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Video: How Posture Affects Your Bike Performance

Oct 27, 2023
by Ben Plenge  

Words: Ben

When was the last time you thought about your posture and how it affects your riding out on the trails?

In this video, Ben from The Strength Factory explains how a poor, hunched over desk posture can wreck your riding, meaning you can't breathe freely, or look ahead down the trail. Luckily Ben also has some tips for warm ups, mobility and training to improve your posture and riding.

If you have any questions about the video, then drop them below.

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Member since Mar 25, 2014
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  • 59 0
 Just watched on my phone about how too much screen time is bad for my posture. Apparently, even the solutions are now part of the problem.
  • 35 0
sorry, had to do it
  • 8 0
 Don't be. Perhaps your comment will have an effect...
  • 6 0
 @CamRivers: I had to do a presentation about affect vs effect in middle school and it still haunts me to this day. Looks like these comments have effected a change in the caption. Bravo.
  • 5 6
 This ain’t no spelling bee ya nerds!
  • 11 2
 The title mistake was not actually me, but the Pinkbike team who altered it! haha. Journalists!
  • 2 12
flag mi-bike (Oct 27, 2023 at 22:49) (Below Threshold)
 @MTB-Strength-Factory: Way to go throwing the people who give you exposure under the bus. The effect may be that this'll affect your chance of landing on the front page again!
  • 3 1
 @mi-bike: I'm so confused!
  • 4 1
 @mi-bike: Imagine they were actually that fragile!
  • 1 0
 @owl-X: that’s not a spelling mistake. It’s using the wrong word.
  • 8 0
 I injured my shoulder (un-bike related) and went to PT for 6 weeks and got a bunch of posture feedback and implementing it on my bike made me feel a lot more controlled, especially my arm position on descents. Also noticed that it opened up my breathing on climbs and kept my heart rate a bit lower.
  • 4 0
 Interesting, what kind of feedback did you get and what changes did you make?
  • 3 0
 Great stuff. Sounds like you had a decent physio.
  • 2 0
 @stefanfresh: So one of the main things was keeping my shoulder blades pulled down while riding. It took a bit of getting used to, but on descents I noticed more control with my steering and felt less likely to collapse towards my bars, particularly on technical places.

The other big thing was breathing into my chest instead of into my stomach. It kind of forces my shoulder blades down, but it also forces some good posture while climbing. It made my breaths feel more full and it also, paired with the shoulders, made me less likely to wobble while riding uphill. I think slouching and breathing into my belly really caused a lot of my steer wobble on climbs.
  • 3 0
 Been having neck issues for the first time ever this season - a combination of old whiplash injuries flaring up, sitting with bad posture at my desk job, and mountain biking. This video is just in time. PT has me doing lots of thoracic mobility stuff. Slowly but surely. Think I probably need to take some time off the bike and the desk but neither of those is possible.
  • 1 0
 Kept riding for 4 years with really bad whiplash. Pretty much did everything suggested above reminding myself every minute while riding the whole time. Tucking the chin is key and the only real way to support your neck with muscles and I know 99% of riders are totally unaware of this. Best of luck. MTBing with my 800mm wide bars and commuting with my 750mm wide bars was key for me as you can use the MTB attack posture above to use your whole upper body to support your spine. Did ride gravel but it is not as easy to support your body with this. If you're interested I invented a whole gravel/cyclocross/underbiking technique for drop bar bikes and I can share the video @Jvhowube let me know and good luck!
  • 1 0
 Ride a shorter reach bike and raise your bars Just think about it, it makes it much easier to tuck your chin and drop your hips.
  • 3 0
 A quick PSA to everyone, please go buy a monitor arm for your computer monitor and slam that thing forward so it forces you to sit upright in your chair otherwise you'll be too close. Nothing has made a bigger impact to how stiff/broken my body feels.
  • 1 0
 Nice one, will check it out. Thanks
  • 2 0
 Better yet, get rid of your desk chair and get a wobble chair.

Arms on chairs cause should and neck strain.

Backs on chairs worsen torso strength and flexibility.

A wobble chair solved all the problems and chair causes.

Get a standing desk and it’s almost healthy Ti be at work Wink
  • 2 0
 My former gym trainer and current trainer have me doing a lot of these things. The doll thing with a string, the head up and shoulders not hunched. All things I’ve been told and am trying to implement. My neck issues were much worse until I retired 7 years ago. But I’m suffering from a severe trigger thumb on the left hand and minor trigger fingers as well. Three on the right and two on the left. My fingers warm up and triggering goes away after 15 minutes of morning activities. The thumb doesn’t bend until maybe an hour of riding or working on my bike. Doctor thinks it may be neck related as does my physio. They think the neck issues cause downstream tension in the forearms which causes issues with the hand tendons. CT scan has been ordered and maybe an MRI and neurologist too.
  • 2 0
 I have heard quite a bit of people saying that training your neck with weight in a gym like you would any other muscle does wonders
  • 5 0
 Yes this type of stuff should be taught to people more for sure, great content.
  • 4 0
 Excellent exercises, will give them a go when I wake up. Poor posture is common and not very attractive.
  • 1 0
 Thanks mate.
  • 4 0
 Great content that most will likely ignore. Sitting is our generations smoking.
  • 1 0
 Listened to this guy on Downtime Podcast yesterday, sitting on a bus then a train then a plane then a car—was like “hell yeah I hate sitting too!” Made it extra funny to see this here today, talmbout more anti-sitting stuff!
I was going to look into his old man mtb program, and this is right up my alley too.
Good stuff!
  • 2 0
 "Old man MTB Program!" haha, love it mate. My new head of branding has just been discovered! Cheers.
  • 2 0
 Spot on Ben, superb presentation and tips!
Also, get deep myofascial bodywork to turbocharge posture & performance - even just once a quarter helps keep your motivation and bodily awareness high.
  • 1 0
 Yeah, some manual work from a skilled person really does help too.
  • 1 0
 Great video.... My posture isn't great on the bike, but the more I work on it in the gym and on bike, the better endurance I have going downhill. What surprised me most, is how much more relaxed your hands can be and how much less they get thrashed with stronger/more correct posture.
  • 1 0
 Strong posture on the bike is essential. Forcing yourself into proper posture and body position on the bike makes a vast difference in control and strength over the bike. This is akin to being a the pilot vs the passenger on the bike.
  • 3 0
 I follow Ben on Insta. Great advice and brill workout tips too. Thanks Ben. Tricky
  • 2 0
 Knows it.
  • 2 0
 Stopped watching when you stuck your elbows right out! Never gonna ride with my shoulders impinged and weak!
  • 1 0
 great video ben, my physio has been drilling all these posture issues into me.
  • 1 0
 We all need to listen more to our physios.
  • 2 0
 does that bike still exist?
  • 2 0
 watch broc raiford ride a bike to see what biking posture is
  • 1 0
 An easy way to do this is to think about sticking out your butt.
  • 2 1
 Just sign up to your local yoga place and go regularly. Problem solved.
  • 1 0
 It all depends on whether you want to wear spandex yoga pants.
  • 1 0
 In bed

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