Slumping at the desk with gradually widening elbows is a position many of us adopt on the bike as well. This process disengages many of the large stabilisers around the upper back and shoulders and changes the angles significantly at the handlebars. The effect, an increased ulna angle at the wrist and hence increased compression of the vascular and neural structures entering the wrist. The result, numb hands, painful wrists and a less enjoyable ride.
The endurance nerd suggests a 4-5 o'clock position for the right elbow and 6-7 o’clock position for the left elbow, thinking of the middle of the clock being between your two hands. This position allows better use of the scapula retractors and the latissimus dorsi for more efficient and comfortable riding as well as placing less angulation at the wrist and hence no numbness. Neck and shoulder problems of course are also affected in this position and can make your riding life more comfortable. For more details have a look at the links below, they offer some great detail for those who want a little more information.
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Jason is the Leichhardt Physiotherapy's practice principal and has been practicing as a physiotherapist for over 16 years