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Five ways to reduce your risk of over-use injury on the bike

3. Lengthen the hamstrings

Picture a bow and arrow.

“If you imagine that the knee is the bow, and the hamstrings are the string,” Meininger said, “You can imagine that the quadriceps and the kneecap have to fight against a tight hamstring… and if you have a really tight hamstring, [the knee] never wants to go quite straight.”

Chronically tight hamstrings, according to Meininger, increase strain on the knee and the long-term workload of the quadriceps, which can lead to thinning of the cartilage within the knee (patellofemoral syndrome) or inflammation of the patellar tendon (patellar tendonitis) below the quadriceps.

Additionally, “the hamstrings are intimately related with the IT band,” he said.

Therefore, the “common overuse syndromes in cyclists, like [frontal] knee pain, patellar tendonitis, patellofemoral syndrome, and IT band syndrome,” Meininger said, “you can conquer all of those with simple things like… abductor strengthening and hamstring stretching.”