For Instructors Spinning

tail bone woes

Most people acclimate to getting on a Spinning® bike fairly quickly. They'll complain about soreness in their bum maybe the first few times, but with an instructor who coaches them into appropriate gear setting (pressing down, lightens the load...one of the other bloggers recently mentioned that) and with a little practice, we soon forget our first few rides. Having said that, I wanted to draw our attention specifically to our little tail bone. Most spines have several natural curves that help stack the spine - you can visualize it - little curve out below the neck, little curve in at the lower back. Some people have more pronounced curvatures and some less (I once had a PT client who had 7vertebrae fused - can you imagine how limiting that would be?) and some people have the curves to the side (scoliosis - at varying degrees of severity.) But for most people the tail bone curves slightly inward and is pretty sensitive. I write this with the tender tush I earned on my off road ride yesterday. It is fine, unless I move and reposition some weight on it. yow! It's the price I pay as I learn better skills at using my mtn bike on textured terrain. One thing that is happening to us as a species is that we're sitting a lot more than we're designed to do and our "tail bones" are tucking under. I have no science to back me up on this - just go with me here.... As we get fatter, as a people, our bellies pooch which puts strain on the lower back. To compensate, we tuck our tail, rather than lose the weight or tighten the abs. So when more "deconditioned" people climb up on their Spinning® bike, and set the bikes themselves, they are used to this pressure on their tucked tail bone. The design of the seat however is to let the tailbone be free of this pressure. One visual I use is that the tail of the rider (yah, I know...) needs to drape over the back wheel (I know this too...) of the Spinning® bike. We still want integrity in the lower back - we don't want to sway, but freeing the tailbone will keep the pressure of the expression of the pedaling energy from sitting in the low back. There will be movement, not lock down. Imagine several things happening to a new Spinning® client: Not enough gear, seat maybe too high and too close, plus this tail tucking habit. No wonder they're sore. The points of contact on the bike are at the feet, the hands and the base of the hip bones (sit bones/ischial tuberosity).... I never feel discomfort on my road bike or my Spinning® bike. I'm currently working out why my tail bone takes such a bashing - I'm sure it is a mix of problems - bumpy roads/trails, saddle size and my own coordination to protect such a tender bone.....ouch! Helping people work out what the problem is is an investment in their longevity with the Spinning® program.....
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