• We're giving away a Cyclingnews water bottle! Find out more here!
How To 

Exercises for Improved Cycling Posture Guide

Maintaining a correct posture while cycling is critical to both making gains in the saddle and avoiding injury. This guide will walk you through what you can do off the bike to strengthen your posture and keep your form in line.

1. Correct Posture
First, a refresher on cycling posture. Keep your shoulders relaxed and dropped at all times, with your shoulder blades flat against your back. Keep your elbows bent and tucked, with a straight line down the forearm and wrist. Don't grip the handlebars too tight. Your chest and upper torso should be angled forward. Keep your spine and pelvis neutral. Be sure to keep your knees directly above the balls of your cleats, never bowing out as you pedal. For a more detailed guide, check out our full posture guide here.

2. Core Strength
To improve your posture, you must strengthen your body to be able to hold form in what does not feel like the most natural position for many riders. And focusing on your core during off-bike workouts will do wonders. One quick and easy way to work your core is planking. Start with a 2-minute routine and slowly working your way up to a 5-minute plank routine. Be sure to rotate between full planks, elbow planks, leg lift planks and side planks every 15-30 seconds. Your core is the center of your physical body and keeping it in tip-top shape permits it to remain active during long rides. This, in turn, will keep you from putting too much pressure on your arms, knees, etc.

3. Back Strength
Lower back pain is the most common complaint and injury amongst riders. To avoid falling into this category, spend some time during off-bike days strengthening your back and keeping yourself flexible. Yoga is one of the best ways to do this. Running through a routine that includes the cat-cow pose, the cobra pose, and slow squats are a great place to start. Throw in a reclining twist, which works the lower back along with your hips and glutes.

4. Hip & Leg Strength
Your hips and legs are the engine that keep your bike going. So it goes without saying that keeping your engine healthy is a top priority. Squats, lateral squats, single leg deadlifts and lunges with a spinal twist are a great place to start. Hip opening stretches, such as pigeon pose, lying-down knee-to-chest stretch and three-legged dog pose will do wonders as well. Work towards have a balanced routine of stretches that work for you, with a goal of holding each pose for 30 seconds.

Follow these simple steps, develop a routine that works for you and begin improving your posture in no time at all.