good cycling form

Why Having Good Form is Key to a Successful Workout

By PelotonUpdated October 16, 2020


Need a form refresher? Instructor Robin Arzon shares her five tips to improve your form for a more powerful ride.

  1. Proper Cycling Posture
    Qualities of a good cycling posture include: hinging forward at the hips slightly, little pressure on the back, knees, and wrists, and minimal rounding of your back and shoulders.

  2. Light grip on the handlebar
    Throughout the ride, check for any excess pressure on your wrists or in your hands, and if necessary, shift your weight back to where it belongs in your legs. If you feel the need to have a death grip on the handlebars, you likely need to add resistance.

  3. You need resistance
    Riding without enough resistance can wear on your joints, cause injuries and discomfort. If you're bouncing around in the saddle or jerky with leg movements, add enough resistance until it feels like the rubber meets the road. It should feel gritty even on flat roads and during active recoveries.

  4. Your pedal stroke involves pushing and pulling
    Create a smooth circular motion in your legs. Think: (1) push forward, (2) push down, (3) pull backward and (4) pull up. Instead of looking like the up/down movement of a sewing machine, think of engaging your hamstrings and glutes to glide the pedal up in a circular motion. Keep the weight back in your hips and avoid pointing your toes or slamming down on the pedals, especially during heavy, seated climbs.

  5. Standing out of the saddle takes practice
    Use heavier resistance than you think and focus less on speed. It's best to be slow and controlled with enough resistance to support your body weight. Hold your body steady by focusing equal efforts on the right and left legs as well as working through a solid core. Make sure your hips are above your pedal. If you find yourself leaning into the handlebars, sit down, realign your body, and add a little bit of resistance before trying again.

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Ready to show off your form on the bike? Count yourself in for your next ride.