On 14th March 2019 the Putney Clinic hosted a very well attended talk on Cycling – Injury Prevention & Boosting Performance. One of the speakers was Nicole Oh, physiotherapist, who has recently joined the team at the Putney Clinic of Physical Therapy. Nicole is a competitive road racer herself as well as specialising in Cycling Physiotherapy, with extensive knowledge and experience in treating cyclists and triathletes of all levels and abilities. Read Nicole’s full bio.

Nicole focused her talk on key exercises that cover both injury prevention and injury rehab for cyclists and she shares her presentation below:

Lumbopelvic neutral / hip dissociation

Cyclists need the ability to flex and extend the hip whilst maintaining a stable, neutral spine/pelvic position. Good proprioception is needed.

Recommended exercises:

  • Waiter’s bow
  • Pelvic tilting in 4 point kneel, lean forwards
  • Sitting on gym ball, leg lift
  • Bent over row




Hamstring (or posterior chain) tightness

If you have hamstring tightness this will limit the amount of trunk flexion that can be achieved without being pulled into posterior pelvic tilt which will increase flexion load on the lumber spine. It also limits glute recruitment and an aerodynamic position. The whole posterior chain includes hamstrings, glutes, hip capsule and the sciatic nerve.

Recommended exercises:

  • Romanian dead lift
  • Downward dog stretch
  • Static stretches
  • Neural mobility – slump, SLR



Single leg stability

Prevent excessive pelvic rocking, rotational control of the knee, lateral stabilisers of the hip (glute med).

Recommended exercises:

  • Wall-ball
  • Single leg squat – assisted with TRX (glute dominant)
  • Single leg RDL or bent over row
  • Running man
  • Theraband exercises in side lying



Trunk / Core stability

Spinal and pelvic stability / support spinal joints, efficient power transfer.

Recommended exercises:

  • Superman
  • Plank – dynamic variation
  • Side plank
  • Yoga plank
  • Pavlov press




Target the main power muscles of cycling (glutes and quads but also hamstring co-contraction) in functional, cycle-specific movements. This requires greater motor control and core/trunk control than machine weights.

Recommended exercises:

  • Dead lift
  • Squat
  • Bulgarian split squat




Hip flexor tightness

Chronically working in a shortened position causes hip flexor tightness which needs to be overcome through exercises.

Recommended exercises:

  • Static lunge stretch
  • Pigeon pose
  • Walking lunges



Thoracic spine mobility

Issues with thoracic spine mobility cause chronic rounded upper back posture – stiffness, scapular stabilisers not in an ideal position and therefore hard to recruit resulting in neck and shoulder pain.

Recommended exercises:

  • Extension over foam roller
  • Thread the needle



Here are more details on the Physiotherapy Services at the Putney Clinic and on Sports Injury Medicine. Nicole can also be contacted directly and you can book an appointment with her online.

Nicole can also be found on Twitter @pelotonphysio and online: www.pelotonphysiotherapy.co.uk