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How to get rid of side to side sway(6 posts)

How to get rid of side to side swayPODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Oct 26, 2002 12:40 PM
I notice when I'm riding especially on a stationary bike that I tend to sway back and forth with my upper body no matter how much I tense up my arms to stop it. Any ideas for how to stop this?

re: How to get rid of side to side swayJon Billheimer
Oct 26, 2002 1:26 PM

Tensing up your arms will actually telegraph the bi-lateral thrusting of your legs and increase your swaying. What I think you want to do is to create upper body-lower body independence. This is done through strengthening deep core/postural muscles. Swiss Ball work, Pilates, etc. will help in this respect. What won't help is the usual gym work which emphasises strengthening the large, superficial muscles such as the rectus abdominus and superficial muscles of the back.

An on-bike tactic that may help is to spend time on your rollers trying to achieve a "pressure float" in your shoes while pedalling, i.e. try to maintain the same pressure between the bottom of your foot and shoe and the top of your foot and shoe while pedalling. Also, co-ordinate abdominal, diaphram breathing with your pedalling cadence. Doing all this will recruit your deep postural muscles in the unconscious activity of maintaining your body core as a stable fulcrum against which your legs exert leverage to the pedals. Pay attention to the subtle flexions and extensions of your obliques and transverse abdominis while riding in this way.

This is a quality training exercise which has to be started in easy gears and perfected before ramping up your power. As you gradually go to larger gears, at any time that your form becomes less than absolutely perfect, retreat to an easier effort level, regain form, then edge up the intensity again. This becomes kind of a bicycular yoga kind of exercise.

For a good reference on the role that quality of movement plays in training there's an excellent article in the October issue of Triathlete magazine which you might enjoy.
wow good answer! (nm)Frith
Oct 26, 2002 6:44 PM
And the short answer is . . .TrekFurthur
Oct 28, 2002 7:47 AM
relax your arms and use your gut/back to hold you up. Seriously, Jon's response is it in a nutshell. My gym offers an Athletic Core Strengthening class, and it kicks my butt one night a week; works lots of really deep muscles. I don't start feeling sore, I just can't sit up to get off the floor. You'll notice more power on the bike, also, if you work on this all winter.
Try a spin classdesmo
Oct 26, 2002 4:32 PM
Sorry, couldn't resist.

Concentrating on your pedal stroke and getting that nice and smooth should calm down your upper body. Is pushing too big a gear what gets everything rocking and rolling? Might try some high cadence low resistance work. Try and mentally seperate your lower half and stay relaxed, fixed gear bikes work well for this.
Hang on loosely.SnowBlind
Oct 27, 2002 7:18 PM
As has been said already, relax! Don't fight the bike.

Use the force, don't use force. A bike is not just a machine, it will project the internal struggles of your soul, man...

OK, that's the 3rd Cooper's ale talkin', so ignore that last bit.

Check your saddle and your saddle position as well. My Flite Max became too wide as I lost weight and made the bike rock. Sitting too far back on the saddle can have a similar effect. Too high of saddle can do it as well, as the hips rock.