Lower Back Pain and Spin Class
The lower back is a common area to experience pain during and after spin class. Causes often include; improper form, tight hip flexors and/or improper bike setup. The first thing you want to correct is your form on the bike. When riding a stationary bike out of the saddle, it is important to keep your shoulders relaxed back and down and your chest open. Your arms should extend out to the ends of the handle bars while you pull your booty back over the saddle until it hovers one inch over. We recommend arriving to class a little early or staying a few minutes after to talk with your instructor about the specifics of your form and how you can improve it.
Often, lower back pain during or after a spin class is caused by tight hip flexors. Regular stretching is a crucial step in helping your low back stay pain free. Below are some hip flexor stretches you can try on your own.
*Note: When trying these stretches be careful not to push too far and stop if the lower back pain gets worse. If your low back pain gets worse or persists you should seek the advice of your doctor.
The Lunge Stretch: Bend your front knee into a low lunge and support yourself by placing your hands on your bent knee. Your other leg is extended straight behind you with support from the ball of your foot. You should feel a light stretch in the hip flexor of your straight leg. Hold this stretch for approximately 20-30 seconds and then repeat on the opposite side. See photo below.
Low Lunge Stretch: In this stretch, you will want to start with the Lunge Stretch then gently lower your back knee to the ground. If you feel comfortable there, you can bend your body forward over your front knee until you can place your forearms on the ground. Hold this stretch for approximately 20-30 seconds and then repeat on the other side. See photo below.
Hip Flexor Stretch Using a Foam Roller: Lying on your back, place the foam roller underneath your booty. Then keeping one leg extended forward, you will pull the opposite knee into your chest until you feel a stretch. Careful not to go too far. Hold for approximately 20-30 seconds and then repeat on the other side. See photo below.
Butterfly Stretch: Sitting on the floor, bring the bottom of both of your feet together. Then let your knees open to each side until you feel a stretch. If you need more of a stretch you can gently press on your knees using your hands. See photo below.
Another cause of low back pain in spin class can be improper bike settings. We recommend arriving to class a little early to talk with either your instructor or front desk staff to make sure your bike settings are working for you. Every studio uses different bikes and each bike may need to be set up in a slightly different way so it is important to check with your studios experts for the perfect fit. It is amazing how often just a one notch adjustment can change the way you ride.
Remember it is important that if your pain gets worse or persists you should seek the advice of your doctor.