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  1. #1
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    Recruiting Other Muscles While Riding

    I've noticed when I get sore from riding it's generally in my quadriceps, and even though I know soreness isn't the best gauge for things I feel I'm not recruiting my other muscles as well as I could. Is there something I can do to help engage my glutes and hamstrings more?

  2. #2
    Forever Is Real bike eagle's Avatar
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    As your foot travels across the bottom of the pedal stroke, try to feel like you're wiping mud off of the bottom of your shoes. In other words, you are trying to drag your foot off of the pedal as it travels rearward along the bottom of the pedal stroke, but your clipped-in pedal system keeps your shoe mated to the pedal. This feeling will shift some of the workload away from your quads and onto your glutes, hamstrings, and lower back.
    Try to do something now that will make a difference one million years from now.

  3. #3
    Senior Member abstractform20's Avatar
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    pic of you on bike. this could be a lot of things.

  4. #4
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    Your theory is sound. If you get sore after a different kind of ride (like a much faster ride, or where you climb more, etc), then you probably used muscles you don't normally use.

    You use your hamstrings more when you pull up. Think of doing a hamstring curl - it's lifting your foot to your butt. Typically you engage your hamstrings more in low rpm, high resistance pedaling, like climbing while seated.

    You use your glutes more when you're leaned over a lot. Think of doing a "glute curl" if you will, where you stand straight legged with your torso bent over, and now you lift your torso up to vertical. You engage your glutes more when you're leaned over a lot, like if you're on the drops or if you're leaning forward on a hard climb.

    "Racers" tend to be more leaned over, even on climbs, because it engages the glutes. You will instinctively do that too, like on a hard climb you'll lean forward instinctively to engage your glutes. You probably don't try and sit straight upright as that effectively disengages the glutes.

    I'm guessing that you did a faster group ride and/or did a lot of seated climbing to get to the point where your muscles got sore. I find that racing sometimes does this to me - it means that I haven't been training in an appropriate position, i.e. I'm training too upright and therefore not engaging my glutes, and I'm not pulling up enough, therefore not engaging my hamstrings.

    As a side story I was on a training ride when Chris Horner and a BMC rider blew by me and my training partner. The thing that struck me about Horner was how low he was - hands on the hoods but his back so flat. He was pedaling super smoothly, went about 28 mph up a slight rise (we sped up to see how fast they were going), and he was chatting the whole time pretty nonchalantly. I realized some of what I wrote above at that time, and I started focusing a bit on making sure I spent time in racing position, even when I'm training at 16 mph. Although I've done some very hard races where my glutes are sore the next day, it's very rare. It means that I've been training the same muscles that I use when I race.

    hope this helps
    cdr

  5. #5
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    cdr,

    Good explanation and advice!
    You're just trying to start an argument to show how smart you are.

  6. #6
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    bleh...


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