The Pregnancy Class Technique That Eliminates Sciatic Pain on a Bike

100 year athlete back pain sciatic Oct 03, 2023

Have you ever suffered low back pain or sciatic pain while pedaling a bike? It’s absolute hell. No matter what you stretch (not the solution) or how much you spend on bike fitting, that electric burning just doesn’t go away. But for Mark, a 40-year-old mountain, road, and cyclocross rider, we found a solution. 

For six months, Mark had suffered sciatic pain whenever he put power into the pedals. I was at a labor and delivery class with my wife, who’s expecting, when Mark came to mind.  

The instructor taught us that externally rotating the hips, like in a butterfly stretch, creates an opening at the top of the pelvis. That allows the baby to drop into the lower hips in preparation for delivery.

People who suffer sciatic pain usually experience it at the top of the pelvis, where the low back and hips meet. Maybe external rotation would take pressure off Mark’s sciatic nerve.  

Next time Mark trained at OTM, I put him through an external rotation pre-ride routine and sent him off on the bike. He felt no sciatic pain at all. Again and again, the 10-minute pre-ride routine eliminated his sciatic pain. 

Mark brought the pre-ride routine to a cyclocross race, where he took sixth place out of 18 in his division. “Today,” he texted me afterwards, “I just felt good from the outset on the bike. No low back pain, and I felt stable for most of the race. The ride was better than what I would have considered a good ride just a few weeks ago. This feels like crazy magic.”

If you suffer sciatic pain on the bike, try out some “crazy magic” for yourself. Do this pre-ride routine just before your next ride. Watch the linked videos to see how each movement is done.  

For the full story on Mark’s sciatic pain and the solution, listen to the podcast episode: Pre-Ride Routine: Eliminate Low Back / Sciatic Pain Before Your Next Ride.

The Routine

Butterfly PAILs

  • 30s Stretch
  • 30s PAILs
  • x3 Rounds

Box Stretch

  • 30s Stretch
  • 30s PAILs
  • x3 Rounds

Reactive Hamstring Kicks

  • 8s max effort kicks
  • 22s rest (total round is 30s)
  • x 6 rounds

Questions about the pre-ride routine or back pain? Book a consultation with us. We’ll talk through a game plan.