Proper Seat Position for Riding an Exercise Bike

With proper positioning, an exercise bike can be a comfy place for a tough workout.

With proper positioning, an exercise bike can be a comfy place for a tough workout.

Getting a cardio workout on an exercise bike is a great way to burn calories. But sometimes finding the right seat position can be more challenging than the workout itself. If you’ve ever been stuck on an uncomfortable bike for a long period of time, you know the feeling. That’s why making sure the seat is properly adjusted before you begin your workout is so key. Instead of hating your bike workout, learn to love it in the comfort of a well-positioned saddle.

Seating Woes

You’ll know it if the seat of your exercise bike isn’t right for you. You’ll feel it in your back, your legs and, of course, your butt. If the seat is too high, too low or improperly angled, you’ll feel discomfort usually within the first few minutes of your workout. If not corrected, the poor positioning can lead to pain and even numbness in the lower body. Instead of suffering through, hit pause on your workout monitor, dismount the bike and make the necessary adjustments.

Adjust the Angle

Not up. Not down. Parallel to the floor. According to Bally Total Fitness, that’s just how your seat should be before you climb on for a ride. An angle in either direction will not only make it difficult for you to stay on the seat, it will also put pressure on your lower back as it works to hold you in a poor position. If your bike’s seat keeps tilting up or down even after you’ve adjusted it, switch to a different bike and, later, tell a member of the gym’s staff about the faulty equipment.

Adjust the Height

When it comes to determining the best height for your exercise bike seat, the proper level should be determined by the position of your knees. If your seat is at the right height, your knee will be slightly bent when the pedal is at its lowest position. According to Bally Total Fitness, positioning the seat too low is a common mistake, but positioning it too high is a costly one. While having the seat too low can be uncomfortable, having it too high can lead to groin injuries that will take you out of the workout game altogether while you recover.

Additional Adjustments

Adjusting the seat is certainly one of the most important keys to enjoying a comfortable workout, but it’s not the only determining factor. While you’re positioning the seat, take a moment to adjust the handlebars, too. Ideally you should be relaxed and leaning slightly forward with your weight divided evenly between the bars and the seat. If the handlebars are too high, too much weight will be placed on the seat, while if they are too low, you could actually strain your back.

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About the Author

After graduating from the University of Kansas with a bachelor's degree in sports information, Jill Lee served for 10 years as a magazine editor for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA). Also a published author, Lee now works as a professional writer and editor focusing on fitness, sports and careers.

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