Massage straightened me up - now for the causes

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Massage straightened me up - now for the causes

Postby MREJ » Thu Jan 12, 2012 9:49 pm

I decided to have a sports massage today, in preparation for the Alpine Classic in a couple of weeks.

Wow! I've had a few before but never as many knots or as much agony as today. I got a real workover. I was particularly tight all along the left side of my body, from the calves to the neck.

Reflecting on this afterwards, I remembered that I'd been noticing recently that when I looked down at the front wheel while riding, I seemed to see the left hand side all the time - meaning I was leaning to the left. I had also been feeling I was favouring my left leg in pedalling.

I went for a ride after the massage. Lo and behold, I glanced down and I seemed to have straightened up. Did it again and again to check - every time, I was straight above the wheel line.

Of course I was pretty happy with that. But it's made me wonder how I got like that in the first place. I'm thinking I might go to a fit specialist to discuss it.

I'd be interested in any suggestions about this.
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Re: Massage straightened me up - now for the causes

Postby gururug » Thu Jan 12, 2012 9:57 pm

Too many causes to mention, but the most obvious one....seeing that most bikes are symmetrical ( at least the contact points anyway ), perhaps part of your body is not symmetrical ( hips-pelvis / leg )?

Another option is that the left is compensating / taking up slack for a weak / underconfident right side issue ( lower back / hammie etc. )

Ever injured something on the right?

On second thought, the drive side ( chainrings ) are on the right...hmmmmm

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Re: Massage straightened me up - now for the causes

Postby Davobel » Sat Jan 14, 2012 11:35 pm

Like 'gururub' said there are many possible causes but if the massage helped you out that much why not go there a few more times. Pros get one every night after racing. Not all problems are complicated.

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Massage straightened me up - now for the causes

Postby Naels » Sat Jan 14, 2012 11:37 pm

I know I favour my right leg after having a stress fracture in my left tibia! And I definitely feel a 'tightness' in the muscles in my right leg from all the extra work it does. I have to actually concentrate while riding on using both legs equally and sometimes focusing on my left leg to try and build its strength

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Re: Massage straightened me up - now for the causes

Postby ldrcycles » Sat Jan 14, 2012 11:48 pm

Same story as naels, i favour my right leg (and am trying not to, and i have found that as a result, when i am sitting on the bike the right of my pelvis is about an inch further forward than the left, something i will need to work on.
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Re: Massage straightened me up - now for the causes

Postby KonaCommuter » Sun Jan 15, 2012 11:11 am

I favour my left leg after dislocating my right patella a couple of times (yeah football :roll: )

Also I drive a forklift for a living and I note that I’m not lifting my left leg anywhere near like I have to my right. Hmm, same with getting on my bike. I note that whenever I stretch (not near often enough) my left leg is tighter than my right.

Thanks for brining this topic up - I’m going to start taking stretching more seriously
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Re: Massage straightened me up - now for the causes

Postby sonj » Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:15 pm

Not an easy thing to fix, and you might never fix it totally. I am am strongly right-handed (and legged) despite best efforts to even things out. At least if you are aware of it you can minimise it, do some targeted exercises to strengthen a weaker muscle on one side (eg. gluteus medius is common for runners, not sure about good equivalent example for cyclists) and just manage it so it doesn't blow out to a one-sided injury.

Regular remedial massages, assisted stretching and a very attentive PT watching my form helps me. Also, a simple trick used by my favourite spin teacher is to 'change' legs half way through a track to hit the main beat of the music. Cheesy? yep. But just the mental act of focusing on the 'other' leg can reveal an imbalance you weren't aware of. Like my left leg suddenly says 'wth is this effort thing?'

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Re: Massage straightened me up - now for the causes

Postby clackers » Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:26 pm

At the Bike Expo at Flemington last year there was an exercise bike that showed the left-right contributions of your pedalling efforts, MREJ.

If you were really worried you could pay to have a biomechanical analysis done of your riding style and bike setup that might pick up a number of things to change.

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