Warm-up Exercises ?

I have been making some progress in my Unicycling after learning over the last few weeks. I can successfully free mount and go… The go can be 2m, 20m, 40m, 50m depending.

Have been really excited on practicing and making more progress, however I have developed some lower to mid back muscle fatigue obviously due to my body not being used to the movement and control needed to balance and cycle. So my last 2 practice sessions have been limited to 15 minutes before my back muscles start tightening up too much for any kind of decent movement.

So now I realise I should be doing some warm-up back exercises in order to get to spend more time in the saddle. So my question is do you do any specific warm-up exercises before you start riding ? and more specifically was there anything you used to do when you first started in order to build up the required muscle strength ?


For me, I just do a few mins of warm-ups, like brisk jogging in place, jumping jacks. After I get the blood running and muscles warmed up, I do some stretching, and off I go.

For sore muscles, seeing how your are still new to riding, your just using muscles they didn’t get used as much in your other activities,. Give them a day or two off, then keep riding. They will quickly build up endurance.

As your technique gets better and you become more comfortable with the process of riding a unicyle, you will be able to relax and your problem with back muscles will probably go away.

Remember to rest your weight on the seat (not on your legs) and learn to relax as much as possible. That is how people are able to ride many miles without stopping. Good luck and keep working at it. It will get easier.

Your sore back is most likely do to poor technique do to your just learning, but also because those muscles aren’t used to working in that way.

Try to ride w/ most of your weight on the seat and w/ your torso upright. You are likely bending forward at the waist far too much.

For the time being you will probably find it benefitial to strengthen your back muscles. After your practice session or on non riding days, if you belong to a gym use a back extention machine. Keep your knees slightly bent and pivot at your hips. Make sure to keep your back perfectly streight at all times w/ this exercise.

If you don’t have a gym to go to do supermans or “swimming”. For supermans lie face down, extend your arms and legs streight “above” your head and "below your feet. Lift both arms and legs simultaniously and hold for 5-10 seconds followed by an equal time of rest. do 10 reps, and 3 sets resting a couple of minutes in between.

For “swimming” get in the same possision as supermans and lift your arms and legs alternating opposite arm, opposite leg. Do 20-30 reps, 3 sets resting a couple of minutes in between.

Thanks to everyone that replied. It’s weird how you notice the things you are doing wrong when someone talks about them, and I must say after thinking about it I have been doing a number of things mentioned.

  1. Weight in the seat. Something I seem to be struggling with, but have managed to do when I get my longer runs.

  2. Leaning forward. Again something I realise after the fact, as I have struggled with keeping the cycle up with my body and speeding up.

It’s good to make a conscious mental note of these things, even though they seem pretty obvious, along with my other favourite… pedal…

In the gym this morning I found the back extension machine, even though I have walked past it a hundred times, and did a couple of sets. I could feel it working exactly where my back has been getting tired and sore.

Again, thanks to all everyone that replied. Your advice is much appreciated, and has given me something to think about, remember, and attempt to put into practise.


While you’re learning your muscles are going to be tense and fighting each other as you try to maintain balance and control. As you get more comfortable on the unicycle you’ll find your muscles can relax and you’ll be riding much more comfortably.

Since you’re an older learner you’ll probably find you have to concentrate more on the learning to relax moreso than the younger riders. The body just doesn’t learn the muscle memory and new skills as fast as it did when you were young. It could take a month or a couple months before the body learns to relax and naturally go with the flow. So you might have to focus more on learning to relax and pedal lightly and smoothly moreso than the youngsters.

Try to learn how to ride with light even pressure on the pedals and without needing to make sudden emergency balance corrections in the pedaling to recover balance. That will take some time.

Funny that you mention this lower back pain. When I was younger about 25 years ago, I am now 50 years old I had the same problem. I learned to mount the unicycle before learning to ride. Now that I am 50 years old I learned to ride which by the way I completely forgot, before mounting. I can’t even mount now since I am riding a nimbus 36". But I can curb mount it. My 5 cents here to you is to try riding by curb mounting so that you can concentrate more on riding than mounting. I don’t experience the lower back pain now that I am older, so the only thing I can attribute to this is learning to mount before riding.

You make a good point here. I gave my back a rest for a couple days, and had to seriously restrain myself from getting on my unicycle. When I attempted it again on Wednesday, I decided that I needed to spend some time just sitting in the saddle getting the feel for the balance points etc… It also served to help warm up my back muscles. I did some really short rides (not longer than 10m) trying to concentrate as much as I could on putting my weight in seat, and also used a wall to lean on when mounting.

After about 15 minutes I decided to go out into the road where I have been practicing and immediately went over my longest distance by 50%. Yesterday I went through the same routine, and again went over my previous longest distance of Wednesday by 50%. I also attempted some inclines and declines to get used to that. All in all a fantastic day of Unicycling for me, and was absolutely knackered when I was finished.

The advice given here has really helped, and again I say thanks to all that replied to my post.

Cheers !!!