Indoor cycling is an excellent form of exercise that’s good for the body and the mind. However, when you are training on an indoor cycling bike you must develop correct form and posture or else it can run the risk of injury.
A general indoor cycling session can last anywhere between 15 minutes to 60 minutes and when you are training hard on the bike, it can take its toll on your body.
So, making sure to have proper indoor cycling bike form is essential to have an effective and injury free workout.
1. Keep Back Straight
Without a doubt, probably one of the most important body parts to keep in proper form.
During any cycling session, you can be seated or standing and this can change the alignment of your back. You must try to focus on keeping your back straight and lengthened out. This will allow you to continue cycling for longer and to keep away any aches and pains.
What you don’t want is your back starting to hunch over. This is one of the most common cycling mistakes!
I know myself that during an intense cardio busting workout it can be hard to focus on your back when your gasping for your next breathe.
However, just being able to ‘chime’ into yourself every now and again and focus on keeping your back straight will keep you on the bike longer and make your cycle that bit more bearable.
2. Legs Must Be At A Bend
You want to make sure that your legs are in the correct position. For example, in order to get an effective and strain free workout, your legs need to be the correct distance away from the pedals.
This all comes down to the saddle position and height. Test out the right distance for you where you can sit on the saddle with feet locked into the pedals so that your knees are at a slight bend.
Always test for the downstroke of the pedal as this is when your leg is going to stretched its furthest distance – you’ll want to make sure this still has that slight bend in it.
Never have your knees locked out fully or this can result in unnecessary stress put on the knee or even end up pulling ligaments.
3. Keep Arms Bent
Once you lean forward your arms should be able to have full grip of any one of the handlebars in front. Your elbows should also have a slight bend in them also.
If you are set up in the position were it feels uncomfortable to grab a hold of the handlebars or that your stretching too far. Come off the bike, re-adjust the handlebars either up or down and test it again.
A good rule of thumb is to set up the handlebars where they should be around a forearms distance away from the seat / saddle.
4. Saddle Should Be At Hip Height
In every indoor cycling session, there should be a mix of cycling seated and standing. You’ll want to make the proper adjustments on your bike firstly for the times when you are going to be seated.
Your hips or buttocks should be able to sit comfortably on the saddle without comprising good form.
You’ll want to place the seat / saddle at hip bone level when your standing next to it, this will ensure you have the right height for you.
5. Keep Your Head Up
Always make sure to keep your head up. This helps to improve airflow to your lungs, allowing more oxygen to be able to travel to the muscles that are doing all the hard work.
Keeping your head up keeps you motivated by taking your line of sight away from your legs that may be under the excruciating pain during a high resistance workout.
It’s even good to download an indoor cycling app to your phone or tablet. This is going to keep your head up lifted in order for you to pay attention to the instructions on screen.
6. Engage Your Core
It can be easier said than done to ‘keep a tight core’ when indoor cycling. You’re literally just trying to focus on your next breathe – that’s all.
However, from time to time try and develop a recall to yourself to focus on your core whilst you cycle. Focusing on your core and really engaging it will take the stress off your back and keep it aligned and stop you from swaying dramatically side to side.
It will also help to improve your performance which in turn promotes better endurance and weight loss.
7. Is Resistance Too High?
If the resistance on the bike is set just too high where your legs are just about able to push the pedals this could lead to poor form.
In this instance, some people tend to lean into each push of the pedal with their entire body and then switch over to do the same with the other pedal.
Even though this gets the legs working and burning hard, it can promote poor form. Simply turn the resistance down even a quarter or half a crank to keep your body aligned but still allow you to feel that burn.
8. Is Resistance Too Low?
On the other side of the coin is when the resistance is just too low. You’ll notice this possibly during a warm up or cool down when your legs are pedalling just too fast and ‘going like the clappers’ that it almost becoming out of control.
This is a sure fire way of straining your knee joint.
Just turn the resistance up half a crank and you’ll be able to pedal at a more comfortable and steady speed.
So by keeping proper indoor cycling form when cycling is going to keep you injury free but at the same time able to keep performance levels at a high.
It is basically just about using a common sense approach – if it doesn’t feel comfortable, come off the bike, re-adjust and jump back on again.
If you are using your own home indoor cycling bike, adjusting will be few and far between but simply keep these pointers in your mind though and you’ll be able to indoor cycling making sure to keep injury at bay.
If you have any questions, please drop me a comment and I’ll be sure to get back to you.