, this does not mean that you should give up on exercising and workouts. Some particular exercises and stretches may provide relief. It is vital to strengthen specific muscles and do stretches that will elongate your tight muscles.
Since tight hips are associated with hip issues when cycling, you can benefit by stretching out your hips more often. Using a foam roller on the front of your hips will stretch out and open up your muscles. During cycling, you will underuse your piriformis, a small muscle behind your gluteus maximus, which may tighten and cause severe pain. Therefore, you can counteract this by doing targeted stretching and strength training, including glute bridges, clamshells, donkey kicks, banded hip abduction, and lateral steps.
Targeted workouts and stretches will help you cycle with little or no pain, but you will need the right bike fit. It is essential to know that poor movements form leads to injury or pain. If the bike fit is causing challenging hip motion, you will experience pain. Therefore, the best solution to strengthen your hips using cycling without experiencing pain is by getting a bike that fits your body. You can consult a cycling professional or physical therapist who will watch your pedal stroke while cycling and adjust things to guarantee proper hip motion.
If your movement during cycling is not optimal, a new fit may make a huge difference as a comprehensive fit eliminates and reduces pain while improving performance.
Finally, if cycling is your best workout, but you suffer hip pain, you will need to get enough rest to help your hips heal, grow and become stronger. You can mix up your workout regime with different types of workouts and include at least two days of strength training for your hips.
Does Cycling Result In Strong Hips?
Hips help to stabilize our bodies. Having solid hips can help reduce back pain and make it easy for you to exercise. Doing hip strengthening exercises such as cycling also helps to burn calories, tone your hips, thighs, and butt.
You do not need long hours of miserable exercise to strengthen the hips. Cycling is good enough to help you achieve the strong hips you require to look and feel good about yourself. In case of hip pain, you can try out targeted exercises and stretches to reduce the pain.