Am I twisted or should I twist?

I’ve had a chronic problem during my first year of muni. Something about my riding position and/or style often forces my right shoulder back and keeps it there. I have tried adjusting the seat, staying “light” on the pedals and with even amounts of force, checking/changing my tire and other tweaks. But one cure seems to work best – I call it “doing the twist.”

Basically, it’s just a slight twisting back & forth motion in my torso while pedaling. I don’t know if it just keeps me loose or actually counters the force that throws my shoulder back, but it usually works. And for some reason I can’t actually describe how it’s done. I can’t even just start doing it. It just kind of comes to me after riding for awhile. Sometimes I think it’s a counter-force of pushing the top of the pedal stroke and moving the same side of my torso back, but I can’t say for sure. This really bugs me because I want to be able to understand this motion so I can do it at will.

So I’m wondering from you more experienced riders, is this slight twisting motion a good thing, or wasted movement? Keep in mind it is very slight. And even better, if it IS normal, can you describe how it is done? I find that I learn faster when I can actually describe how a skill is done. Thanks for any help!

I think your twisting is fine. I think a lot of people do it to an extent. I never feel myself doing it, but when I see my shadow while cokering I notice that I twist kinda like you. Mine is more of a wiggling motion. I think it’s just a thing that most everyone picks up without noticing it. If it helps then do it!

I don’t know anything, but I’d say if it works, and you do it subconsciously, then that’s a GOOD thing. :slight_smile:

Maybe one of your legs is shorter than the other. I’m not being rude, but this does happen!

That’s a really good point! I’m off to find my tape measure now. I do know that after 30 years of trail running and about a dozen bad ankle sprains, my right foot is turned out more than my left and affects the whole leg. I just gotta find the right movement to counter it.

I think everyone has one leg that is longer than the other?

I often feel like I “lead” with my left shoulder, which puts my right one behind me, if that is what you mean?

I find this happens more when I have low tyre pressure and also when I’m wearing a rucksack…I think my shoulders might slope a little.

It’s sometimes really annoying and noticable but sometimes not. I think I will try your twisting method and see if that helps me too.

As mentioned above, very few bodies are perfectly symmetrical. This could be a factor. Also previous injuries, such as your angled foot, could play a part. And if you have one leg that’s stronger than the other, it could contribute as well.

But what I’m trying to figure out is how you do MUni with only a slight twisting motion? Methinks you have to twist some to be able to ride in a straight line. Pick up your unicycle and spin the wheel really fast. Notice how it oscillates all over the place? That’s the mass of the pedals trying to find a straighter line in relation to the unicycle’s centerline. Pushing those pedals is also an uneven process. First you push one, then you push the other. This is most notable when going uphill.

When riding long or non-technical uphills, I actually swing my free arm to counterbalance the twisting of the wheel. My upper body doesn’t twist much because I’m usually holding the seat handle, but it would if I didn’t hold on. Same on a Coker. Ever ride with a loose backpack? You’ll notice it flopping from side to side. To ride straight, you have to apply alternating force to the unicycle. So some twist is normal, if not necessary.

That doesn’t explain why your body wants to always turn to one side though. The reasons for that could be many, so it’s hard to diagnose through text…

Thanks John Foss and everyone else, happy to hear I am free to continue twisting and maybe even emphasize it more. Another thing I’m going to focus on is really stretching more, to help reduce uneven kinetic forces that I have. John your analogies and examples were a great help.

Do you always hold your handle with the same hand? Switching hands may feel a little unnatural but may balance you out more - a physiotherapist pointed out my own imbalances from this when I had pain on one side while riding.

Yes good point, I do make an effort at that, although I find left hand easier to do.

MOst people on here are twisted.