Bicycling with Good Posture
Whether you’re an avid biker or an occasional rider, the following tips can help make your bicycling experience more safe and enjoyable, and to ensure your bike is set up for optimal posture in order to minimize neck and back strain.
Seat height: When your pedal foot is extended at the 6 o’clock position (at bottom), your knee should remain slightly bent (~ 25 – 35 degrees of bend).
Handle bar height: For the novice rider, it’s better to position them a little higher. As you become more comfortable and skilled with riding, lowering the handle bars is appropriate. Be sure to always keep a slight bend in the elbows and wrists. Locking out the arms can place extra strain on the neck.
1. Maintain a slight curve in your low back. This neutral position of your spine helps to decrease the stress and strain that’s placed on it.
2. Keep your lower abdominal muscles engaged (see below).
3. Keep your shoulders back and down.
4. Tuck chin in slightly to keep your neck in a neutral position.
5. Push and pull the pedal in order to use all of the muscles of the legs. When all the muscles are working together it should feel like you’re making a perfect circle.
6. Maintain the strength and stability of your whole body. A strong core will help stabilize your spine and allow you to maintain good positioning while biking.
The 3 muscle groups that make up the core include:
1. The pelvic floor, also known as the Kegel contraction: These are the muscles that you’d engage
when stopping urination midstream.
2. Lower abdominals: You can engage these muscles by pulling your belly button in toward your
spine, essentially flatting your tummy.
3. Spinal muscles: While maintaining your pelvic floor and lower abdominal contractions, squeeze
the muscles on either side of your spine in toward each other.
Practice these contractions throughout the day while sitting, standing, walking, lifting and pushing/pulling. This will help strengthen these muscles which increases stability of your spine, thus decreasing your risk of future back injuries!
• Most importantly, HAVE FUN!