"Cycling is not enough"

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"Cycling is not enough"

Postby trailgumby » Fri Jul 02, 2010 6:33 pm

Interesting article on bikeradar.com:

“Cyclists have huge leg muscles but don’t have the torso strength to support and resist the tremendous forces which the legs can generate,” he explains. If the torso is weak, he says, that force doesn’t go into the pedals but is dissipated in flexing of the abdomen. “Look at tired riders – every stroke generates an ‘S’ curve in the back, causing fatigue and muscle spasm.”

No rider will ever develop a sufficiently strong torso through riding alone, says Dr Lanning. “Riding with undeveloped abs is something like riding a bike with a cracked frame – all the energy gets dissipated in flexion, and doesn’t get you down the road.” Unless that road happens to lead to A&E…


More at: http://www.bikeradar.com/commuting/fitn ... back-24568
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by BNA » Fri Jul 02, 2010 6:40 pm

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Re: "Cycling is not enough"

Postby Nobody » Fri Jul 02, 2010 6:40 pm

I SUP (stand up paddle). Great for core strength and endurance. Not bad for many other parts of the body too.
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Re: "Cycling is not enough"

Postby ireland57 » Fri Jul 02, 2010 8:02 pm

Good work trailgumby.

I've just been through a bike fit to correct all those issues. Now I just gotta do the work. :( :)

It'll take a couple of months (year, whatever) I reckon to correct a lifetime of bad practices but I can see a light at the end of the tunnel.
I think it will make an enormous difference to my bike riding especially the hills.
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Re: "Cycling is not enough"

Postby mianos » Fri Jul 02, 2010 8:19 pm

I've been doing Pilates. After 5 months I am 2kph faster on the same rides because my body can handle a slightly more aerodynamic position without any side effects. Even with the lower position I have less weight on the bars and saddle. I can do 3 hours in the saddle and get off with zero back or neck pain. That's not to say my legs don't hurt more! It was my fitment with Steve Hogg that got me into Pilates. Personally I found his position interesting and I learnt a hell of a lot about position in the following year but his focus on comfort and shoe spacers a bit too much for me.
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Re: "Cycling is not enough"

Postby mikesbytes » Sat Jul 03, 2010 12:43 am

Yoga is great too

If you do weights, then migrate to full squats, ie when your behind almost hits the ground, it hits the core lifting it.
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Re: "Cycling is not enough"

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Sat Jul 03, 2010 2:16 pm

“Cyclists have huge leg muscles but don’t have the torso strength to support and resist the tremendous forces which the legs can generate,” he explains. If the torso is weak, he says, that force doesn’t go into the pedals but is dissipated in flexing of the abdomen. “Look at tired riders – every stroke generates an ‘S’ curve in the back, causing fatigue and muscle spasm.”

No rider will ever develop a sufficiently strong torso through riding alone, says Dr Lanning. “Riding with undeveloped abs is something like riding a bike with a cracked frame – all the energy gets dissipated in flexion, and doesn’t get you down the road.” Unless that road happens to lead to A&E…

What a load of twaddle.
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Re: "Cycling is not enough"

Postby TheSkyMovesSideways » Sat Jul 03, 2010 3:53 pm

I was thinking the same thing, Alex. Mentioned in the article, but not clear from that quote, is the fact that "Dr" Lanning is a chiropractor. :roll:

I don't think the abs do that much in cycling. It's the obliques and lower back muscles that would be needed to support the body during the pedalling motion. Worse is the way the article goes on about how important abdominal strength is, then lists a bunch of stretches rather than exercises! :roll:
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Re: "Cycling is not enough"

Postby trailgumby » Sat Jul 03, 2010 5:32 pm

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:What a load of twaddle.

Was hoping you'd chime in Alex. Could you please elaborate?
"People have a right to their own opinions, but not their own facts. Evidence must be located, not created, and opinions not backed by evidence cannot be given much weight." -- James W Loewen

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Re: "Cycling is not enough"

Postby The Womble » Sat Jul 03, 2010 6:55 pm

TheSkyMovesSideways wrote:I was thinking the same thing, Alex. Mentioned in the article, but not clear from that quote, is the fact that "Dr" Lanning is a chiropractor. :roll:

I don't think the abs do that much in cycling. It's the obliques and lower back muscles that would be needed to support the body during the pedalling motion. Worse is the way the article goes on about how important abdominal strength is, then lists a bunch of stretches rather than exercises! :roll:


Abs help everything. Most importantly they help with back strength, which in turn help enormously with leg and hip strength.
I sell and deliver bottled water, and since the last gimp our company had as a full time delivery driver was fired, Ive had to pick up that slack. While Id rather be spending time selling the stuff to you lot, my core strength from lugging 15-19lt bottles around the place for 8 hours a day has improved immensely. It has actually helped me get more comfortable and centered when on the bike and now Im busting to get a proper bike fit to make the most of it
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Re: "Cycling is not enough"

Postby Wayfarer » Sat Jul 03, 2010 7:01 pm

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:What a load of twaddle.

I was hoping you'd comment :)
“Cyclists have huge leg muscles but don’t have the torso strength to support and resist the tremendous forces which the legs can generate,” he explains. If the torso is weak, he says, that force doesn’t go into the pedals but is dissipated in flexing of the abdomen. “Look at tired riders – every stroke generates an ‘S’ curve in the back, causing fatigue and muscle spasm.”

No we dont, we develop them through years of training, and Alex has said that your core will too. Tired riders have both tired backs and legs..
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Re: "Cycling is not enough"

Postby trailgumby » Sat Jul 03, 2010 7:40 pm

So I wonder why Steve Hogg is so vocal about core strength for cyclists, then?
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Re: "Cycling is not enough"

Postby mianos » Sat Jul 03, 2010 7:48 pm

mikesbytes wrote:Yoga is great too

My mates here who are in the HTC Columbia team have been doing some yoga as well.
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Re: "Cycling is not enough"

Postby toolonglegs » Sat Jul 03, 2010 7:57 pm

trailgumby wrote:So I wonder why Steve Hogg is so vocal about core strength for cyclists, then?


Possibly because a big % of the peps that go to him are doing so because they already have problems?.But yes he does suggest lots of core work.
..and then there is me...I train my arse off,do very little else...and bang my lower back and hip gives way big time...so much so that I struggle to hold my hour power for a couple of minutes without pains everywhere.In oz while doing a lot of Yoga for flexibility and strength I felt great on a bike (when I didn't have a sinarse infection)...now I do no yoga (but have had my nose fixed) and I am pretty much destroyed in my core area :roll: .
Who knows if it would have made a difference on not...but IF (YES BIG IF) I can regain my previous self I won't neglect such things again.
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Re: "Cycling is not enough"

Postby hannos » Sat Jul 03, 2010 9:26 pm

trailgumby wrote:So I wonder why Steve Hogg is so vocal about core strength for cyclists, then?



I would expect because the vast majority of people has absolutely atrocious core strength.
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Re: "Cycling is not enough"

Postby foo on patrol » Sat Jul 03, 2010 9:33 pm

hannos wrote:
trailgumby wrote:So I wonder why Steve Hogg is so vocal about core strength for cyclists, then?



I would expect because the vast majority of people has absolutely atrocious core strength.


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Re: "Cycling is not enough"

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Sun Jul 04, 2010 3:28 pm

trailgumby wrote:
Alex Simmons/RST wrote:What a load of twaddle.

Was hoping you'd chime in Alex. Could you please elaborate?

Well the chiropractor's quote doesn't even fall in line with the remainder of the item which highlights that the main reasons for such problems are:

i. poor bike set up in the first place

ii. training/riding beyond your capacity to do so (e.g.trying to do too much, too quickly)

And:
iii. there isn't much core strength required to ride a bike in the first place

iv. the fact that strength is not a limiter in endurance cycling (this applies to the core as well). What evidence is there that improving core strength improves its endurance? None (and since this basic principle applies to every other muscle in the body, I don't see why it would suddenly apply to the core muscles).

v. the best core workouts for riding a bike is riding a bike. Sprints, standing starts, hills, hard efforts, threshold work, MTB, longer rides, tempo work etc etc, since this is what will use your core (and any other) musculature in the manner in which it will be stressed. If it isn't up to the task, it will gain the stimulus required and adapt accordingly.

Nevertheless, nowhere am I implying that one should not do work on their core, or that core exercise is a bad thing. Far from it.

Just that the "conclusions" drawn are simply not supported by the (lack of) evidence.
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Re: "Cycling is not enough"

Postby Mean Machine » Thu Jul 08, 2010 7:26 pm

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Re: "Cycling is not enough"

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Thu Jul 08, 2010 8:33 pm


:?: None of the above discuss core strength but rather leg strength training.

The first and second items do not even have a control group. :roll:

The second and third items were performed on untrained subjects AFAIK. As has been repeatedly discussed, it's already well established that almost any regular exercise will be beneficial to performance for untrained individuals.

We are interested in evidence related to trained cyclists.
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Re: "Cycling is not enough"

Postby Marty Moose » Thu Jul 08, 2010 9:38 pm

Why do the AIS test cyclist's core strength? Have they got it wrong? Seems pretty pointless if core strength means nothing to cyclists.

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Re: "Cycling is not enough"

Postby trailgumby » Thu Jul 08, 2010 10:09 pm

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:Just that the "conclusions" drawn are simply not supported by the (lack of) evidence.

Interesting then that Steve Hogg is such a big proponent of developing it, both from a strength and muscular endurance persective.
Last edited by trailgumby on Thu Jul 08, 2010 10:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "Cycling is not enough"

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Thu Jul 08, 2010 10:11 pm

Marty Moose wrote:Why do the AIS test cyclist's core strength? Have they got it wrong? Seems pretty pointless if core strength means nothing to cyclists.

MM

Where do I say it means nothing?

You'll need to ask the AIS. Not sure they test it. Sure they do some work. More for the track riders than the roadies though. They are full time professional athletes let's not forget. Better they go to the gym and stay occupied with something fairly innocuous than get bored, get into strife or eat too much :lol:
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Re: "Cycling is not enough"

Postby The Womble » Thu Jul 08, 2010 10:14 pm

Am I right in thinking that in many ways cyclists are very VERY sceptical of any form of training/stretching/strengthing anything that doesnt involve the Quads? I simply fail to understand the thinking behind not thinking IMO.
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Re: "Cycling is not enough"

Postby Marty Moose » Thu Jul 08, 2010 11:12 pm

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:
Marty Moose wrote:Why do the AIS test cyclist's core strength? Have they got it wrong? Seems pretty pointless if core strength means nothing to cyclists.

MM

Where do I say it means nothing?

You'll need to ask the AIS. Not sure they test it. Sure they do some work. More for the track riders than the roadies though. They are full time professional athletes let's not forget. Better they go to the gym and stay occupied with something fairly innocuous than get bored, get into strife or eat too much :lol:


LOL that made me laugh thought of all these pro's sitting round eating donuts instead of doing core work outs :) Alex I didn't say you said it means nothing.It was just a comment not directed at you I'm sorry you took it personally. Just seems strange that they would check it as part of a cycling performance program if it didn't relate to cycling performance, who knows maybe its injury prevention type stuff! There is an article written by and ex AIS physio about core strength and injury in cycling. I'll see if I can find it. Also does the level 2 coaching course look at core strength?I remember a mate coming back from this course in Canberra and talking about it a few years ago they did a test in the course.

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Re: "Cycling is not enough"

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Fri Jul 09, 2010 7:26 am

Marty Moose wrote:LOL that made me laugh thought of all these pro's sitting round eating donuts instead of doing core work outs :)

You'd be surprised what bored professional athletes get up to. It's actually a real issue for some and needs strategies to deal with it.

Marty Moose wrote:Alex I didn't say you said it means nothing.It was just a comment not directed at you I'm sorry you took it personally. Just seems strange that they would check it as part of a cycling performance program if it didn't relate to cycling performance, who knows maybe its injury prevention type stuff! There is an article written by and ex AIS physio about core strength and injury in cycling. I'll see if I can find it. Also does the level 2 coaching course look at core strength?I remember a mate coming back from this course in Canberra and talking about it a few years ago they did a test in the course.

Not taking anything personally, this is the internet after all :D

Yes, they still go through core stuff at the Level 2 but not "testing" of core strength (I presume the supervising S&C physiologist/coach does take notes on what they are doing in the gym). As I said, it's more for the trackies, especially the sprinters. The roadies don't do much gym at all.
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Re: "Cycling is not enough"

Postby Corsa » Fri Jul 09, 2010 9:17 am

The World Champ and the winningest ever TdF rider are both advocates of core strength training. But hey, WT? would they know?
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