Chances are, you probably learned how to ride a bike when you were a wee little kid. However, cycling for exercise is vastly different from biking around the block, so here are some simple tips for cyclists that will help improve your cycling workouts.
Tips for Cyclists:
- Pedal with flat feet: Next time you’re cycling, check out the angle of your feet on the pedals. If they are pointed upwards or downwards, rather than just straight forward, then flatten your feet out. This will help give you a stronger push with each revolution.
- Focus on the push phase of pedal revolution: 12 and 6 o’clock on the pedals is the “dead spot”. Use your energy more efficiently by focusing on the push phase of each revolution.
- Wrap your thumbs around the handlebars: This is will help reduce the risk of your hands slipping off the handlebars at unsafe or (if you’re in a race) crucial moments.
- Switch gears before a hill to avoid putting tension on the chain and cogs: Don’t wait until you are already cranking away at the pedals to switch gears. Like a car, you should switch gears when you’re not going full throttle.
- For hard brakes, scoot your bum to the back of the saddle to avoid flipping over the handlebars: Sometimes braking suddenly, especially when going downhill, is necessary. Shifting your weight to the back will help reduce the risk of flipping over your handlebars.
- Change your hand and body position frequently to avoid stiffness: Shift your neck, back, shoulders, arms, and hands while you ride. The slight changes in posture will help ease the strain on your joints and nerves.
- Stretch your chest: Because of the “hunched” posture many cyclists have, the chest muscles are especially tight. Make sure that when you are doing your stretches, you remember to include your chest as well.