The average person learns how to ride a bicycle between the ages of 4 and 6. However, most cyclists develop some bad habits that they follow most of their lives. One of the biggest mistakes people make is using the wrong posture. This can cause them to expand more energy than necessary, reduce performance and potentially lead to injury. Learn the proper posture to avoid these frustrations.
There are a number of things that you need to do when riding a bike. Here are some tips to help you find the right posture.
Make Sure the Bike is set to the Right Height
Setting your bike to the right height is one of the most important things that you can do. A number of problems can arise if your bike is set at the wrong height:
- You create too much stress on your knees.
- You exert too much energy because you have to use very long leg strokes.
- You have a more difficult time balancing yourself. This can either cause you to fall over or force you to use a lot of energy rebalancing yourself.
Both feet should be able to touch the ground from a standing position. Make sure that you can straddle yourself while sitting. If you aren’t able to do so then you will need to either get a different bike.
Try to Stay Relaxed
You need to make sure that you can find a comfortable posture while riding at a more leisurely pace. Otherwise, you will end up exerting a lot more energy than needed. Here are some ways that you can do this:
- Sit in an upright position. This reduces the tension in your body and allows you to cycle more easily. It also helps keep your blood circulating, which keeps you from feeling lightheaded.
- Maintain a light grip or rest your hands on the top of your handlebars. This reduces tension in your forearms, which will make it easier to ride.
- Keep your neck cocked at a 90 degree angle. You should be looking straight ahead at all times.
These tips will help you stay more relaxed. This will reduce the risk of injury, conserve energy and allow you to move a lot more freely.
Work on Your Leg Stroke
You need to make sure that your legs can rotate as smoothly and naturally as possible. Your knees and able should form a line that is perpendicular to the ground. They should also both be pointed forward at all times. If you aren’t able to maintain this posture, then you may need to shift your hips. Maintain this posture the entire trip. Your legs will rotate more naturally and place less stress on your legs.
Use All Leg Muscles During the Ride
You will need to make sure that you use all of your muscles while riding. Many people overuse their calves while they are riding. Their calves end up feeling very tight. This can cause them to shift their weight to other parts of their body, which can make them feel more stressed.
You will want to make sure that you use all the muscles in your legs so that they don’t feel overworked when riding either a riding or stationary bicycle like one of these. The biggest mistake that people make is neglecting to use their hamstrings on the upstroke. You should be working all muscles groups all the time. This will keep you from feeling tired or overworked.
About the author: Kalen started riding BMX bikes several years ago with some of his friends when he was visiting Montana. He shares tips that he picked up along the way.