It is important to maintain the right posture while cycling in order to avoid injury.
Good cycling posture helps keep your spine straight and maintains a good blood flow, among other benefits. Proper cycling position also increases comfort and efficiency on the bike by limiting unnecessary movement.
This blog post will teach you how to maintain proper cycling posture so that you can cycle pain-free.
Table of Contents
- 1 Why A Proper Cycling Posture is Important?
- 2 How to Maintain Proper Cycling Posture?
- 3 Cycling Posture Exercise That Will Help You
- 4 Should You Consider Changing Your Bike
Why A Proper Cycling Posture is Important?
It Makes the Ride Comfortable
If you find riding your bike uncomfortable, there is a great chance that you aren’t riding it right.
A proper cycling posture will make the ride more comfortable by reducing strain on your muscles and joints.
Gives You More Control Over the Bike
Good posture also helps you steer better while on your bicycle.
One of the main reasons for this is that a good cycling posture limits unnecessary movement by keeping your hips and shoulders even with one another. That makes it easier to control how much each arm moves during a turn or when pressure shifts from one side to the other.
Keeps Your Spine Healthy
Proper cycling position will help keep your spine straight and in proper alignment so that there isn’t too much pressure put on any particular vertebrae.
This prevents pain in both short-term riding situations as well as long-term use, like if you bike regularly.
It can also prevent future injuries like back strain or spinal disc herniation because less stress is being placed on those areas.
Makes Breathing Easier
A good cycling posture will allow you to breathe easier because it helps keep the airways open.
There will be less stress in your chest and rib cage, which will help the movement of the diaphragm. As a result, you will never be out of breath even after a long ride.
Helps Prevent Injury
A proper cycling posture will help you avoid injury because it helps maintain the natural alignment of your body, which reduces stress on joints and muscles.
It also makes it easier to get back up after a fall or crash because there isn’t as much weight being placed on one side of the body.
Makes Cycling More Efficient
A good cycling posture will make it easier to pedal and ride a bike because you are using less energy.
You won’t be reaching for the handlebars or stretching your back to reach forward, which also means that there is no pressure on the lower back.
How to Maintain Proper Cycling Posture?
Keep Your Spine in Natural Position
The most common mistake cyclists make is rounding their back and slouching. This causes the shoulders to scrunch up, which increases your risk of injury because it puts pressure on sensitive areas in your spine.
Your spine should be kept in a natural position with your shoulders back and your head up. There should be a natural curve in your lower back and no bending in the middle spine.
Keep Your Knees Aligned with Your Feet
To help your back, you can also try to keep your knees aligned with your feet. Keep a wide stance and use that to adjust the angle of how high or low they are from the ground. This helps prevent knee strain.
Never bow your knees outward because this will create pain in the knee hinge and that can cause serious knee damage in the future.
Maintain a Bent Elbow
You should also make sure to maintain a bent elbow when you are cycling. This will work as a suspension and help keep your head and upper body upright.
If your elbows are locked in a straight position, it can cause pain in the wrist and hand. Also, make sure you never bend your wrist.
Always Have a Relaxed Shoulder
A relaxed shoulder will make you more alert while riding your bike.
To avoid unnecessary stress in your shoulder and neck, make sure your shoulders are relaxed and your arms are at a 90-degree angle. Keep some space between your head and shoulders to make it more relaxed. You can also move your head around to get more comfortable.
If you have an uncomfortable arm or shoulder, it’s time to examine and check your shoulder position to make it more comfortable.
Cycling Posture Exercise That Will Help You
Stretching is the best exercise that will help you to maintain your cycling posture. Always stretch before and after any cycling session.
As the name suggests, doorway stretch is performed in a doorway.
Place one foot on the ground and place your hands against the door frame for balance. Pull yourself through so that your back is flat against the wall or door frame.
Slowly walk out to increase the stretch of hip muscles, hamstrings, quadriceps as well as improve flexibility and joint mobility.
It can be helpful for cyclists to stretch their hamstrings, as this muscle group is often neglected when cycling.
Stand facing the wall with one leg bent and foot flat on the ground. Kneel in front of you so that your knee touches the floor and place both hands against the wall for balance. Slowly lean forward until you feel a stretching sensation, then hold it for 20-30 seconds.
Do this stretch on both legs with each leg bent for a total of two sets and then switch to the other side.
A quadricep stretch is also helpful in relieving tightness between muscles that can arise from cycling.
Stand facing away from a wall, place one foot against it, and then pull the other foot back. Lean forward and put your hands on the wall for balance, then slowly lower yourself down until you feel a stretching sensation in the front of your thigh. Hold it for 20-30 seconds before switching legs to complete one set.
Do this stretch on both legs with each leg bent for a total of two sets and then switch.
Upper Trap Stretch
Reach your arm over your head and pull the top of your shoulder towards you. Repeat with the opposite arm to complete a set, then switch sides for a total of two sets.
Isometric Cervical Extension
Isometric Cervical Extension is a highly effective stretch for the muscles that make up your neck. Stand or sit with an upright posture, then drop your chin to your chest and hold it there while you take a deep breath in and out.
Do this twice on each side for two sets of Isometric Cervical Extension stretches before moving onto another cycling-related exercise.
Cycling requires a lot of strength, endurance, and power from your upper body. To work on these key areas for cycling you can do push-ups, pull-ups, or inverted rows.
If you have enough time and a gym facility, you can do a cycling-specific strength training routine. This will target your muscles in a way that will help you have more power and endurance on the bike.
If push-ups, pull-ups, or inverted rows are too difficult for you to do because of lack of strength, or appropriate equipment, then consider doing other exercises targeting different muscle groups such as bicep curls with weights, triceps extensions.
Should You Consider Changing Your Bike
When you have followed all the posture recommendations and still find yourself with neck, upper back, or lower back pain then it is time to consider changing your bike.
The first thing to do when considering a new bike is purchased an ergonomic fit kit for the old one and try out different handlebars, saddles, seats in order to identify what might be better for you.
The frame structure of your bike is a major factor in how your body will react to the stresses of cycling. Therefore, when you get a new one, make sure it fits with your body and if possible, give it a test ride.