Indoor Cycling Hand Placement Tips!

Believe it or not, it really matters where you put your hands.

Whether you’re a rookie or a lifetime indoor cyclist, this trainer tip VLOG with Cat Kom and the Olganator is for you. We’re talking about “hand position” while on your bike, and this important topic is for every rider, because if your hands (or feet, which is another topic we have some great blogs on) are not in the right spots, it may impact your entire body position while riding. 

Why is hand position so important?

Proper placement of your hands, while riding, keeps your body in proper alignment. If you’ve ever been in a Spin class, you’ve probably heard a trainer reminding everyone to “relax those shoulders.” That’s important, and having your hands in the right spot can keep you away from the dreaded shoulder shrug.

What are the right positions, and when do we use them?

First, let’s remember to keep your shoulders relaxed (as we’ve mentioned) and your elbows “soft.” Your upper body shouldn’t be bearing any weight, so your arms should be in the spot that keeps the focus and pressure on your core muscles and lower body. 

When you’re following along in a class, some trainers may use different terminology for the hand positions, but you can still use this as a guide for the right position based on the type of drills.

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Position 1: Your hands are in the middle of the bike handlebars, closest to your body. This is used for warm-ups and cool-downs, and it can also be used for a flat road ride. Some advanced riders may even ride in position 1 for sprints.

Position 2: Place your hands on the outside corner of the handlebars, still closest to your body (approximately at shoulder width). Your fingers will wrap over the handlebar, with your thumb on the side closer to you, and your knuckles facing forward. 

Position 2.5: With your hands at the same location on the bar as position 2, your knuckles will instead face outward, with your thumb wrapped on the inside of the handlebars. Olga prefers this position, as it allows her wrist to remain neutral. But 2 and 2.5 can be used interchangeably based on your personal preference.

You can ride in 2nd position for flats, steep climbs, and even some standing drills. This is also the most common position for seated riding.

Position 3: This is when your hands are placed on the ends of the handlebars, furthest away from your body. Third position is great for standing climbs. Most riders won’t use this position at all when they’re in the saddle.

To summarize, the best indoor cycling rides really do start with your hands! 

And for some amazing body-sculpting, fat-torching workouts where you can see trainers demonstrating proper hand position on the bike, check out Studio SWEAT and Studio SWEAT onDemand!