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Workouts Gone Wrong: Ways to Injury-Proof Your Sweat Sessions

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Indoor Cycling

Active Threat: Knee and pelvic pain

Because it's low impact, indoor cycling is one workout that rarely sends patients limping into doctors' offices. The main danger is a knee injury; this type of cycling triples the risk of suffering one, a study in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports found. Knee joints repeatedly flex and extend during pedaling. If a kneecap doesn't track just right in its groove, patellofemoral pain syndrome, or runner's knee, can occur, explains Edward Laskowski, MD, the codirector of the Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center in Rochester, Minnesota. "But as long as you set up your bike in the right position, you should stay pain-free," he says.

That's advice Jacqueline Farrell Fish, 40, of Washington Township, New Jersey, wishes she had gotten. She furiously pedaled through an entire class with her seat too high -- and tore her quads. "It took almost a year for them to heal completely," she says.

Errors in saddling up can also strain your back, neck, and shoulder muscles, and even your pelvis. If your handlebars are too low, your pelvis is forced to tilt toward the seat, resulting in pain and even numbness, a recent study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found.

Workout Rescue: Follow this bike setup advice from Lauren Bruker, an indoor-cycling instructor for SoulCycle in New York City.

  1. Stand alongside the bike, facing the handlebars, and raise your knee 90 degrees. The seat height should be level with the spot where your thigh meets your hip.
  2. Adjust the distance from the front tip of the seat to the handlebars so that it's the length of your forearm.
  3. Set the handlebars level with the seat.
  4. Get on and start pedaling slowly. Any soreness in your back or knees is a sign that you need to readjust.

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tomscotto wrote:

As a certified cycling coach, trained bike fit/biomechanics specialist, and master indoor cycling instructor, it constantly disturbs me when non-qualified individuals are asked to provide a solution (Workout Rescue). Giving general and incorrect advice is unprofessional and irresponsible. Please maintain your creditability and integrity by using qualified people to add value to your informative articles.

10/2/2013 09:53:57 AM Report Abuse
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8/6/2013 07:10:36 AM Report Abuse
lilshippo16 wrote:

wow this article really makes you think. Im 21 years old and sometimes I know with my age I get over zealous and push way to hard. Some days its ok an i bounce but there are times when I really feel it. This is a good reminder that were not invisible no matter how in shape your in

7/19/2013 02:42:01 PM Report Abuse
beautifulbooks wrote:

Great article! Thank you so much. I'm a 56 year old lady that likes to fit and UNINJURED! This is incredible wisdom for all! God Bless You all in your mission to keep us fit ahd healthy.

7/17/2013 11:57:58 AM Report Abuse
jasmine_clare wrote:

This article is great. I just started back at the gym and already hurt myself. I wish I had read this two weeks ago. The information about Yoga, bicycling, and free weight lifting is very helpful to me. I took notes in my phone and will be taking it with me to the gym. -Jasmine

7/17/2013 11:54:33 AM Report Abuse

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