This ebook, An Alexander Technique Approach to Bicycle Riding, is published on this website in a PDF format. It goes into extraordinary detail on how to ride a bicycle without paying a physical price by using an efficient riding technique.
This ebook is also for sale on all AMAZON websites in a KINDLE format.
Located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S.A. (MOVEMENT THERAPY)
Is there such a thing as good posture on a racing bicycle? Yes, but it is not necessarily what one would call mechanically advantageous posture, but if you ride with good use head to toe, you will probably not have any physical problems. Good use means you use your body applying Alexander Technique principles that help you choose the most effortless way to use your musculature and skeleton to get the maximum results out of riding.
When you ride taking it easy, you can be fully upright or pivoted forwards from your sit bones on the seat with a head, neck, and spine in mechanically advantageous alignment (head to sit bones sitting fully upright). As you’re sitting in this mechanically advantageous posture, let your head lead a lengthening spine upwards (directing) with your fingers wrapped around the handlebars.
Let the bicycle seat fully support your upper body, and let your legs release out of your hip joints. This means your legs are not supporting your weight when you’re riding seated.
The hip joints are the juncture between the torso and the legs, not the waist. The waist is simply an imaginary dividing line that bisects the lumbar spine. When you treat your sit bones as the feet of the torso in sitting, two things happen – you provide a platform for the whole torso, and you free up your legs to only pedal without supporting the weight of the body. This means that when you’re riding seated, you use your legs very differently than when you’re pedaling up off of the seat. I’ll address this later in this ebook.
Seated Over the Handlebars
When you are seated and you’re pivoted over the handlebars, your back is in a curve and your head is tilted backwards looking forwards. You want to do this without tension, compression, and collapse. I know that collapse seems like a funny word to use here. What is so common in athletic activities is that we collapse into poor posture, and then we create muscular tension around the collapse for support. This is incredibly hard on the body.
So, as you’re riding with a curving back and your head curved upwards are you sinking into the seat and collapsing your neck backwards to see? As you’re riding, think of the front of your neck lengthening, as you look up from your horizontal position over the handlebars. It is a very different feel and alignment of the head, neck, and spine when you lengthen and release your head upwards to see, rather than collapse the back of the neck.
When you collapse the back of your neck to see, you actually shorten the neck and you compress the back side of the discs between the vertebrae. This is very hard on the neck and shoulders and the nerves that flow out of the spinal cord to the arms. Your arms can go numb.
Even as you’re curved forwards in your spine, let the head direct a lengthening spine from the head to the sit bones. This means that you’re not sinking into the seat, that you are ordering and experiencing the head leading a lengthening curving spine from the sit bones to the head. When you do this in cycling, you are allowing the discs between all of the vertebrae to be fat, so they can cushion you as you ride – your own shock absorbers. When you ride with a tense and compresses neck and spine, you are negating the function of the spine’s discs.