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  1. #1
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    Hip flexor pain and saddle height?

    I'm finding with my current setup that I'm getting some hip flexor pain after longer rides. The last two 90+km rides I've done have resulted in some pain lifting my left leg after getting off the bike. I didn't notice this on ~60km rides but maybe I hadn't stressed it enough.

    I'm wondering if there is a direct relationship between pain or over-use in this area of the leg with saddle height? Any recommendations for up vs. down? I have had a fit done, and have needed to make some adjustments with input from my fitter after the fact due to trying to work on not pointing my toes as much in my pedal stroke to being able to drop my heel more. So I had moved my saddle down to accomplish this, but hadn't had a reference ride when it was higher to compare except for short roller rides.

    I don't experience any pain while on the ride, and both rides where this has been a problem have been cold and wet (if that is a factor), it just starts after I cool down and get off the bike, and lasts for a day or so of pain while lifting my leg. Also no pain in the right side. I was measured as having a leg length discrepancy with my left leg.

    I will be discussing this with my fitter as well, but thought I'd see if anyone has recommendations for up/down that I can try, if one way makes more sense than the other. I do have a similar 95km ride coming up on the weekend and if I can make an adjustment and see how it feels beforehand, that would be preferred.

    Thanks.
    Last edited by evrythngsgngrn; 05-08-14 at 10:21 AM.

  2. #2
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    I'm wondering if you went directly from 60 km to 90 km? It so, it is always recommended by trainers that distances be increased by no more than about 10% per week. Maybe too much too soon.

  3. #3
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    I did have a 78km ride between the 60 and the 90, but they weren't long after one another. These aren't new distances, but new on this bike, and first longer rides this year. The thing that bothers me is that there is no pain while riding, so it doesn't sound to me like there is necessarily a fit issue with the setup of the bike, but maybe I need to look at some targeted stretching after the rides.

  4. #4
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    As a certified card carrying old guy, I would be in grave trouble without stretching. I have been stretching just about every day for years with the result that I'm more limber than way back when I was 45 y.o. I do some strength training also including exercises with leg weights to strengthen hip flexors.

    A few years ago I did a lot of back country hiking and snow shoeing during the winter months. Each year, the extra weight of snow shoes, as well as the change in walking gait they caused, made hip flexors very sore the first several days of snow showing each year. This is the reason I began strengthening any muscle that might have anything to do with walking with snow shoes.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by berner View Post
    As a certified card carrying old guy, I would be in grave trouble without stretching. I have been stretching just about every day for years with the result that I'm more limber than way back when I was 45 y.o. I do some strength training also including exercises with leg weights to strengthen hip flexors.

    A few years ago I did a lot of back country hiking and snow shoeing during the winter months. Each year, the extra weight of snow shoes, as well as the change in walking gait they caused, made hip flexors very sore the first several days of snow showing each year. This is the reason I began strengthening any muscle that might have anything to do with walking with snow shoes.
    Berner, can you be more specific about the hip flexor strengthening excercises?
    “What does not destroy me, makes me strong. [Or, What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.].”

  6. #6
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Another vote for cross training. I use Danielson's Core Advantage book, which has a good deal of that sort of thing in it.

    Here's a good one from the book: sit down on the floor, knees bent, heels touching the floor. Holding your back straight, lean back until your heels are almost lifting off the floor. Now hold your hands in front of your chest, about 6" away. Twist as far as possible to the right while still leaning back, push your left fist into your right palm, hard, and hold that for 10 seconds. Twist to the left and repeat with the hand pushing reversed of course. 10 seconds. That's one rep. Without stopping, do 10 reps, that's one set. Do three sets with 30 seconds rest between sets.

    The Roman Chair in the gym is another good one. Do bent leg raises until non-functional.

    One legged pedaling on rollers or trainer is another good one. Pedal with one leg until you cry, switch legs same thing, pedal legs together for 2 minutes, repeat until non-functional.

  7. #7
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    I use two ankle weights on each leg for a total of 10 lbs each leg. One exercise has me lifting knees straight up like a marching band majorette, as many as I can stand. There are muscles at the top of the thighs you will feel after doing a bunch of these. Another similar exercise, also with the same weights, is performed lying on the side and raising the leg laterally. This exercise may not work well unless you are already somewhat limber. It is similar to a half split. The third one is sort of a reverse plank, which works the hamstrings and glutes. This just balances the others but also works neck muscles which is very helpful to neck muscles when used with a low, aero position on the bike. These are simple and effective requiring minimal equipment and they work for me. Keep in mind that there are many such exercises that can be seen on U-tube, one only needs to find those that are convenient. My own opinion is that the best regimen is the one each individual likes to do and thus can be maintained for a lifetime.

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