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  1. #1
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    silver bullets to increase neck/shoulder/upper back endurance? (crosspost)

    I'm interested in increasing my stamina and comfort for long rides in this area. I'm quite familiar with general weight lifting and strength training principles but I'm wondering if some lucky forum reader discovered an exercise that really increased their comfort and endurance in this area. 58 year male, 175 lbs, FS 29er (not sure that any of that matters!). Thanks. Chris.

  2. #2
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    Shoulder and neck fatigue have become a real issue for me past few years. Planks and supermans helped. And consider raising your bars if they're more than a cm or two lower than your saddle...

  3. #3
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    Yes, Planks. They seem to help which only makes sense because you are strengthening your body to stay in a rigid but ergonomically friendly position for an extended period of time. I try and do a 3 minute plank a least a few times a week.

  4. #4
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    If you have serious neck and shoulder fatigue, perhaps you need to learn to selectively relax those sets of muscles as you ride. I'm 64, on a FS 27.5 in Utah. I don't do much in the way of strength training and I never really find those muscle groups getting tired. It's very unlikely that I'm stronger than you.

  5. #5
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    Do you think your issues could be compounded by other things ? Like biking form (looking down instead of ahead), too tight grip on bars, heavy or ill-fitting backpack, not a great mattress/pillow, or sitting at a desk on a computer all day. All these things can make the upper body quite tight and then manifests itself on rides.

    Regular foam rolling, experimenting with chair height/angle, trying to keep the backpack as light as possible, regular stretch breaks.

    Also, I think good riding form depends a ton on core strength (Core strength not AB strength by which I mean abs, back, glutes, all those little hip muscles). Your core is doing a ton of work to stabilize and align your hips and your chest/shoulder girdle. There's lots of core strength exercises
    F*ck Cancer

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    Masterís swimming at your local pool?

  7. #7
    Don't worry, be happy!
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    I have added in a ton of shoulder and thoracic mobility work to open up the chest area. This has helped me immensely. I do lot of upper body stability and strength work too.

  8. #8
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    Check your fit on the bike by having an expert look at it.
    And get a set of "TRX" type suspension straps, lots of cheaper copies on amazon, use them for planks with hands or feet in the straps, the plank is incredible for core strength but the instability of the straps makes it that much better for your core.
    Worked for me anyway, your mileage may vary.


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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjcrawford View Post
    <<SNIP>>
    you are strengthening your body to stay in a rigid but ergonomically friendly position for an extended period of time. <<snip>>.
    a) Cockpit adjustments
    b) Let your arms flex a bit as you ride

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclelicious View Post
    heavy or ill-fitting backpack,
    This. I'm finding other places on my bike to put stuff I used to put in my CamelBak. In winter, I just use a water bottle for rides.
    The best defense against bullsh*t is vigilance. If you smell something, say something.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjcrawford View Post
    I'm interested in increasing my stamina and comfort for long rides in this area. I'm quite familiar with general weight lifting and strength training principles but I'm wondering if some lucky forum reader discovered an exercise that really increased their comfort and endurance in this area. 58 year male, 175 lbs, FS 29er (not sure that any of that matters!). Thanks. Chris.
    Today wraps up the end of week #10 of a 12 week LW Coaching.com training plan that I have been following that called for a lot more volume - especially on long weekend rides - than I have done in the past.

    Week #10 of the LW Coaching Masters 50 Mile Mountain Bike Race Personal Record Training Plan.

    Outside of what everyone else has mentioned of proper bike fit, being dynamic - yet relaxed - on the bike (no death grip), off the bike core work, I would add the weight lifting work to stabilize everything as well. To be totally honest, on the bike work for longer durations is what is really going to cure it.

    The sheer act of sitting on the bike for those back to back weekend 3, 4, and 5 hour rides over the past 10 weeks has actually increased my comfort and stamina on the long rides. Neck, shoulders, back all feel good as a result of the weeks of work I have just put myself through. 2 hour rides now feel barely even like a warm up. 3 hour rides feel like I didn't do enough. 4 hour rides go by quickly and leave me wanting for a bit more. 5 hour rides feel just about right. I never thought I would say that!

    Go long, and go hard. The body's stamina and comfort will increase and adjust as a result.

    If you can swing the cost of a good massage every 2 weeks or so, you would be amazed at how that keeps things in good standing during the riding/training season as well.

  13. #13
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    I recently took up aerobic kickboxing classes. Cleared up pains I was having in my hips, back, etc. Shoulders and arms are stronger too. Best thing I've done in a while.
    I like turtles

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