Are you cycling to stay active? The last thing you want is to develop pain while cycling. Whether you bike casually on the weekends or every day to get to work, ensuring proper cycling posture is important for your health and to help prevent the development of pain. It is essential to put in many kilometres of work to improve your cycling, however, too much time spent in a poor position will eventually catch up to you and manifest as pain.
To reduce the risk of injury while cycling, get into the habit of checking your posture in the following areas:
BACK: Is my back arching?
An arching back is common in new cyclists and is caused by resting too heavily on the handlebars while disengaging the core. While this position can be comfortable in the moment, it may eventually trigger back and neck pain if it is sustained too often.
SHOULDERS: Are my shoulders raised up by my ears?
The more you raise your shoulders, the more likely you are to end up with neck pain. Lowering your shoulders and loading them in a strong position will decrease the amount of tension that is transferred into your neck.
ARMS: Are my elbows stiff?
Locked out arms are also common in new cyclists. While it is easier to rest your body weight by keeping the arms locked out, a locked elbow will transfer all the vibration from the handlebars straight into your neck and shoulders. Straight arms also tend to push the shoulders up toward your ears, which can contribute to neck pain.
KNEES: Are my knees pointing out?
Riding with your knees pointing out not only increases the chances of knee pain, but also reduces the power in each stroke (pedal). Keeping your knees in line with your feet will take pressure off the knees. Additionally, your bike seat should be both at the correct height and the right distance from the handlebars.
Proper posture while on the bike will set your body up for success and allow you to enjoy your cycling to the fullest.
Need help with ensuring proper posture or have pain from poor positioning while cycling? Our expert practitioners can help you build core strength, increase your spinal and hip mobility, and decrease muscular tension to reduce the risk of injury while cycling. Let’s get you back on the bike, book now.
Written by Oksana Wankiewicz, Registered Kinesiologist, Ace Sports Clinic