The anatomy of a cyclist - which muscles are used to ride

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The anatomy of a cyclist - which muscles are used to ride

Postby mikesbytes » Sun Apr 01, 2007 4:04 pm

What are the primary muscles used when cycling, in partiular road racing and what are the supporting muscles?

Definition of usage;
Primary: The primary muscle used in the movement
Supporting;
Synergist: A muscle that assists another muscle to accomplish a movement.
Stabilizer: A muscle that contracts with no significant movement.
Dynamic Stabilizer: A biarticulate muscle (A muscle that crosses two joints) that simultaneously shortens at the target joint and lengthens at the adjacent joint with no appreciable difference in length. Dynamic stabilization occurs during many compound movements.
Antagonist Stabilizer: A muscle that contracts to maintain the tension potential of a biarticulate muscle at the adjacent joint. The antagonist stabilizer may be contracted throughout or at only one extreme of the movement.

Diagrams of muscles in the legs
Gluteus Maximus
Hip Abductors - Gluteus Medius and Target: Gluteus Minimu and Target: Tensor Fasciae Latae
Quadriceps
Hamstrings
Gastrocnemius
Soleus
Tibialis Anterior

Diagrams of muscles in the back
General Back
Erector Spina (also in the waist)
Latissimus Dorsi and Teres Major and Trapezius Lower Fibres and Rhomboids
Trapezius Upper Fibres and Trapezius Middle Fibres and Levator Scapulae
Infraspinatus and Teres Minor
Subscapulari
Supraspinatus

Diagrams of muscles in the waist
Rectus Abdominis
Obliques
Transverse Abdominus (don't have a picture)
ErectorSpinae (also in the back)

Diagrams of muscles in the Back
General Back
Erector Spina
Latissimus Dorsi and Teres Major and Trapezius Lower Fibres and Rhomboids and Rhomboids
Trapezius Upper Fibres and Trapezius Middle Fibres and Levator Scapulae
Infraspinatus and Teres Minor
Subscapulari
Supraspinatus

Diagrams of muscles in the Shoulders
Deltoid Anterior
Deltoid Lateral
Deltoid Posterior
Supraspinatus

Diagrams of muscles in the Triceps
Triceps Brachii

Diagrams of muscles in the Biceps
Biceps Brachii
Brachialis
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by BNA » Sun Apr 01, 2007 7:00 pm

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Postby 531db » Sun Apr 01, 2007 7:00 pm

Ah, so now I know the names for all the hurty bits...............
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Postby mikesbytes » Sun Apr 01, 2007 8:02 pm

531db wrote:Ah, so now I know the names for all the hurty bits...............


Yes, but exactly which bits are the hurty bits ?
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Re: The anatomy of a cyclist - which muscles are used to rid

Postby heavymetal » Sun Apr 01, 2007 8:46 pm

mikesbytes wrote:What are the primary muscles used when cycling, in partiular road racing and what are the supporting muscles?


I can't see any mention of the use of a Neurological Muscle. :shock: :D
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Re: The anatomy of a cyclist - which muscles are used to rid

Postby mikesbytes » Sun Apr 01, 2007 8:54 pm

heavymetal wrote:
mikesbytes wrote:What are the primary muscles used when cycling, in partiular road racing and what are the supporting muscles?


I can't see any mention of the use of a Neurological Muscle. :shock: :D


Sorry I forgot the nut behind the handlebars
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Postby tuco » Mon Apr 02, 2007 11:40 am

Wow! I've actually got some of them now.
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Postby mikesbytes » Mon Apr 02, 2007 12:44 pm

tuco wrote:Wow! I've actually got some of them now.


But which ones ?
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Postby moosterbounce » Mon Apr 02, 2007 2:24 pm

Thanks for this Mike - very interesting.

I suffer from Compartment Syndrome (you can look it up :P ) in both legs in my Tibialis Anterior and up to now have refused surgery. Before anyone asks why, it meant a massive cut the length of each shin, 1 month on crutches (some of which having no feeling in my feet), then 12 months of physio with about a 50% chance of it being fixed!! Sounds great huh :shock: Treatment may have improved in the last few years since diagnosis, so I may be quoting old fashioned treatment here - it was what put me off at the time though (only 5 years ago).

Anyway, I gave up playing hockey (synthetic grass is a shocker), volleyball, running, walking long distances, and walking quickly. Funnily enough, cycling doesn't hurt it!!

Now, I could be pedalling incorrectly to favour it, but being in both legs, this is pretty tricky. I figured this muscle just wasn't really used much.

So...any guesses?

Moo...

BTW: If my physio ever told me to give up cycling, he would be on the news as fireman would be needed to cut bits of a bike off (not mine cos I love that too much :D ) to get him in the ambulance :shock:
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Postby sogood » Mon Apr 02, 2007 3:53 pm

If you really have compartment syndrome, then there's no alternatives but to release it by surgical means. The surgery is simple and the skin incision should be very short in good hands. As a matter of fact, I would search for a surgeon who does it by minimally invasive techniques. The only long cut is in the fascial layer hidden under your skin.

For the potentially small and near invisible scar and the restrictions it has given you, I would not hold back on the surgical option.
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Postby MichaelB » Mon Apr 02, 2007 4:26 pm

mikesbytes wrote:
531db wrote:Ah, so now I know the names for all the hurty bits...............


Yes, but exactly which bits are the hurty bits ?


After my big ride yesterday, it is my lower back hurty bits. General Back seems to localise it enough !!!
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Postby tuco » Mon Apr 02, 2007 4:55 pm

MichaelB wrote:
mikesbytes wrote:
531db wrote:Ah, so now I know the names for all the hurty bits...............


Yes, but exactly which bits are the hurty bits ?


After my big ride yesterday, it is my lower back hurty bits. General Back seems to localise it enough !!!


I was riding without pain in my lower back then the lbs guy I ride with told me to bring the bike in and he'll set it up properly because I didn't look like I was fitting the bike right.
Longer stem, seat down and moved back and off I went. Two rides and two sore lower backs later I went back and he put the seat forward 0.5cm and I haven't had a problem since and I'm better 'fitted' to the bike.

50mm was the difference between back pain and no back pain.
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Postby MichaelB » Mon Apr 02, 2007 5:08 pm

I think my back pain was due to recently raising the seat height, and a big ride with lotsa effort.

Need to do some more back specific exercises, and will see what happens on the bike.

Interestingly, the probklem was once I was off the bike, not on it !!
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Postby sogood » Mon Apr 02, 2007 5:13 pm

One need to differentiate b/n what's a temporary pain due to a position that the body isn't accustomed to, and that of a pain that's induced by poor positioning. The first will resolve in time and give you comfort in the long run while the later will exacerbate the pain in the long run.
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Postby rider06 » Mon Apr 02, 2007 5:35 pm

moo, tibialis anterior's function is to dorsi flex the ankle (bring the toes upwards towards the shin, as opposed to plantar flex - soleus and gastrocnemius) dorsi flexion of the ankle is important when running/walking to help keep your toes from stubbing the ground as you swing your leg forwards. unless you are making some crazy movements in your pedal strokes you probably would not be placing a lot of stress on tib ant. a girl at uni had a similar problem and had the surgery a few years ago and she was quite happy with the results, however she being only 20 now had the benefit of youth on her side to help the healing process.
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Postby sogood » Mon Apr 02, 2007 5:44 pm

Fascial release is really simple surgery and just about anyone can do it. And there's not much age differentiation in terms of recovery. I'd say just do it.

Tib ant is still quite useful in cycling if you stand and pull on the upstroke. Less important if you don't use straps/clipless.
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Postby moosterbounce » Tue Apr 03, 2007 12:36 pm

Thanks for the info sogood and rider06. I found your input very interesting. I'm not keen on the surgery after being told that for me, there was only about a 50% chance of it working. I know a guy who had the surgery 3 times in one leg before it "worked". :?

When I first started having issues at 18, I was playing a very serious level of hockey. This made me drop back some grades to avoid synthetic grass. I played strapped up for many years - it looked fantastic!!

Anyway, after 10 years of being treated for shin splints, and 3 physios later, I found my favourite physio who looked further into the problem. At 35, I'm now too old to get back to that sort of game at that level...35 and already over the hill!! :wink:

Cycling is working which is great, though I would consider surgery if it started affecting my riding. I ride with cleats, but perhaps don't flex my feet as much as I could. Wouldn't surprise me. I will watch for any hurties when I attempt to make my stroke more efficient!!

Moo...
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Postby sogood » Tue Apr 03, 2007 12:47 pm

moosterbounce wrote:I'm not keen on the surgery after being told that for me, there was only about a 50% chance of it working. I know a guy who had the surgery 3 times in one leg before it "worked". :?

It won't work if the fascial release isn't adequate or the diagnosis was wrong. Needs a generous snip down the fascia.
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Postby tuco » Tue Apr 03, 2007 1:02 pm

moosterbounce wrote:35 and already over the hill!! :wink:

Moo...


You might be over the hockey hill but not the cycling hill.
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Postby mikesbytes » Sun Apr 08, 2007 8:31 pm

Sogood found this diagram - thanks

Image
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Postby mikesbytes » Sun Jun 17, 2007 9:53 pm

My Hipflexors hurt today. Don't know why today and not other days.
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Postby Wanta-bike » Sat Aug 11, 2007 11:13 pm

mikesbytes wrote:
531db wrote:Ah, so now I know the names for all the hurty bits...............


Yes, but exactly which bits are the hurty bits ?


ALL OF EM!
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Postby tallywhacker » Sun Aug 12, 2007 12:00 am

this week I started weight training for the summer track competition. 3 days lower body 2 days upper body. Everything hurts
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Postby europa » Sun Aug 12, 2007 12:02 am

tallywhacker wrote: Everything hurts

Ahh, so it's working then :wink:

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Postby tallywhacker » Sun Aug 12, 2007 3:11 am

what doesn't kill you.....
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Postby Kev365428 » Sun Aug 12, 2007 7:43 am

Interesting topic. Thanks Mike.

I used to ski (as in snow) quite a lot up until the birth of our daughter almost three years ago. My quads used to ache for the first few days of the season basically due to lack of use throughout the previous 10 months of the year.
Since the birth, I've gotten back into cyling and considered my fitness levels to be the best they've been for the past 15 or so years.

So anyway, the outlaws offered to mind said daughter for a few days so we could enjoy some of the best snow for the last 10 years. I jumped at the chance before they could take it back. :)

After the first day of skiing, I had no soreness in my legs at all. Even after doing non-stop/fast runs with lots of turns I felt no pain or soreness. "The cycling is paying off big time" I boasted to my wife and friends.
The second day was pretty much the same, although I did notice some fatigue creeping in at the end of the day. Not at all unexpected, I thought.

Now, when I woke up on the third morning, it felt like my calves were made out of cement. They were so tight it looked like I was walking in shackles. All through the third day my calves were stiff, but not realy sore. On the fourth and last morning, they were both stiff and sore and required a solid 30+minutes of stretching before I could even think about skiing.

This got me thinking about what muscles, specifically in the calf area, are used when cycling as opposed to skiing. Two totally different activities, but I would've thought that the range of muscles used in the calf would have been close. Surely there is not that many different muscles in the calf, is there?

A lot of pro skiers will tell you that cycling is the best exercise to prepare for the season, and to a point I would agree, but nothing prepared me for the stiffness in my calves after three days of skiiing.

Of course, it could have been because I was so extremely fit from cycling that I pushed my body to levels of exertions never previously reached. :roll:

Kev.
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