Although body mechanics is a science you don’t have to be a scientist to make use of it. A little understanding and application to your chosen sport means improved performance and reduced injury risk – exactly what we are all looking for. Although to some degree there will be variations in body mechanics depending on the type of cycling you are doing, the following tips are fairly useful across the sport.
Core stability and strength – work at building good lower trunk/abdominal muscles. This ensures a stable riding position and means all that energy you are working so hard at producing is transferred efficiently.
Shoulders – hunched shoulders create neck and back tension. Actively shrug and push down your shoulders to make sure they are in a relaxed position.
Leg alignment – legs should be in a straight line from hip to knee to ankle to pedal. Any deviation from this means energy is being wasted. It could also lead to knee and ankle strain/injury.
Saddle – make sure your backside is placed squarely on the saddle. Even the slightest twist will place stress on joints and lead to injury (and of course inefficient, unbalanced pedalling technique). If you are not sure of your bike set up then get some expert advice for the handlebar to saddle width for your height and build. Too close or too far apart will place unnecessary strain on various parts of the body and make for inefficient energy transference to the pedals.
Pedalling – push down and pull up on the pedals. This ensures you are using the entire muscle group range which avoids fatigue, generates balanced muscle strength and gains you power.
Handlebars – maintain a grip that keeps you in control but avoid gripping too tight which unnecessarily uses arm and shoulder energy.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. So, feel free to add all your own tips to this far from exhaustive list.