A cycling workout is a complex one. Your body is pushing the limits, your brain is motivated and you feel mentally strong every step. The key ingredient to a safe and effective cycling session is proper form. Peloton instructors Christine D’Ercole and Robin Arzon discuss how to improve your cycling form for a more effective workout.
The Common Culprits
It is a good idea to identify common errors that you make, even before you actually clip in. Christine suggests starting with your seat. Christine says that riders often ride too high, too low, or too far back or forward in the saddle. Christine explains that riders often ride too high or low, or too far forward or back in the saddle. To achieve this alignment, you will need to adjustthe saddle’s fore and hindquarters. Christine also suggests that you adjust the handlebars to ensure that your reach is comfortable. Christine suggests that it is a good idea to get a
friend to check your alignment. They will be able to see the details from a different perspective and can confirm your setup.
Robin says that once you begin pedaling, ensure your leg movements involve both pushing and pulling. She suggests that you think of pushing forward, pulling backward, pulling up, and push forward. Instead of looking like a sewing machine’s up-and-down movement, imagine engaging your hamstrings or glutes to move the pedal up in circular motion.
A light grip on your handlebars is another key to riding properly. Robin says, “If you feel the need for a death grip you will likely need to add resistance.” “Check for excess pressure in your wrists and hands throughout the ride. If necessary, shift your weight back where it belongs in the legs. This will help you continue riding long-term. She explains that riding without enough resistance can cause discomfort and wear to your joints. “If you feel like your legs are jerky or bounce around in the saddle, increase the resistance to make it feel like rubber meets road. It should feel gritty on flat roads as well as during active recovery.
You can achieve good form by regularly checking in with your cycling form. This includes a slight tilt forward at your hips, minimal pressure on your back, knees and wrists, as well as minimal rounding of the shoulders and back. Christine suggests that you take a few seconds at the beginning of each song to check in and see where your form is at. Christine says, “Simply check-in,” and then she suggests, “drop your shoulders and make sure you have your knees straight ahead. Then, take a moment and wiggle your fingers and toes.” She notes that riding can cause us to keep the tension from the effort in those parts of our bodies that don’t help us get the job done. You can develop a healthy habit of checking in to yourself and improve your cycling form, which will allow you to have more
power on the bike, making your workout more efficient.
Safety in your Cycling Form
You could inflict injury to your body if you allow your cycling form to slip over time. Christine explains that cycling is a repetitive activity with limited range of motion. “Improper alignment can cause the body to recruit muscles in a dysfunctional manner and after some time this can be harmful for different areas.” Christine also suggests that you check your bike settings every six month to make sure they are still the correct measurements. Your fit is key to avoiding injury, setting you up for success, and helping you achieve your goals.
Did you know that you can have your bike settings checked at your local showroom? To find the nearest showroom, click here to schedule a visit.