Written by NYC Flywheel Instructor Sarah Ballan @sarahballan
Hi friends! Sarah Ballan here. Happy last week of August! As summer is coming to an end, I’m excited for everyone to get back into their normal routines and get back into the studio! I thought it could be helpful to cover the best posture and positioning on the bike in order to maximize performance and for the safest practice.
When you’re getting ready for class, be sure to set up your bike with the following in mind:
Seat Height: Approach the bike and stand facing forward, as you bring the knee closest to the bike up to a 90-degree angle. Adjust the height of the seat so it hits your hip. After you “clip in”, make sure your legs do not fully extend when you peddle – you want a slight bend in the knee during each rotation.
Seat Distance: Keep the seat distance at a place where you can sit up straight and your knees do not come in front of the Torq knob when you peddle. You don’t want to be too close, or your knees will bang into the handlebars as you ride in third position. If you are too far, you run the risk of leaning too far over, when ideally you should ride in an upright position.
Handlebar Height: There is a bit more leeway when it comes to handlebar height. The lower the handlebars are, the more you will need to engage your core (keep your belly button back towards your spine) in order to protect the lower back. Your grip should always be semi-loose on the handlebars. They are there for slight support, but not a lifeline. If you’re experiencing any back pain, you should keep the handlebars slightly on the higher end. This will alleviate some of the pressure and allow you to sit up taller without fully relying on your abs. However, you should make sure the handlebars aren’t up too high. Your shoulders should be relaxed and away from your ears. If you find your shoulders popping up, try lowering the handlebars.
Handlebar Distance: Ideally you want your handlebars to be at an appropriate length at which you can have a slight bend in your elbows without locking them straight out and overreaching. You don’t want to be too close and have too much of an arm bend. Find that sweet spot!
Rider Hack: there is a place in the Flywheel app to record your measurements, so you know exactly how to set up for the next time!
At Flywheel, there are three positions you will assume on the bike: first, second, and third.
First Position is simple. All you have to do is sit on the stationary bike, pedal your legs and voila! You nailed it. Think about lengthening your spine and creating space between your shoulders and your ears. The shoulders roll down and back as you lift your chest up. Perfecting your posture will optimize your workout and strengthen the muscles that we tend to overuse during the hours spent hunched over at a computer/ work desk.
Second Position is essentially rising your body up a few inches up (out of the saddle) and bringing your knees upwards. Keep your feet flexed and try to refrain from pointing your toes down. This position focuses mainly on strengthening the core and is typically used the least out of the three positions, or sometimes not at all, depending on the instructor. In second position, you’ll want to make sure you tuck your hips forward and stand up tall. Do not arch your back and stick your booty out. Keep your core engaged and try to remove the “bounce.” If you could balance a glass of water on your head, think about not spilling a drop. You want to eliminate the bounce and target the core muscles.
Third Position is when your hands come all the way out to the ends of the handlebars and your booty slides back over the saddle. You’ll want to make sure your shoulders stay dropped and relaxed make a conscious effort to bring them down and back. Drive your knees upward, towards your chest. Keep your feet flexed and think about pulling up on the tops of your feet where your velcro is. When the Torq gets super heavy, you can use your body weight to your advantage. Keep the hips as far back as possible and rock your body side to side across the handle bars.
If you have any questions about your posture or positioning on the bike, please feel free to reach out to me. See you in the saddle soon! @sarahballan