Triathletes and injuries go hand in hand. It’s a tough sport. We believe that overuse conditions in the themselves don’t actually exist. You are merely overusing your body in the current way it works – leading to pain and discomfort. If we can change the way your body works and make it more efficient then you can get a whole lot more mileage out of it.

We tend to see similar types of repeating movement patterns in the triathletes we see. Leading to injury and breakdown in different parts of the body. Here we show you how to avoid similar problems and stay fighting fit. If you do have a current issue that is stopping you from training then give us a call on 01273 921831 (or mail) and we’ll give you the short cuts to get back to training straight away.

Physio Stretch Indian Rotation 2
  • Indian Rotation

    The static posture of the thoracic (middle bit) spine for long periods on the bike has a lot to answer for. Especially during transition. This slightly awkward looking pose should help. Start sat on a chair facing forward arms across you chest. Now rotate you torso as far as you can to one side. Then put a side bend in – to leave you in the position as shown. Come out of the side bend part and then try to rotate further. You should notice you can now see further behind you. You can then repeat the side bend to go further. This is also particularly useful for any naughty lateral breathers out there on the swimming leg and for those who are weaker when breathing to one side.

Physio Brighton Half Moon
  • Half Moon

    This will stretch the obliques and the muscles above (intercostals) and below (gluteus medius) and possibly even you lats. The obliques can get overworked due to the rotation in front crawl but more of an issue in triathlon is the fact that they tighten as a compensation for weak quads. Usually as a result of endless miles on the bike. Try this stretch before and after a ride to see this in action! As such this is the first port of call for anyone with knee issues. Simply stand feet together with the arms outstretched above (think streamline position off the wall in swimming) and bend over to the side i.e. make like a half moon. I’ve yet to meet a triathlete who’s not stiff as a board on this one!

Triathlon Physio Brighton Adductor Stretch
  • Leg Pit

    It’s like an arm pit but in your leg! More importantly the “gap” between your quads and adductors houses the fermoral nerve which gives sensation in the knee. If we can make this nerve feel “happier” about life then you feel less pain in your knee. Simply stand side on to a sofa, wall, table (depending on what’s convenient and how flexible you are to start) and put you leg on it. Rotate your whole leg forwards to the point that your inside ankle bone is in contact with the surface. Then bend your other knee to drop down and get a stretch along the inside of the thigh.

Triathlon Physio Brighton Glute Stretch
  • Glutes

    So cycling gives you tight hamstrings is a given. But why? And how does that impact potential overuse injuries? Firstly, tension in the hamstrings will affect tension on the sciatic nerve which can in turn affect tension in the calves and into the plantar fascia increasing the risk of injury in these areas. So now why? Glutes do hip extension (pushing your leg backwards in plain English). What do you need to do to make a bike go forwards – hip extension. As a result the glutes get tired and look for help to do hip extension – which your hamstrings also do. To stretch sit on the floor with the side you are not stretching in front of you. Then place the foot of the side you are stretching on the floor on the outside of the opposite knee. Then hug your knee to the opposite side and rotate the side you are stretching. As shown in the picture.

Triathlon Physio Brighton Hamstring Stretch
  • Hamstrings

    You can prove to yourself the relationship between hamstring tightness and glute tightness by doing this stretch before and after the glute stretch above. It should work in the majority of cases. Simply place you foot on a table or something of a suitable height and lean forwards to increase the stretch. I’m sure you’re all seen this one. The subtle change however is the position of the foot. There are three hamstring muscles (not a lot of people know that!) and the foot position can isolate different ones. Start with the foot pointing straight up. Then try rotated outwards and then rotated inwards. See which one works best for you.

Triathlon Physio Calf Stretch
  • Calves

    So you’ve been sat on a bike for hours and then your expect you calves to get you round 10k, 13 or 26 miles. The least you could do is give them a bit of stretch! Again goes back to the glutes, if they are tired and tight your body needs to look for more spring from somewhere. After your hamstrings your calves are next in line. The standard stretch which I hope you all know is leaning against a wall with the heel down and your knee fully extended. Try bringing the foot forwards slightly and bending at the knee you may need to turn the foot inwards slightly when doing this as shown. This should stretch a different area in your calf.

So that’s it. We hope you found it useful. If you have any feed back we’d love to here from you. This list is not designed to be extensive but reflects the exercises that we’ve found to be most useful to triathletes over the last 14 years of treating them.

If you have a current injury or limitation that you would like to know what to do about then give us a call on 01273 921831 or mail and we’ll tell you about who our Progressive Phyisotherapy & Sports Therapy treatments can help short cut you back to full fitness. If you’d like to see more information on how our treatments have benefit other triathletes like yourself then please click here: Brighton and Hove Triathlon.