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Old 04-22-10, 06:35 AM   #1
Chalupa102
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Will sprinting help w/ muscle imbalances from cycling?

I used to do quite a bit of sprinting but stopped once i started cycling. I've been cycling pretty much since the beginning of this year and never have experienced knee or any other kind of pain.

I consider myself in decent shape now, but this weekend was a wake up call. I went hiking on the Applachian Trail with my Boy Scout troop. I did well with 7 miles on Saturday and 5 miles on Sunday. On Monday, we did 16 miles through some rough terrain. When we stopped for lunch, the outside of my left knee started hurting. I injured this knee about 4 years ago, but never really had a problem with it since then. When we started going again, it was hurting on and off. I should have gone with the slower group, but wasn't thinking and kept with the faster group. About 3 miles left, i was really hurting bad and had to move slow. I made it, but it was some of the worse pain i've ever deal with. I'm feeling fine now, but that was definitely horrible pain that i felt on Monday.

I did some research and read how cycling may cause muscle imbalances. I workout 2 times a week in the gym, but only do upper body workouts, because i figured cycling would take care of the lower body muscles. If i start sprinting again, will this fix those imbalances? Are there other things i can do as well?
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Old 04-22-10, 08:03 AM   #2
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Sprinting in what? Horseback riding?
Just start working on lower body strength by doing squats and deadlifts. Cycling will never build muscular strength on its own so you have to do some resistance training.
Start doing moderate weight squats in either sets and reps of 5x5 or 3 x 8 to 12.
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Old 04-22-10, 11:35 AM   #3
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Sprinting in what?...
Running as fast as i can for 100-200yds, and doing it about 6 times with resting a minute or so in between sets.
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Old 04-22-10, 11:37 AM   #4
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Weights? Sprints? Try hiking more often! I do a hard group ride every Sunday and then hike or snowshoe on Monday. Works great. It's not "muscle imbalances," it's that you have a lot of muscles that cycling doesn't work or doesn't work in the same way. Start hiking easy. No more than 500' vertical and say, 2 hours the first time. Then add 500'/week. Plus it's really fun and you get off the fricking roads and see some beautiful country and breathe clean air. It's good for you. But don't go hard. Just have a nice 2 mph hike. By the end of summer, you'll be feeling great.
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Old 04-22-10, 01:40 PM   #5
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Will Track sprinting help w/ muscle imbalances from cycling?

No!

You could have jarred your knee while out on the trail, maybe tripped on something or caught your foot.

Seems like taking up cycling & grinding gears may not be good for your knee's. Start out slow, push relatively easier gears until your build-up the tolerance/strength levels around the knees.

For all your track sprinting needs.

http://www.charliefrancis.com/community/
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Old 04-22-10, 02:02 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Chalupa102 View Post
I consider myself in decent shape now, but this weekend was a wake up call. I went hiking on the Applachian Trail with my Boy Scout troop. I did well with 7 miles on Saturday and 5 miles on Sunday. On Monday, we did 16 miles through some rough terrain. When we stopped for lunch, the outside of my left knee started hurting. I injured this knee about 4 years ago, but never really had a problem with it since then. When we started going again, it was hurting on and off. I should have gone with the slower group, but wasn't thinking and kept with the faster group. About 3 miles left, i was really hurting bad and had to move slow. I made it, but it was some of the worse pain i've ever deal with. I'm feeling fine now, but that was definitely horrible pain that i felt on Monday.
Fitness in one activity does not always transfer to a different activity. There's a great difference between sprinting (short efforts on a prepared surface at body weight), cycling, and hiking at a faster than usual pace over 3 days on rough terrain (esp the big jump in miles on day 3) carrying some additional % of body weight on your back. You don't mention if you had been doing much hiking before the trip, so it could have been just too much too soon for that activity.

There are many cycling sites with suggested lower body and core workouts, most, however, are cycling specific. I'd work some lower body routines into your gym sessions, it's also recommended for older cyclists as we begin to lose muscle and bone mass. If your schedule permits, I'd do more hiking as well - I think it's good cross training, gets you into areas you would not see by bike, and you may surprise some of those young bucks on the next hiking trip. Also check your gear - different shoes, a lighter load, maybe some hiking staffs would reduce the load on your knees sufficiently.
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Old 04-22-10, 02:11 PM   #7
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I don't buy in to the diagnosis and have little to offer as a result. I can say, you obviously have a specific injury history that is unique to you and your activities.

General advice is useless. Professional assessment using professional protocols are called for in situations like yours. So either get help, or risk making things worse.
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Old 04-24-10, 11:40 AM   #8
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I agree with skull cavity guy above. You hurt it a few years ago. Now it bothers you again. It happens. Any number of things could have happened on the trail to aggravate such an injury (you don't say what the injury was).

Realistically, cycling doesn't do much for your weight-bearing fitness. If you had tried to run on flat ground after only riding for some time, you would probably feel a little out of it, both aerobically and mechanically. Cycling doesn't challenge ankle, knee, or hip stability all that much.

Cycling doesn't challenge the legs the way lifting does.
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Old 04-24-10, 06:12 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the feedback guys

Quote:
Originally Posted by *****3nin.vend3t View Post
...You could have jarred your knee while out on the trail, maybe tripped on something or caught your foot...
Actually, i was talking with my dad the other day that before it started hurting, i fell and landed on my butt. My dad was hiking there with me as well and had taken a fall a few days before on the trail and had knee problems after his fall . The only difference is that he has never had a past knee injury.

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Fitness in one activity does not always transfer to a different activity. There's a great difference between sprinting (short efforts on a prepared surface at body weight), cycling, and hiking at a faster than usual pace over 3 days on rough terrain (esp the big jump in miles on day 3) carrying some additional % of body weight on your back. You don't mention if you had been doing much hiking before the trip, so it could have been just too much too soon for that activity.

There are many cycling sites with suggested lower body and core workouts, most, however, are cycling specific. I'd work some lower body routines into your gym sessions, it's also recommended for older cyclists as we begin to lose muscle and bone mass. If your schedule permits, I'd do more hiking as well - I think it's good cross training, gets you into areas you would not see by bike, and you may surprise some of those young bucks on the next hiking trip. Also check your gear - different shoes, a lighter load, maybe some hiking staffs would reduce the load on your knees sufficiently.
A lot of great points. Unfortunately the only hiking we did was a short 6 mile hike about a month ago to see how our gear fit and everything. It had no where near the rough terrain or intersity that the AT had.

There's a few pretty nice trails around me that i'm gonna start hiking with my sister. This week i'm also gonna be starting to do lower body workouts in the gym as well.
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Old 04-25-10, 01:40 PM   #10
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I am confident that if you did some core specific exercises, you could 'cure what ails you'

I will do some one legged squats slowly or some squats while on a bosu ball.

Walking, or hiking has a specific style. Some are flat footed, some walk or climb on their toes, others on their heels.

Don't over think this. Nobody is in balance, either with their larger muscle groups or bilaterally on their left/right side.
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Old 04-30-10, 01:28 PM   #11
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I am confident that if you did some core specific exercises, you could 'cure what ails you'...
I completely agree and actually started doing some leg workouts a few weeks ago. Before then, i was only working upper body workout and not doing anything for lower body except cycling. I've been doing one-legged squats (pistols), side lunges and single-leg Romanian deadlifts. My legs feel great now from doing those exercises. I'm slowly starting to build myself up.
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Old 05-04-10, 12:55 PM   #12
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I think you should add another sport or weight training specific muscle groups
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