Tag Archives: Cycling Exercise

Do you have wrist pain or finger numbness while cycling?

Dealing with pain areas while cycling can be tough. This article is specific about dealing with pain in your wrist while cycling. Wrist pain while cycling is very common and most of the cyclists that I meet have gone through this at some point in time. Some like me also encounter handlebar palsy, which relates to your fingers going numb. The first time when my fingers got numb while cycling was actually funny. Never experienced it before. This was on my 300 KM brevet ride.

Let us get to the bottom of it.

This started happening to me when I got into brevet races. The 200 KM brevet was fine and was less tiring for my hands. However, in further races numbness crept in. Especially in my middle finger, ring finger, and pinky.

Now, this was new to me so I relaxed for a few minutes took a break, and then started again. Just because of this numbness that I was going through I took more breaks than usual in my brevet.

I knew about the saddle soreness and back pain while cycling, as I wrote about them and I knew how to counteract them. However, for this numbness, I had no clue how to make it go away.

So before we get to the ways to prevent this let us understand what exactly is this?

Handlebar palsy

Handlebar palsy causes a lot of discomfort when on long rides. PC: Trilok Provelo

For people who might be wondering what is the meaning of palsy, here is the definition.

Definition of “Palsy” as in Merriam Webster

This article has a lot of inputs from a lot of doctors as well from the cycling community, so here is what they have to say about handlebar palsy.

Fingers numb while cycling is a result of compression of Ulnar nerve, hence it is also called as Ulnar palsy.

This is caused due to compression or hyperextension of the Ulnar nerve which enervates  your fingers. This tends to cause a state of numbness in your fingers.

Ulnar nerve in your hand which causes this palsy

Hand pain while cycling is very common especially with cyclists riding long distances on the flat handlebar or on the drops.

If you have this quite often our team of doctors who are also cyclists would advise you to take immediate medical help.

This can cause problems in hand movement in the future if not taken care of and it does take a lot of time to get resolved.

However, we would be discussing few measures that you can take to counteract this while on your ride.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Let us look at the diagram that I shared earlier. If you notice there are two nerves that are mentioned. The one we talked about was the Ulnar nerve. The second one in discussion here is the Median nerve.

Median nerve just on the left of Ulnar nerve

The syndrome mentioned above in the heading is caused by compression of Median nerve which in turn leads to hand pain while cycling.

This is characterized by numbness or tingling in the fingers and with me it especially happens in the ring and middle finger.

If you encounter this please seek medical help. This palsy will not only put you in an uncomfortable position but also will have an effect on your performance.

Wrist pain while cycling? Not to worry. Let us look at the preventive measures

1. A good bike fit

I would be honest with you all. This is the cause of everything that happens bad when you are on a bike when it comes to pain and aches.

I wrote an article about back pain when your are cycling long distances, check this article out. I have explained in detail about the bit fit which needs to be done.

One of the prime reasons for wrist pain while cycling is putting too much weight of your body on the handlebar.

Just imagine the amount of weight that your hand can actually hold vs the weight that you are putting on your wrist due to poor bike fit.

So no more low handlebar, bad stem height, high saddle post and no smaller or larger frames. Get a proper bike fit done and then ride.

2. Wrist pain while cycling due to poor quality of bar tape

This does have a great effect on getting the pressure off your hands. It might sound a minor trick and you might think that it might not have that great effect in increasing the pain in hands while cycling, but it’s the other way around.

I rode on my bike with a cheap bar tape that was company fitted. Then I got it changed to expensive but very comfortable bar tape.

Yes, it made a lot of difference, my rides were more comfortable and pain in hands while cycling was almost gone.

I have seen some professional cyclists putting gel and double bar taping on handlebars, it does again makes a difference as per them. This is what a professional rider Trilok had to say.

3. Padded gloves are a must

New riders might not invest in gloves, however, gloves does help in reducing pain in hands while cycling.

The functionality of gloves is to protect your hands in case you fall from your bike.

However, the padded gloves reduce the pressure which comes directly on your Ulnar nerve. This in turns reduces the pain in hands while cycling.

Especially if you find your fingers getting numb while cycling a good quality padded glove will help you. So I would advise you to invest in getting good quality gloves and none of that cheap quality stuff.

4 .Keep shifting your hand position

I always do this and it helps. Sometime I don’t even grab the handle bar when riding I just tuck my hands in my jersey and just pedal.

With practice I am sure a lot of cyclists might be riding without even need to grab the handle bar on an empty straight road.

When talking about road bikes, I usually change my hand positions to drops, or hood or top. Sometimes changing the hand position also depends on the kind of track/road you are riding.

So just keep changing your hand positions and you will be fine.

5. Relax your hands and body

I have seen some cyclists holding the handlebar and drop as if they are taking out their frustration. I know at inclines you might grip your handlebars a little too tight but a nice way of climbing incline would be resting your hands on the handle or bar top.

This reduces the extra pressure on your wrist.

Do not grip the handle hard rather keep the grip relax. Also, try to keep your upper body relax too.

Reducing wrist pain while cycling in a nutshell

Handlebar palsy or numbness can really be annoying when riding long distances. However, if you keep in mind the above mentioned 5 tricks you would enjoy your ride without hiccups.

If still your fingers are getting numb while cycling I would recommend to seek immediate medical help. If you have any questions related to this article please drop them in the comments below.

I will try to answer and attend your comment as soon as possible. Happy riding folks!

Squats Day With Merida Big 7

I woke up today at 5 AM. The first 20 seconds of me opening my eyes and coming back to the real world were tough. A part of my brain tells me that dreamland was much better and advised my body to get back to bed. I had other plans in my mind. Today was Squats day! Indeed an amazing exercise that is a part of every athlete around the world. This exercise has been ruling the fitness world for ages.

Upon reaching Nahargarh which is my favorite spot to have breakfast in the morning, I had already clocked 28 KM’s.

Squats History

We all have been squatting from our birth. Now ain’t that the truth! We Indians were squatting all our life, until the time modern age came flushing us down to the lazy hole. Yeah, you’re guessing all right. In a few nations, not exclusively do they keep on sitting in a full squat (once in a while called a “third world squat”), however as opposed to sitting for crap, they squat over it.

Misconception

Everybody who does not squat think that this majorly a leg exercise. To be quite honest it is, however it does target other muscles in the body as well. Being a compound movement, i.e. it uses more than one joint to (Knee’s and Hip) to complete. You use a weight like dumbells and this monster movement works out all major muscles in your body and not just your legs. In short, squats are great and they burn fat a lot faster than any other exercise”

Let The Squats Begin

The place where I do my workout is amazing, you can practically see the panoramic view of the pink city. Mountains on one side and city on the other, the view is enough to motivate you. Let me list down 8 terrific gains from this exercise to make you understand it’s importance.

  1. Squats build your quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves muscles. When you do squats properly it triggers the release of testosterone which is vital for muscle growth.
  2. It makes your body terribly well balanced and with strong muscles, these gains ads on to your overall body performance making your body more effective in real-world situations.
  3. It burns a hell lot of fat, yes and exactly because of this reason this is my favorite exercise. For every pound of muscle gained, you are going to burn 50-70 calories more per day.
  4. As you grow older this exercise id best to keep that strength in your legs to pedal more and longer. Also, they work out your core, stabilize muscles and keep your body balanced.
  5. Weak muscles, ligaments connective tissues results in injury. Squats make these important components of your body stronger thereby reducing the risk of any injury.
  6. As a result of squats, you will run longer, jump faster and pedal more as your leg muscles will be strong. So it has a direct effect on your sports performance. Do Squats!
  7. This exercise will tone your back, abs, and entire body. Doing squats daily showed results which led to a stronger back and a stronger core.
  8. These help in improved movement of feces and regular bowel movement which leads to the elimination of waste. This keeps your body waste free.

How To Do Squats Properly

Now let’s take a look at how to perform this exercise without getting injured.

  1. Do a little warm up, this can include knee raises, running in place, butt kicks, mountain climbers & leg swings. That’s what I do before punishing my legs.
  2. Stand firm with your legs just over shoulder width apart.
  3. Keep your back in a neutral position and knees centered over your feet.
  4. Now bend your knees, hip ankle to take your body lower until you get a 90-degree angle.
  5. Now return to the standing position and repeat 20 times. (Do 2-3 Reps)

Important Tip: Breathing should be rhythmic and is very important. Breathe in as you lower your body and breathe out when you return to starting position”

Added A Little More Resistance

Now what I did was, that I added a 15 KG’s weight while doing squats. My Merida Big 7 weighs a little over 14 KGs. This was enough resistance for me, and I added the same to my squats exercise. It was a little tough, but hey as well know “no pain no gain”. Now you gonna have to properly hold your bike over your head. This is a little risky so, please only try squats if you can hold your bike effectively over your head without any problems. I would also let you know the correct procedure to hold your bike above your head. Check out the video that I made for squatting with a cycle. The link is below!

Squats are fantastic!

After reading this post, you must have got the point that I was trying to make. Include squats in your daily fitness regime to get a stronger body. Reduce fat like a pro and get that toned body that you deserve. All you have to do now is start squatting.

Video On Squats

As you all by now know how I make daily Vlogs, here is what I made for my squat routine. This video is uploaded to my YouTube channel, sharing a link on this page.

If you like the video, give a thumbs up on YouTube and share it with your friends. Any questions please leave them at the end of the page. I will get back to you on your queries.

Increase Lung Capacity

Do This One Exercise Daily To Increase Lung Capacity

After I took cycling as one of the inseparable activities of my daily schedule, I have changed a lot. My stamina has increased phenomenally. Now that I have decided that this year, I will do the Ladakh cycle tour, I need to Increase Lung Capacity to an extent that I do not feel breathless at that unforgiving terrain. In this article, I will share a simple breathing exercise to increase your lung capacity.

I now cycle 3 days a week and run for 3 days a week. That’s how I am developing my stamina for this epic life experience this year. Some of you might wonder why am I cycling to Nahargarh almost every day? This is exactly the reason, can’t take off Ladakh from my mind.

Important Tip Before We Begin

Yes, it’s important to breathe correctly, if you don’t there are some major repercussions. Most of you breathe through your mouth, which is not correct. Breathing should be done by the nose, and let me jot down the benefits of it below.

  • When you breathe through the nose, the hairs that line your nostrils, filter out any dust or dirt particles. These particles are harmful to the lungs. My breathing through mouth no such filtration occurs and hence the damage to your lungs.
  • One more important thing happens when you breathe through your nose. The correct level of oxygen and carbon dioxide is maintained. Unlike when you breathe through the mouth, there is a disbalance of oxygen and carbon dioxide which leads to hyperventilation. (Heavy and fast breathing)

The Exercise To Increase Lung Capacity

This exercise which I am going to demonstrate has worked magic for me. I just do this one exercise daily, and I have seen phenomenal results. You can do this exercise while standing up or sitting down. I am going to elaborate on the points mentioned below.

  1. Stand upright with your back arched
  2. Exhale all the air from your lungs, you can exhale through the mouth, that’s ok.
  3. Breathe in slowly through your nose, filling your lungs as much as possible.
  4. Now you need to hold your breath for at least 10 seconds or more, depends on your capacity.
  5. Slowly exhale through your nose.

If you do this simple breathing exercise daily, and at least 20 to 30 times, you will see a substantial Increase in Lung Capacity. Let me show you how it’s done, please have a look at the video below. This video is available on my YouTube channel.

If you have any questions related to this article, please leave them at the end of the page.

Check out my article on calisthenics workout for beginners.