In any sport, especially ones that require repetitive movements while in the same position, your posture is important.
Cycling is one of those sport. Your posture not only helps you to avoid injury, it also makes sure that you are efficient.
To get the most out of an indoor cycle class without injuring yourself, it’s important to adjust your bike settings to suit your body and to pay attention to your form throughout the ride. In an indoor class, the intensity of the training, coupled with the fact that you don’t have to deal with wind resistance or balance challenges, makes minding your posture even more essential. Here are pointers to keep in mind during an indoor cycle class.
Place your butt on the widest part of the saddle. Hinge forward at the hips and engage your abdominal muscles as you reach for the handlebars. If your butt is uncomfortable or sore after your workout, your positioning may be incorrect.
Your knees should be aligned with your hips and your feet, whether you’re riding in a seated or in a standing position; if they flare out to the side, your seat position may need to be adjusted.
Your spine should be straight, not rounded or slumped. Make sure your handlebars are high enough so you don’t feel neck or back strain. Your shoulders should be relaxed and down meaning they should be away from your ears.
Keep a slight bend in your elbows as you ride and keep your elbows in line with your wrists and your knees. Your elbows should not flare out.
Try not to bend your wrists too much, to avoid placing unnecessary strain on them, and don’t grip the handlebars too tightly.
Keep your weight on the pedals. That means stabilising your weight in your hips so that your knees stay over the center of the pedals. Don’t lean on the handlebars when you’re seated or standing. Shifting your weight this way cheats you of some of the benefits you’d get from maintaining an upright posture and it places excessive stress on the wrists and forearms.
When you’re in a standing position, you should feel the nose of the saddle brushing against the back of your upper thighs.
Keep your feet flat. It’s a mistake to point your toes as you pedal because this engages the wrong muscles. Instead, press through each pedal stroke with a flat foot, driving from the ball of your foot, to reduce pressure on your knees and strain on your quads. Similarly, pull up from your knees and toes on the upstroke.
Hold your head up. If you let your head flop or fall forward as you ride, you’ll set yourself up for neck strain—and partially impair the flow of blood and oxygen to your head, which can cause lightheadedness or dizziness. Keeping your head in line with your neck and spine helps ensure proper breathing and a steady flow of oxygen to your brain, which can help you feel good and maximize your performance. An indoor cycling class is hard enough without increasing your chances of feeling winded unnecessarily.