Bike and Body: FiTTE to Last a Lifetime

In Training and Fitness by Gina Poertner, CHESLeave a Comment

Many questions come my way asking how and why a bicycle positioning session (fitting) is important to cycling performance.  Immediate performance is only part of the equation.  The other part has a direct effect on your health and long-term abilities as an athlete.

Think of it this way:  The engine (body) drives the machine (bike).  If the engine is not in tune — positioned properly to function properly — the machine does not reach its potential and energy is wasted.  Imagine the disaster of putting all of your money into your car’s paint job but never changing the oil.

Experiencing knee pain, numbness or burning in the feet or hands, pain or fatigue in the low back, neck or shoulders, or discomfort from the saddle signals that you are in an unhealthy and inefficient cycling position. These issues can lead to permanent injury and nerve damage if left unaddressed.  As we age, even small compromises in neuromuscular function over time can add up to significant decrease in strength and ability in our later years. A couple hundred miles and a few thousand pedal-strokes per week takes its toll.

Through training we are working to make the body function at its full potential. Put that well-trained body into an incorrect, inefficient position and what happens? At best, reduced efficiency that will slow you down. At worst, chronic to debilitating injury that could take you off the bike. A correct, efficient position leads to improved recovery because the muscles can work as they are intended, and the core is positioned for optimum support, circulation, and respiration. Proper function and technique can only be achieved through proper positioning. Correct positioning begins by evaluating strength, flexibility, symmetry, riding style/purpose, and addressing any physical issues such as injury or structural anomalies. Each individual has a unique ideal riding position, no cookie-cutter measurement charts will suffice in optimizing performance.

Until you are in your own physiologically correct riding position, even the best components have limited effect on your performance. At Life Balance Sports we see more significant improvement with a  PowerFiTTE positioning than with an expensive set of aero wheels. PowerFiTTE is a healthy, cost-effective upgrade for your bike and most importantly, your body.

Gina Poertner, CHES

Gina Poertner, CHES is the owner of Life Balance Sports who specializes in bicycle fitting and positioning, Myofascial Compression Therapy, and adapted sports. Gina coaches cyclists, triathletes, and track & field athletes at all levels of ability from beginner to elite. Gina’s expertise in sports physiology coupled with her detailed approach to bike fitting and coaching has given her athletes success across the US and Europe.

Gina is a Certified Health Education Specialist focusing on exercise physiology and sports nutrition. As an Intern at Wesley Medical Center in Wichita, Kansas, Gina studied under orthopedic surgeon Dr. Charles Henning while serving as Athletic Trainer for Wichita Southeast High School and studying physiology at Wichita State University. She has authored and co-authored a variety of training and nutrition articles for Pez Cycling News, Ironman.com, LAVA Magazine, and Prologue Cycling Magazine.

Gina has served on the sports medicine staffs of AAU Junior Olympics, National Gymnastics Championships, National Indoor Track & Field Championships, and individual world class, Olympic, and professional athletes. She is also a Certified Official for USA Track & Field and USA Cycling and continues to officiate local, national and international events.

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