A recent trip of mine to the Naki caught these two pics of one rider showing the classic difference between bending everywhere but their waist, and doing it the better way. Lets take a moment to see just what is happening and why this problem is so epidemic in Kiwis.
I think not bending at the waist is a self conscious thing. If you watch a toddler squat down to pick something up, they have the kind of technique that an Olympic weight lifter can be jealous of. To us it feels like sticking our bum out, but when seen from the side it is the only way that doesn’t look awkward.
In the first pic you can see our “Steve” hunching his back with arms twisted crazy forward and legs quite bent. I see this a lot where people are missing the point, literally bending everywhere except at their waist.
Imagine how weak their arms would be in this position when they suddenly get thrown backward or forward. Their knees have no chance of gripping the seat because they have fallen into the trap of using their legs as suspension when they should be soaking hits from their hips instead. Of course it is almost unnecessary to mention how hard it would be for them to see where they are going in this position with their helmet on, and totally impossible if using anything but a very special neck brace.
Onto the next pic and you can see how relaxed yet effective they look, simply from learning to go back to that style they had as a kid. Because of a good bend in the waist they can see ahead easily, soak bumps with their whole body and still grip the seat with their knees. Best of all they now have a straight back, something that is important in many sports along with every day life.
Learn how to roll your hips forward enough when riding that you keep a straight back and the benefits may just surprise you.