Exercise should feel good, both in the moment and after the workout. However, sometimes our form suffers, and we feel pain or discomfort as a result. Cycling knee pain doesn’t have to be your reality. Apply these cycling setup tips, so you can ride with ease and feel great at the same time.
First and foremost, MYX Coach Shaun Tubbs says to watch posture.
“When you come out of the saddle in an upright position, there’s a tendency to put a lot of pressure on the upper body because people tend to lean forward onto the handlebars. You might even notice you're gripping hard. So a cue I like to give people is ‘heavy hips, light hands.’”
The lower body can also suffer from poor form if you’re not conscientious. According to MYX Coach Justin Flexen, sitting correctly can make or break your exercise session. Some MYX members tend to sit too low and too far forward because it feels more comfortable for them. They may not be used to sitting upright and back on the seat.
“Sitting incorrectly puts strain on the knees because as you pedal, your knees go over your toes, so it's putting you in an awkward range of motion,” says Justin. “That’s why it’s important to make sure your feet are parallel when you're on the bike. Your knees should stay over your ankle and behind your toes. This will set you up for a proper position.”
MYX Coach Dyan Tsiumis agrees with Justin, noting the benefits of proper form and setup extend beyond preventing a cycling knee injury.
“When you keep your knees bent when you're out of the saddle, it creates more work because your quads are firing,” Dyan says. “You're going to get a better workout because you're forced to use your strength to hold yourself up. You’ll also engage your core, meaning your abdominal wall, and the muscles in your lower back.”
The best workout starts with making sure you’re set up for success. Also, know that your cycling setup is not static but fluid. It’s all about listening to your body. Some days you might be sore or tight. Consequently, your bike settings, such as the handlebar, seat, and pedal height, should support your body’s needs for that day. After all, adaptability is at the core of the MYX program.