Indoor cycling is a good way to exercise and burn some calories. However, it may also cause a sore butt in the long run. If you’ve been doing indoor cycling for a long time, you’re probably experiencing a sore butt right now. How does one prevent sore butt while indoor cycling?
To prevent sore butt while indoor cycling, make sure that your bike setup is ergonomic. Then, sit properly and maintain a good posture while riding. Engage your core and try to give your butt a rest intermittently during your cycling session. Use padded shorts or seat pads to cushion the bike seat and enhance comfort.
It is normal to experience slight soreness (but not acute pain). However, you can take a few steps to make the seat more comfortable and reduce butt soreness to the barest minimum.
In the sections that follow, you will learn what you must do to prevent sore but while cycling indoors:
1. Make Your Bike Setup Ergonomic
You will experience a sore butt if your bike setup is not ergonomic for you. So, make sure you adjust the indoor bike to align properly with your body. That is the first surefire approach to reducing the risk of soreness and injuries.
Here’s what to do to make your bike setup ergonomic:
- Stand beside the bike and place your hand on your hip. Adjust the bike seat to the exact height of your hip or just a little higher.
- Some bikes allow you to adjust the distance between the seat and the handlebars. Experts call this the depth of the bike. If your bike allows for depth adjustment, make it the same length as your forearm. Your hand should touch the handlebars while your elbow is right on the edge of the seat.
Making sure of these two things will make your indoor cycling experience much more comfortable. What’s more, an ergonomic setup will make your workout more effective and productive.
2. Use Up The Entire Seat
Experts say that how you sit on the saddle plays a crucial role in how comfortable your cycling session will be. You are likely to experience pain and discomfort if your butt is resting on the narrow part of the saddle.
So then, make sure you use up the entire seat. Rest your butt on the wider part towards the back of the seat. That squishier part will supply more cushion to your butt and reduce pain significantly.
Any part of your butt that is not resting on the saddle is not bearing any weight. What that means is that if you sit on the narrow part of the saddle, the only part of your butt bearing weight is that small part resting on the seat. You spread the weight more evenly when you sit on the wider part toward the back.
3. Give Your Butt Some Break
If you are riding an outdoor bike, instinct tells you to rise from the seat when you are climbing uphill. Unfortunately, most people never sit up from their bike seats indoors. Staying glued to the seat for a long time will result in soreness after the session.
How do you mitigate this? Sit up from your bike seat during the high-intensity parts of your indoor cycling. You can do that on a spike bike or air bike.
It will give your butt the much-needed break and help prevent soreness during and after your cycling session. Moreover, rising and shifting to a standing posture while cycling helps strengthen your abs and legs.
What’s more, if you have yet to buy an indoor bike, check the specifications before buying one. Make sure that the product you are buying supports standing while cycling. What if you already have one but it does not support standing? Consider taking short breaks after every 10 minutes of cycling.
4. Use Padding to Enhance Comfort
You need padding especially if you are a beginner. They help those who have lower back pain or spine injuries. You can also buy seat pads or padded shorts if you experience sore butts. People with hip pain or sciatica can also benefit from the use of padding during indoor cycling.
Padding will increase your comfort by supplying a cushion. They will also widen the back saddle so that your weight can be more evenly distributed over a wider area of your butt. Experts recommended gel and foam cushions as the best bet for preventing sore butts.
You can wear a seat pad over your bike saddle to get some padding. You can also buy padded shorts and wear them for your cycling session. Padded shorts are like bike leggings or shorts that have built-in pads. They provide more plushness, which makes cycling way more comfortable.
5. Engage Your Core
Many people forget about engaging their core while cycling. Consciously engaging your back muscles and abs will take some pressure off your butt and help prevent soreness.
You can also engage your core muscles when you start noticing soreness. That should offer some relief from the pain that you are feeling. What is more, tightening your core muscles will engage your entire body and make your riding more effective.
How do you engage your core muscles? Extend your arms to the handlebar while riding. Make sure your elbows are slightly bent so that you are not pushing all the weight on your wrist. Then, engage your abdominal muscles by tucking in your belly towards your backbone.
While at this, make sure you keep the right posture:
- Your back should be straight, not hunched.
- Level your shoulders and keep them away from the ears (that will require you to cheat out a bit).
- Your elbows should bend at a slight angle.
What Causes Butt Pain and Discomfort During Indoor Cycling?
The tips we have given so far will surely help you prevent butt soreness while cycling indoors. You will, however, do better when you understand the principles behind what you are doing. That is why we consider it necessary to explain the cause of butt soreness and discomfort in this section of our post.
Butt soreness is more common among beginners but pro riders can experience it, too. Every rider will experience butt pain at one point or the other. However, it should not be a constant experience and it should not take too long to resolve whenever it happens.
1. Weight Distribution
The most prevalent reason for butt soreness is weight distribution. Whenever you ride a bike, whether outdoors or indoors, there are only three contact points between your body and the bike. These contact points, namely your butt, hands, and feet, carry your body’s weight.
However, the weight is usually not evenly distributed. Your butt carries most of the weight while your hands bear the least. Experts say that the hands are to help keep you balanced while riding, rather than bear weight.
Your feet also bear some weight but your knees act as shock absorbers for the feet. The butt, which bears most of the weight, rests on two small bones. More so, most saddles are not plush enough due to their little padding.
That is why we recommended that you should get padding and give your butt a break while cycling.
2. The Right Sitting Posture
Yes, the right sitting posture might also be getting you in trouble with butt pain. The right posture on a bike is to sit upright, but there is a twist to this posture when you are riding an outdoor bike.
You will naturally lean forward while riding to pose a defence to the wind blowing against you. That forward lean can help prevent butt pain while you’re riding.
Things are different with indoor cycling. You are not likely to lean forward since you are not riding against the wind. In effect, you will be sitting too upright and putting too much pressure on your tailbone. That, in turn, causes pain and discomfort.
You can solve this problem by leaning forward a bit while cycling. That way, you will transfer some weight to your hand and relieve your butt of some pressure. Also, take intermittent breaks or sit up from the bike seat every ten during your cycling session. That will transfer some weight from your rear to your legs.
3. You Are Riding For Too Long
You have some compulsory breaks whenever you ride a bike outdoors. You will hit traffic stops from time to time and you have to stop for a bit. You might also stop to get a drink or say hi to a friend.
While waiting, you are likely to get up from the bike and put your feet on the ground. That would allow your butt to get its deserved rest and lower the risks of butt soreness.
Conversely, there are no compulsory breaks when you are cycling indoors. You can ride the bike for an hour or more without taking a break. Sometimes, you even cool off by pedalling lightly while your arms are by your sides. Your butt stays glued to the seat and gets no rest.
More so, that “cooling off” posture put even more pressure on your butt. Riding hard engages your calf and transfers weights from your butt to your feet.
Your butt bears more weight when you sit upright, relax on the sit, and pedal lightly. Add the fact that you are riding long without a break and you’ll understand why your butt hurts.
To solve this problem, take short breaks whenever you are cycling indoors. You have to be intentional about that since there are no compulsory breaks. What is more, don’t stay glued to the saddle while cooking off. Get off the bike seat and let your butt rest properly.
4. Wrong Clothing
People often wear proper outfits for outdoor cycling because other cyclists will see them. Indoor cycling, on the other hand, is generally a private affair. So, most riders reserve their older or worn-out gear for their indoor cycling sessions.
What most people are unaware of is that older bike shorts are bad news for indoor cycling. Their paddings are often less effective because they have worn thin. Riding with such shirts will only give you one thing: a sore butt.
You should, therefore, use your newer and well-padded shorts for indoor cycling. You need them more for indoor cycling than for outdoor cycling.
Should You See a Doctor for Sore Butt?
It is normal to experience a sore butt once in a while from cycling. Do due diligence to find out the cause and make necessary adjustments whenever it happens. However, if you are experiencing constant butt soreness or acute pain, you should visit the doctor. What is more, you should visit the doctor for soreness that doesn’t go away in 3-4 days.
1. Why does my butt hurt after indoor cycling?
One reason why your butt hurts after indoor cycling is you didn’t shift your weight and you’re in a static position, compared to when riding outdoors. You get to sprint, climb, and shift your weight. Another reason is the different setup and change in the saddle.
2. How do I stop getting a sore bum when cycling?
Some of the things you can do to prevent a sore bum after cycling is changing position from time to time, such as standing on the pedals, adjusting your bike, finding a more comfortable sitting position, and choosing the right clothing. You can also add some padding to the seat to make it softer.
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