There’s no better way to ruin the fun of riding your motorcycle than to experience serious back pain after. This happens to many motorcyclists all over the world. It doesn't matter if you've been riding for years or if you're still getting the hang of it, all it takes is one ride with your back in a bad position to seriously hurt yourself.
If you feel a tightness or a pulling in your back muscles, it's time to get back to basics. Here's everything you need to know about the proper motorcycle riding position and how to maintain this posture every time you get on a bike.
The standard position for riding a motorcycle is when the driver is sitting with their back upright. Your shoulders should be stacked above your hips and slightly pushed back. This relaxes the shoulders and keeps them from hunching over, which can cause discomfort and pain in the neck and upper back area.
The standard position is ideal when driving a dual or touring bike. You could ride a sports bike in this posture if you really wanted to, but not for very long.
The cruiser position is similar to the standard, but the main difference is in the lower body. When riding in standard position, the ankles are in line with the hips. This means your legs are bent back in a sort of straddle position.
However, when you're cruising, the legs are ahead of you. They're set on top of special footrests that allow you to extend your legs forward.
This position allows the feet to support the rest of the body. You still have to hold your back up straight (shoulders in line with hips), but this won't be as much work for your upper body because of the support of the lower body.
The final (and most intense position) is the sports position. The proper riding position motorcycle enthusiasts of this kind need to have is slightly leaned forward, but still straight.
The best way to bring your upper body forward and keep your back straight is to focus on the chest. Tell yourself to lean from the chest instead of with the back. This helps you keep the shoulders back rather than letting them hunch over, which is where most riders begin to experience back problems as they drive.
Also, put some weight on your feet. Your feet are bent back behind you in the sports position, but because you're leaning forward, you can rest on your heels a bit. This offsets the strain put on the back as you drive.
It's one thing to understand how you should be riding a bike and another to actually maintain the best riding position for a motorcycle. Use the tips below to get better at keeping your posture while riding.
The back pain you feel when getting off your bike may have less to do with how you hold yourself and more to do with the bike's settings. Make sure you have everything in the right position. Adjust the seat, the handlebars, and the footrests to fit your body.
Remember, every driver has a different height and upper/lower body proportions. A bike can't be made to fit every single person. You have to adjust the settings you receive your bike in if you want to achieve the best comfort while driving.
Another way to have good posture on your bike is to practice good posture as you're walking around and sitting somewhere other than behind the handlebars.
Notice how often you slouch when you're at work or if you tend to raise your shoulders toward your ears. Do a mental body scan of how you sit and notice if you're putting more pressure on the lower back than necessary.
These habits have serious consequences. They tighten and strain the muscles in your back which makes it harder for them to perform when you really need them to. Take care of them throughout the day if you want these muscles to take care of you as you ride your bike.
The final bike-riding tip to keep in mind is to relax. After all, you're supposed to be having fun! Take a deep breath when you get on your bike and try not to be so rigid as you hit the streets.
When you come to a stop sign or stoplight, take advantage of this time to stretch your body a bit. Place your feet on the ground and loosen your arms. Stretch smaller areas of the body too, like your ankles and your wrists.
Don't worry, you don't have to give up the hobby you've come to love so much. You just have to re-train yourself to drive with the correct motorcycle riding position.
If you utilize our few simple steps and practice riding your bike with posture in mind, you will be well on your way to a safe and enjoyable ride. If problems persist, try using one of our Motorcycle Kidney Belts with Lumbar Support. This is any easy way to ensure you’re practicing good posture on and off the streets.
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