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Scott HeadshotScott Benjamin, PT, DScPT regularly contributes articles on bicycle-related physical therapy to the Michigan Bicyclist Magazine.

Dr. Benjamin received his undergraduate training from the Michigan Technological University in 1982 and his physical therapy BSc program from the University of Illinois at Chicago. His graduate work was completed at the University of Maryland. He is presently co-author of two books; Artificial Disc Replacement: Post-Surgical Rehabilitation for the Lumbar Spine and also the Cram Session on the Muscular System; an evidenced-based guide to real-life situations. He has authored papers on TDA, multifidus isolation, prolotherapy, lateral epicondylitis, modalities, isokinetic testing and aquatic therapy. Scott teaches continuing education courses nationally and his areas of interests are biomechanics of the spine, lumbar muscle function, sacroiliac joint, manual therapy and rehabilitation.

Keep the focus on the springtime and prepare now when it is cold and snowy outside

Exercise packet to accompany this article can be found here.

Kind of a catchy title for an article but we are all excited for spring if you are a biker and want to ride.  Of course many of us can ride in the winter with the correct gear and the correct biking equipment.  As a spinal therapist, I focus a lot on how the spine works and what will make it work better and most of all, how can you get it stronger.  This edition will give you the exercises to do now, so that you can be ready for the April thaw and May excitement when riding is just around the corner. 

So why do we workout?
Coming from an old hockey player, this is a weird question to ask, but one may ask; if I ride, why do I need to do any extra exercise?  You can think about it in this light; if you do not preload or workout the muscle, you will never know what you can accomplish or how hard you can push yourself.  The overall effect is being prepared.  Training during the winter to be ready by spring time is a good idea that will keep your body in shape as well as your mind.  We are not all going to train as hard as Lance did or even work to get as fast as Mark Cavendish, but we can keep our legs, hips, and trunk in shape.

Where to begin:
The organization of this editions exercise packet will begin with strength work on the deep muscles of your belly.  Remember when working on this activity you can do so in sitting, standing or in the quadruped position.  When you are riding or bent over for long periods, a good thing to do is to practice this activity. 
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Keep the winter months rolling as if spring were just around the corner!

“How sublime to look down on the workhouse of nature, to see her clouds, hail, snow, rain, thunder, all fabricated at our feet!”
— Thomas Jefferson

Now that winter is here, we are probably all thinking either about how to stay warm or about going to a warm place.  We also may be thinking about biking, where to do it, and what to do to keep in shape during the winter months.  Winter is not the time to eat a lot of food and gain 10 pounds while waiting for spring.  We need to work in winter to keep our bodies strong, and work out hard so that we don’t waste the spring getting ready for summer.  But, we may be asking ourselves, what exercises should we do in the winter?

As we have mentioned before, your legs are powered by your spinal nerves.  This gives you the ability to work out more intensely and get ready for biking season.  If your job requires a lot of sitting and you find your low back, or even your gluteal region, is aching, you need to think about what exercises will keep you in shape.

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