Are you still shaking your hands out on the group rides trying to get some circulations back in those things you need to steer the bike your riding? It's kind of tough to pull those break levers when you can't feel your fingers, isn't it? Yeah, we know, that's neither a safe or pleasant experience! Don't worry, because we've got you covered. Anyone that's ever ridden a bike continuously for an extended period of time has experienced some numb hands a time or two, but for many people, it's actually a chronic issue that takes away from their overall ride experience. The good news is that the solution is pretty simple! While this numb hand problem-solving technique might take some practice, it is absolutely guaranteed to work!
So why are your hands going numb, to begin with? Because, not only is the circulation being restricted due to applied pressure on the palm of the hand from the handlebar, but the palmar branch nerves happen to be right where most people tend to grip their handlebars and putting pressure on them make your hands go numb. So how are you going to fix this if you need to hold onto your handlebars to ride a bike? You're simply going to make two small adjustments that will not only eliminate your numb hand problem forever, but also enhance your overall ride experience, and help you improve your handling.
To better explain this, let's take a look at this at some pictures that demonstrate both the bad body positions that cause hand numbness and the good body position that keep those tingly fingers from showing up.
In the photo on the left, you'll notice the CINCH athlete has his arms almost locked out, and all of the pressure of his body directly on the palm of his hand.
You're right, he doesn't look too bad in this position, but it's not good form, and the reason he's reverting to poor form is that he was coming apart in the breakaway of the pro race at the cobb lake classic with 2km to go. Even high-level riders lose form when they get tired, and that's why we said earlier, that you'll have to practice this technique A LOT. In the photo on the right, you'll notice the same athlete has his elbows bent, and his thumbs and core are bearing the weight of his upper body. The fundamental difference here is where the pressure on the hand is being placed, and how the elbows being in the bent position take the pressure off the wrist and palm, and utilize the core. Instead of grabbing your bars with the center of your palm, think about wrapping your hand around the bar, bearing the weight with the muscles by your thumb, and bracing with the heel of your hand. Instead of grabbing or holding, think of wrapping your hands around the bar.
Check out this video demonstration from our Body Position video course library by coach Tom Danielson, where he explains not only the importance of the hand position that we teach here at CINCH but also the other 2 points of contact that have a massive impact on your ride.
If you're interested in learning more about body position techniques or any of our FORM Performance coaching method's check out this link HERE