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Rider Fitness: Hips and Knees

In the saddle, we are directed to “sit up straight and pull your shoulders back.” Without proper body awareness, the physical translation of these instructions may result in lifted ribs, shoulder blades squeezed together, a forward tilt of the pelvis and excessive curve to the lower back. This is not a great position for a healthy pain-free body, balance, comfort or effective riding. Tension is created through the entire body, resulting in excessive wear on the joints over time and damage to the spine. As a culture, we sit too much and have other bad habits such as repetitive and limited patterns of movement. Sitting is essentially flexion of the hips and knees and compression of the spine. Habitual sitting and lack of movement in proper alignment is wreaking havoc on our bodies. Our muscles are short, tight and unyielding. Your foot position and body alignment while standing and walking have…

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