Cycling Posture that Every Bicyclist Must Follow
"Keep your back straight, Don't slouch" - These are similar berating advice most of us would have heard from well-meaning family and friends. After all, good posture not only looks smart, it is essential for balance and to ensure proper blood flow and keep your nerves and blood vessels healthy. Additionally, having a proper posture supports your muscles, ligaments, and tendons and is a great way to reduce fatigue, back and neck pains, amongst other ill health.
Great posture is also required while cycling. Yes, there is a right way and an avoidable body posture that you should follow while cycling. Following proper cycling, posture does not entail a non-natural way of sitting it means ensuring that you are doing what is correct and comfortable for your body. If you are comfortable on your bike, you will be a more efficient cyclist and ensure comfort even over long distances. When you follow the right cycling posture, you use more muscle groups for increased power and better balance, just what it takes to steer and control your bike easily.
Good posture in everyday living includes neutral even shoulders and spine, elbows straight and even, abdominal muscles braced, and even bodyweight on both feet.
Considering that we're all built differently, there's no one size fits all in defining a bicycle riding posture. However, there are some general rules around what proper cycling posture looks like,
Instead of bobbing your head up and down, it is preferable to use your eyes to change your view as much as possible. You can keep your neck movement fluid, choosing not to strain in any direction, whether ahead, down, or even around you. Let your movements be gentle and natural and not discomforting and with sudden jerks.
Most cyclists find their shoulders creeping up to their ears when they cycle. That's more of a stiff and tense position. Remind yourself to loosen your shoulders as you ride.
If not, and by riding in this rigid position for long periods, you are likely to experience sore and aching shoulders, neck, and back.
Very important to make sure that you are now stretching your arms to the extent that your elbows are completely straight. Holding such a position for a long time can feel stressful and a sure-shot way to get fatigued.
Back or Spine
Two extremes of your back positions of style would be detrimental. So do not keep your back so straight that you feel a strain and not hunched and rounded over as well. Keeping your core engaged is the best way to make sure your back is not slouched or humped over and not stiff straight. If you do not follow this and let your abs loose, you will be putting pressure on your hands and shoulders, which can be uncomfortable and even painful.
Legs & Knees
With your legs, you must make sure that when pedaling and your foot is at the lowest point, it should be slightly bent at the knees. Not curved but at about 25 degrees bend. You should definitely not feel a stretch at the back of your knees.
Remember having a good riding posture will ensure that you are more efficient and comfortable when on the road and even if you are riding over long distances. Additionally, a proper posture minimizes your risk of injury.
Ensuring that you are able to maintain a good cycling posture starts with making sure that you have the right-sized bicycle and it is well-fit, especially for you. Your bicycle frame size can be identified using your height and preferably your in-seam length. Once that is done, make sure your bicycle is fine-tuned with the required handlebar reach and height, saddle height, and saddle position. You can check with a bike-fit specialist or your local bike store to get this done for you according to your body type.
What are your thoughts on the proper posture when riding a bicycle? Do share with us your perspective by adding to the comment box below.
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