Are there any specific stretches or strength training exercises I can try to reduce the back pain I experience during and after my cycling workouts?
Back pain while cycling is very common, estimated to occur in 30 to 50 percent of all riders, and generally a result of a combination of poor flexibility, inadequate core strength, and bike fit/riding style. Specific lower extremity stretches should include the hamstrings, quads, hip flexors, and calves to increase joint mobility while basic back stretches such as single or double knee to chest and prone press ups should also be included. As far as strength training exercises, I would highly recommend planks, pilates, kettlebell workouts, and yoga as viable options for anyone looking to strengthen their core. Prolonged static positioning of your spine while cycling can be an irritant for even healthy backs, so I would also recommend periodically alternating between sitting and standing positions or at least changing your posture every 15 minutes (if you sit upright then lean forward for a few seconds, if you ride leaning forward then sit upright for a few seconds). If you take these steps and continue to experience back discomfort, make sure that your seat is not too high, handlebar too low, or seat too far back.