AUG 24, 2022

Why Should You Maintain A Proper Bike Posture? 

Once or twice you may have seen a cyclist riding a bike effortlessly and smoothly. Leaving you in awe, thinking, how come they look so cool? Well, this may not come naturally because it takes them a lot of time and effort to achieve that gliding look.

One of the essential reasons is that their posture is proper. Lack of proper posture when riding a bike can lead to poor activation and functioning of muscles and can even lead to injury.

Know that there is no "correct cycling posture" that is right for everyone because everybody is built differently. What works for you might not work for someone, but still, some rules are just general that everyone has to abide by.

In this article, we'll explain why you should maintain a proper bike posture, what the proper bike posture looks like, and what you can do to improve your bike posture. Patiently read through to have all the knowledge.

Why Should You Maintain A Proper Bike Posture

Posture is one thing most people overlook when riding; posture is how you hold your body while you sit to ride your bike. When your posture is correct, you will ride your bike more efficiently and spend less energy.

Aside from that, it will also help improve your performance, you will have a good blood flow, and your spine will remain straight. Posture will not only help you in your prime time but also when you grow.

Let's say maintaining the right posture is like an investment; it will pay off when you grow older. It would be best if you never bothered yourself about pressure as that's your biggest energy. Instead, focus and sit right, and you will see everything going smoothly and effortlessly.

Now let's look at why you should maintain a proper posture while riding in detail. 

1) Being Always In Control

As cyclists, we all know how being in control feels and how important it is. That's why it's crucial to maintain a good posture. When your posture is correct, you will find that you won't be making unnecessary movements because you have balanced and aligned your thick and thin muscles.

Also, your shoulders and hips are relaxed, and you will maintain your stamina. Like this, you exert the proper pressure between the turns, your arms will move the way they are supposed to, and the pedal stroke strength will increase when you are in the correct posture. You will enjoy your cycling without wasting your labor. 

2) Protection Against Injuries And Accidents

Lack of a good posture can lead to injuries and even accidents. But when you have a balanced posture, your body will be aligned well, preventing you from getting injured or in an accident. You will see that the stress you experience in your joints and muscles is now less, and if, unfortunately, you fall from the bike, you will be able to stand up quickly and still ride again.

3) To Make Breathing Easier

Another important reason you should maintain proper posture right is that it will make you breathe easier and even improve your breathing. Proper posture helps with good airflow through and out of your nostrils.

Your airways will never be blocked. The diaphragm is a vital breathing muscle in your body; a good posture helps this muscle to move correctly because the stress in your chest and rib cage is minimal.

Moreover, a good posture will not only help you breathe but also extend your ride so you will have a long session. 

4) To Make the Ride Comfortable

We all know how riding isn't only a sport for you but also a peaceful break full of excitement and enjoyment. So if you aren't enjoying the ride as you are supposed to; meaning it's full of stress. That means your riding posture isn't the right one. You need to maintain the proper posture to enjoy your rides more than ever. 

5) To Make Cycling More Efficient

When your posture is proper while riding a bike, you have balanced your muscle groups, and you will cycle efficiently. As said, you will find breathing easier because there is an increased supply of oxygen to your blood streams which gives you more energy. 

6) Keep Your Spine Healthy

As a cyclist, taking care of your spine should be one of your utmost goals because even a slight problem with your spine can lead to grave consequences. With a good posture, your spine will remain straight, and you won't face any issues while riding or after.

As long as you have the correct posture, you will enjoy riding in comfort for both the short and long-term. You won't experience muscle strains, and your spine will suffer from spinal disc herniation or severe back strain afterward. 

What Does Proper Cycling Posture Look Like?

Balancing and relaxing your body are the two essential things you should consider when cycling. But the crux of the matter is, even for professional cyclists, it can be a little bit hard sometimes to talk more to beginners. Positioning your body is the most important thing to do after getting your professional bike fit.

Although it sounds simple, it can sometimes be hard to achieve. All you need to do is to remind yourself to relax; this will save you from the nasty pain you may face the following day.

A good posture starts from your head and goes to the rest of your body, and reaches your feet. So while riding, constantly check your body posture; this will help ensure you don't drift into a bad posture that can affect you. 

1) Keep Your Shoulders Relaxed 

The first important aspect to watch while riding is keeping your shoulders relaxed and away from your ears. If you don't relax and keep pushing hard on a climb, you will see that your shoulders will start becoming stiff and creep up again.

When you lower your shoulders and keep them away from your ears, you will notice that you can turn your head freely, and you will find it easy to turn and look for traffic, and you will remain alert. 

2) Bend Your Elbows

Just like how relaxing your shoulders allows you to move your head freely, bending your elbows also helps your arms act like suspensions. This is important because if things go wrong and you hit a pole or bump the road, your arms will help you absorb the impact.

While in mountain bike position, you are supposed to tuck your elbows into your sides in cycling; you should bend your elbows to reduce the strain on your shoulders and allow you to ride without much pressure on your hands. In addition, there shouldn't be any bend in your wrists.

You should keep a straight line from your elbows through your fingers on the brakes. If you find this hard, then there is probably an issue with the bike setup, so discuss with your professional bike fitter about the problem.  

3) Maintain a Neutral Spine

This is one of the crucial things to ensure when riding a bike. If you exercise a lot, we are sure you converse well with the yoga Cat and Cow position. You should also maintain this position when cycling; with this approach, you won't experience any pain below or inefficiency in your bike.

Additionally, you should relax your back and keep a straight line between your shoulders and your hips. And if you want to check your position while on the bike, the best way to do so is to ask yourself whether your core is engaged or not.

Don't let your abdominal muscles take a break while cycling; it can lead to a lousy riding position that will affect not only your hands and shoulders but also part of your crotch.

4) Keep Your Knees in Line With Your Foot

Knee pain is something most cyclists often experience, and at times it's more common for beginners than regular riders.

However, with the correct knee and regular measures, you will protect your knees from bowing outward during the pedal stroke and entirely prevent knee pain. So to ride comfortably without pain or fear, keep your knees in line with your foot while you ride. 

What We Can Do To Improve Proper Cycling Position

1) Fix Your Bike 

To improve a proper cycling position, it's a good idea to give your bike a good fix and thorough check. First, check your bike to remove any grime or grit, especially if you haven't ridden it for a long time. After checking it, use warm water and detergent for bathing the bike.

This will brighten your bike's appearance and extend its life so you will enjoy smooth riding. Once you are done washing, re-lubricate the essential parts, the chain in particular.

The next thing to do is to check your tires; if your tires look worn out or flattened on the center, fix it properly or get a new pair.

Next is to replace your old cable and housing if your bike is equipped with mechanical shifting or cable brakes, especially in summer.

You should also check your saddlebag. Your saddle bag contains the basic things that will help you fix your bike whenever there is a mishap on the road. These include a spare tube, pair of tire levers, a small hand pump, multi-tool, and a CO2 inflator.

2) Be Confident

Confidence is one of the critical keys to cycling, and having it will not only improve your cycling posture but your entire cycling. It will make your riding more enjoyable, and if you notice after you become confident, you will see that you spend less time worrying and reduce your fears when cycling.

One of the essential things that help when it comes to boosting confidence in cycling is to wear the correct kit. In addition, to improve and remain in the best position, choose your route and time carefully. Also, plan your ride so you will be equipped with what's ahead of you and the challenges you will face. 

3) Keep Your Balance

An important skill that every rider, especially beginners, needs to learn is how to keep your balance when cycling. You might think that as long as you know how to ride, you can keep your balance, but are you doing it accurately? If yes, congratulations; if not, here is how to keep your balance to improve your riding position.

Balance by steering. Use steering to keep the wheels at the center under the mass bike center. Know that the mass of your bike is never perfectly balanced. Gravity can lean the bike towards the ground, and you must frequently use centrifugal force at the opposite of the lean so you will counteract the lean. 

4) Stretch and Strength Training

Another simple way to improve your cycling ride is to incorporate stretch and strength training into your routine. Scientists have proved that those who exercise, particularly hamstring and lower back flexibility exercise enjoy the best-running economy than those who don't exercise entirely. So here are common training exercises you can do.

●Calf stretch into a wall

●Downward facing dog

●Expanded leg pose

●Quad stretch

●Camel pose

●Seated glute stretch and hip opener

●Revolved belly pose

Check this video for more cycling exercises to improve your riding. 

Final Thought

Whenever you feel pain in your hands, toes, knee, lower back, shoulders, or even your entire body after riding, know that it's the result of bad cycling posture. Although getting a professional bike fit is essential, posture is also as important.

Proper posture helps keep you in control, makes breathing easier, protects you against accidents, and makes riding comfortable and efficient.

So, when next you're riding, ensure you maintain a proper posture by doing things such as keeping your shoulders relaxed, bending your elbows, and aligning your knees and feet so you will enjoy a smooth ride.