There are quite a few bad habits that people do when they’re biking, and holding tension in the shoulders is probably among the worst. If you are still doing this, here are some tips on how you can eliminate shoulder tension when you’re on the bike:
Consciously Let Go
Ignoring this habit won’t help you. You have to make a conscious effort to let go of the tension in your shoulders and arms. You can do this by focusing on those parts of your body when you are riding. You’ll find that if you constantly check and tell yourself to relax your shoulders, you’ll eventually do it. It will also help to shrug every 15 – 20 minutes.
Keep Those Elbows Bent
Make sure that your elbows are always slightly bent and your arms relaxed when you’re riding. This can help you prevent fatigue due to muscle tension. It will also let your arms absorb shock instead of sending it to your body.
If you want to avoid sore muscles and fatigue, never hunch your shoulders. You should tilt your head every few minutes to loosen tight neck muscles, too. The bonus? You get to see the scenery!
Relax Those Fingers
When you are riding your bike on smooth and traffic-free roads, you should loosen your grip or simply drape your hands over the handlebars. This can help relieve muscle tension and lessen the vibration that is transmitted to your body.
Change the Position of Your Hands
When you are doing long climbs, hold the top of the handlebars, sit upright, and breathe easy with your chest open. When standing, lightly grasp the hoods and gently rock your bike from side to side in sync with your pedalling. Remember to keep each thumb and finger closed around the bar or hood so you won’t lose control in case there is an unexpected bump.
Make Sure Your Bike Has the Right Width Bars
There’s a reason why women’s bikes have narrower bars. It’s because the width of the handlebar should equal the shoulder width of the rider, too. Bars that are either too wide or too narrow can cause shoulder pain.
Stretch Your Neck and Strengthen Your Shoulders Off the Bike
To keep your muscles relaxed yet strong enough to support how much cycling you do, you should develop a routine of stretching and strengthening exercises that you can do regularly. You can ask your personal trainer for specific exercises to be added to your program or you can try yoga.
Don’t Put Too Much Weight on Your Hands
Do your hands get numb while riding? That means you’re probably putting too much weight on your hands. You can have your handlebars raised, the stem shortened, or the saddle tilted up. But the best thing to do is to get you a professional bike fit. We at Fort Myers Cyclery can help you sort out this problem. We can make sure that your bike suits you perfectly and that you’ll get the most out of your biking experience!