Road cycling and rounded back

have anyone here thought of that? when you are on the drop bar, did you try to avoid rounded back? it is kind of un-natural to maintain a straight back.

Reason i ask is because i am having difficulty in maintaining a straight back in my gym session, dead lift for example.

do you think this is a good discussion in the next podcast? how can i request to discuss this in podcast?

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Where did you get that graphic and info?

I will reply in more detail later, but that info is mislead IMO.

ETA: Link to info below.


100% on board with Chad….that graphic is horribly misleading.

The supposed “correct” posture in that picture is anything but…that is a extremely rigid position and one that will not only be fatiguing, but also make handling a bike more challenging.


Yikes. Delete pic asap :rofl:


They are also both REALLY extreme! Hunching yourself over like in the first picture is going to restrict breathing and extending like the second is just a recipe for all kinds of disasters caused by unnecessary muscle tension needed to hold the position!

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They look like exaggerated poses for the pics to

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The pic poses are obviously hyperbole, but the comments attached at the bottom are the real head-scratchers

Which in itself is horribly misleading for something that is meant to be “correct”

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As above, those pictures are horrible for cycling. You want a naturally rounded back somewhere between those extremes. How rounded is going to vary by individual, but I don’t think anybody should look like your second picture with an extended back.

That’s a different issue IMO. You do want a straight/extended back for deadlifts for safety reasons. Lots of YouTube videos on how to lift with good form. Use a mirror if you’re not already. And start light and get form nailed before you start lifting heavy enough to injure yourself with poor form.


The second picture looks painful. I’ve no idea what position my fitter put me in but it certainly wasn’t that!

This is likely a mixture of weak core and poor mobility. dead lifts will help with core strength, but can you do a proper deadlift with no weight? what does your squat look like? can you get in a deep squat with your heels on the ground and your arms down? In that position can you straighten your back? Then can you raise your arms above your head? There are lots of mobility related workouts/stretches available on youtube and elsewhere for this kind of stuff.

There are some situations where rounding part of your back during deadlifts is normal. If you are just learning to deadlift then this is less likely to apply to you. But see here for example:


As I expected, people correctly covered and addressed this to great effect. I love this group :smiley:

  • WRT to back shape on the bike, those pictures are clearly extremes and not ones I would aim to get for any fit outside of rare exceptions.

  • Generally speaking, you want to place a rider in a position that allows them to achieve a comfortable reach to the bars that also lets their back rest in a “natural” position. I placed natural in quotes because what is natural is unique to every person.

  • We want to let that rider specific back shape happen in most cases vs trying to force someone into a shape that is “ideal” or meant to mimic someone else. Placing the rider in a position that is somewhere between those crazy extremes shown is most often beneficial.

  • As mentioned above, most people will end up with some amount of forward back curve and pelvic rotation that is between those wild extremes in the pictures. That “Correct” example is clearly a convex mid-back shape that is NOT something I’d expect for all but a rare few riders.

  • This is possibly related in the sense that it is about your body, but totally unrelated in the general sense of position on the bike. You need to handle strength training in the context of proper technique and practices, without direct consideration of your bike setup that is a totally separate process.

You can submit a question for consideration on the TR podcast page:


Worth noting that one of the more “successful” cyclists of the last generation had a horribly arched back on the bike, both road and TT. But that was his natural position…trying to change it to a flatter back would likely have gained no benefit.


I see back position as being a lot like cadence - there are some very general principles you can shoot for, but the answer will always circle back to “whatever works best for you.”

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Which TDF winner do you prefer, the one that rode with a very flat back, or the one that rode with a rounded back?

I’m going to say Wiggins but only because of his epic sideburns.

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