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The best back posture?

Old 05-11-21, 06:43 PM
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The best back posture?

I'm recovering from an arm injury and the injury forces me to ride low, time trial position all the time in a road bike due to limited range of motion of one arm.

It also forced me to make changes in my posture as prolonged cycling in such position is causing lower back pain.

I used to have my back arched slightly down pre injury like a silverback gorilla. Not a problem before because I'm changing position on the bike all the time. Many internet sources also adviced this posture (with the elbows bent).


However, the "silverback" posture isn't comfortable if maintaining the same riding position the entire ride. So I went ahead and tried the posture Pros use, the "pro hunch" to see if things improve. To my surprise, it did! Lower back pain went away, my speed increased, and pressure on the arms reduced! I mean duh! Why many pros have that back posture because it works! At least it did for me.

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Old 05-11-21, 07:57 PM
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I'm moving away from something closer to the bottom because my neck is getting less tolerant of putting my head where needs to be to see a safe distance ahead. Actually not that close to bottom, but closer to that than top until recent changes.
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Old 05-11-21, 10:34 PM
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Originally Posted by gear64 View Post
I'm moving away from something closer to the bottom because my neck is getting less tolerant of putting my head where needs to be to see a safe distance ahead. Actually not that close to bottom, but closer to that than top until recent changes.
That's one 'con' of the hunch, harder to tilt the head up.

Right now, my neck doesn't have issues. Just the "silverback" posture with the pelvis rolled forward is giving me lower back pain even for short rides, I thought my core muscles are shot or gone weak.

Going pro hunch, same in the 2nd photo immediately solved the lower back problem (I'm even using the same ISM TT saddle as Emma Pooley in the photo). Ride became really comfortable, even on my hands and shoulders, even more important now as I'm still healing from arm injury.
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Old 05-11-21, 11:24 PM
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Two potential pitfalls I see of assuming the pro position is ideal: I believe the UCI limits the tilt of the saddle and how far forward it + extensions can be, which might prevent opening the hip angle as much.
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Old 05-12-21, 12:41 AM
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Originally Posted by surak View Post
Two potential pitfalls I see of assuming the pro position is ideal: I believe the UCI limits the tilt of the saddle and how far forward it + extensions can be, which might prevent opening the hip angle as much.
My saddle is setup quite differently and all the way back the in the rails and tilted slightly up so no worries violating UCI rules there

I'm only concerned about the curve of the back / spine when riding in hunched down / aero position. The curve can be maintained regardless of saddle position/tilt.
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Old 05-12-21, 09:25 AM
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The healthiest back posture is definitely not an arched back (like the gorilla).

An arched lower back position indicates that your core muscles may be weak. It is also a sign that you may be experiencing lower-back pain.

Here's what research has discovered about lower back pain in cyclists:

[C]yclists in the pain group tended to have excessive increased lower
back flexion (forward bending in the lower back)...


[C]yclists measured riding their own bikes, and who were chronic lower-back
pain sufferers, tended to ride with more flexion in the lower lumbar spine. They
also tended to experience a steady increase in pain over a two-hour period
compared to healthy cyclists...


The evidence above points to the fact that cyclists need to be strong in the
lower back and core in order to avoid suffering the results of impaired movement patterns.


https://www.cyclingweekly.com/fitnes...the-bike-32094
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Old 05-12-21, 08:22 PM
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This is me many years ago in my winter fat trim, on our tandem. Note that my back is neither one way nor the other. The bend is distributed between hip and lumbar spine and the upper back is fairly straight. The sore neck thing happens mostly when the back is bent over its whole length rather than the bend being more confined to the lumbar spine. I don't get a sore back on rides of any length.

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Old 05-13-21, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
This is me many years ago in my winter fat trim, on our tandem. Note that my back is neither one way nor the other. The bend is distributed between hip and lumbar spine and the upper back is fairly straight. The sore neck thing happens mostly when the back is bent over its whole length rather than the bend being more confined to the lumbar spine. I don't get a sore back on rides of any length.

I'm finding such posture very difficult to copy. It's neither arched upward nor downward. Rare even among pros!
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Old 05-13-21, 10:50 AM
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[QUOTE=Carbonfiberboy;22057131]TI don't get a sore back on rides of any length.[QUOTE]I should relate an exception to that statement. I'd had a bad summer few years ago, a physical problem, and hadn't been riding as much as I usually do. Ignoring that, I signed up for a big endurance event. About 60 miles into it, just as the hard climbing started, I started to get cramps in my lower back. Over the next 90 miles, they became quite excruciating. I took ibuprofen and lots of pickle juice and did finish but it wasn't pretty. Just a warning. If you're not fit, all sorts of things can go wrong.
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Old 05-14-21, 12:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
I should relate an exception to that statement. I'd had a bad summer few years ago, a physical problem, and hadn't been riding as much as I usually do. Ignoring that, I signed up for a big endurance event. About 60 miles into it, just as the hard climbing started, I started to get cramps in my lower back. Over the next 90 miles, they became quite excruciating. I took ibuprofen and lots of pickle juice and did finish but it wasn't pretty. Just a warning. If you're not fit, all sorts of things can go wrong.
First time I did my century, I kinda hurried myself into it since the farthest distance I did before my century was only 30 miles.

1/3 of the distance was climbing but worst of it all was the headwind %70 of the trip.

Fortunately, I didn't hurt my back but my legs definitely hurt, feels like jello, and had cramps after the trip for two days! My hands became sore the whole week. I consciously managed my cadence and gears during the entire trip, spinning all the way, avoiding mashing unless I'm out of the saddle.
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