Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 25 of 25
  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    7
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    glute involvment

    hey guys(and ladies), I'm trying to recruit my glutes as the main driver on the downstroke, but I've started late when my quads are already far stronger. Every motion that should get the glutes burning recruits the quads instead as the main driver. my rectus especially is huge, and it keeps activating when I want my glutes to. I've been doing glute isolation drills to increase my size so that I will use my glutes mainly and then my quads secondary but its been slow going so far. When I had my seat 2 cm further up, i felt my first ever glute burn while riding(storming up a 7% grade at top speed), but then my lower leg angle was off, so I moved my seat back. help please.

  2. #2
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Everett, WA
    My Bikes
    CoMo Speedster 2003, Trek 5200, CAAD 9, Fred 2004
    Posts
    8,178
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    I don't know about all that, but I do know that if you want to be able to ride faster you have to get your pedal stroke together. The fastest way to do that is to do one-legged pedaling drills on rollers. Two minutes on each leg, two minutes legs together, repeat for up to 45 minutes without a break. Enough resistance so that it hurts the last 15 seconds or so. As even a roller noise as you can produce and definitely never a slack chain moment. Never.

    Gym bikes or spin bikes are no good for this, too easy. Trainers with much of a flywheel are no good for the same reason. Same with outdoors - you have the bike's momentum which also makes it too easy.

    Your saddle height should be adjusted so that with your heel on the pedal and your hips level, your knee completely locks out. Or up to 4mm higher than that, but never lower.

    You do that, you won't have to worry about what muscles you're recruiting. It's automatic.

  3. #3
    Senior Member ericm979's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Santa Cruz Mountains
    Posts
    6,170
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Moving the saddle back recruits the glutes more. "knee over pedal spindle" is often a starting point but many road riders prefer to be 1-2cm behind that.

    Recruiting the glutes more is good for lower rpm seated climbing, not so good for sprinting.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    483
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    For everything you ever cared to know about working your ass, google up Bret Contreras and his 'Advance techniques in glutei maximi strengthening' book.

  5. #5
    Senior Member late's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Southern Maine
    Posts
    8,290
    Mentioned
    28 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Make your glutes stronger, they should kick in more. Deadlifts, etc. Deadlifts have to be done perfectly.

    http://www.youtube.com/user/Performa...80/gztBydYNEMk

    http://www.youtube.com/user/Performa...81/E_coZsl0OLE
    Old Man Maine

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    7
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    thanks guys. If you move your saddle forward but keep your body angle the same(i.e. longer stem so your reach stays the same) you recruit your glutes the same. its not move your seat back to use your glutes, its lower your body angle so your core angle is more acute just fyi. but you also open your hip angle which means you have to go deeper, which you usually can by sliding forward. I've been doing lots of body weight bridges and leg extensions to prep for deadlifts and such (didnt realize how weak my glutes really were until I started doing weighted leg extensions and curls). thanks again, and lets see if anyone has anymore ideas.

  7. #7
    Senior Member late's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Southern Maine
    Posts
    8,290
    Mentioned
    28 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Try those 2 exercises Nick came up with, they're harder than they look.
    Old Man Maine

  8. #8
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    25 miles northwest of Boston
    My Bikes
    Bottecchia Sprint
    Posts
    12,213
    Mentioned
    5 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    there's a great leg machine I use at the gym. you recline somewhat, well lean over really and the machine works the gluts only. maybe you can find one?
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    5,063
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Keithm View Post
    hey guys(and ladies), I'm trying to recruit my glutes as the main driver on the downstroke
    Why? Are you trying to improve your cycling or make your glutes stronger? If you're trying to strengthen your glutes, an aerobic exercise like cycling is an inefficient way to do it.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    483
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The problem with muscles like the glutei is that, while they could contribute to a given effort, the fact that other muscles on your body may be over developed ensures that the glutei are not recruited. No amount of squats, lunges or dead lifts in the world will do any good to your ass if the muscles are not being activated.

    I'm not just pulling this out of my ass. Electromyography of muscle activation during squats have shown that, even with perfect form, some folks fail to recruit their ass. Simply put, their legs are so strong that there is very little need for the ass to get off itself and do something.
    Last edited by abdon; 11-01-10 at 05:59 AM.

  11. #11
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    7
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'm trying to get faster, and I believe that more glute involvement(not ONLY glute involvement) is the key to speed. many studies have found that the thing that seperates the athlete from the weekend warrior is glute strength. unfortunately the low range of motion in cycling keeps the glutes from working as well as they could (sprints have been shown to work the glutes, using a much longer stride, while running has not, with its shorter stride). However, if you place your hand on your butt while pedaling, you can probably feel some glute use on the way down, and maybe on the pull back too, with your hamms. In my case, while I could feels my glute contract, it was so small that it didnt help much with power production. So with bigger glutes I could produce substantially more power on the downstroke. Aha, the key there, most elite athletes are shown to produce their extra power on the downstroke, not on the bottom or during the pull up. I think if we all had stronger asses, we would all be faster.

  12. #12
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Everett, WA
    My Bikes
    CoMo Speedster 2003, Trek 5200, CAAD 9, Fred 2004
    Posts
    8,178
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Keithm View Post
    I'm trying to get faster, and I believe that more glute involvement(not ONLY glute involvement) is the key to speed. many studies have found that the thing that seperates the athlete from the weekend warrior is glute strength. unfortunately the low range of motion in cycling keeps the glutes from working as well as they could (sprints have been shown to work the glutes, using a much longer stride, while running has not, with its shorter stride). However, if you place your hand on your butt while pedaling, you can probably feel some glute use on the way down, and maybe on the pull back too, with your hamms. In my case, while I could feels my glute contract, it was so small that it didnt help much with power production. So with bigger glutes I could produce substantially more power on the downstroke. Aha, the key there, most elite athletes are shown to produce their extra power on the downstroke, not on the bottom or during the pull up. I think if we all had stronger asses, we would all be faster.
    Glute strength in the gym means nothing. The only thing that matters is if you recruit a muscle while riding. That involves neuromuscular coordination. Bigger glutes give you nothing. I guess I said that already. One must recruit appropriate muscle groups through the appropriate range of motion at the corrrect moment. The only way to do that is on the bike.

    I know of three drills. There are probably more.

    1) First, and most important, is to do very high cadence drills on rollers. Continuous pedaling for 15-45 minutes at 115-125 cadence or whatever you can do without bouncing or going out of zone 2, so a very low gear. "Not bouncing" is key because that means one is operating one's muscles through the correct range of motion. Some people can pedal so at cadences of 160 and more. Zone 2 is also key because that requires you to operate the pedals almost effortlessly. You want your energy to go into forward propulsion, not thrashing your muscles against each other.
    2) OLP, also on rollers. I already talked about that.
    3) Pedal up a long hill at 50 cadence with absolutely no upper body motion or front wheel steering motion. That ensures that you are pedaling a round stroke and using all the appropriate muscles when both legs are combined.

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    5,063
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Keithm View Post
    I'm trying to get faster, and I believe that more glute involvement(not ONLY glute involvement) is the key to speed. many studies have found that the thing that seperates the athlete from the weekend warrior is glute strength.
    Perhaps you could cite just one that applies to cycling. I've never heard of this before.

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    483
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
    Perhaps you could cite just one that applies to cycling. I've never heard of this before.
    google up 'cycling gluteus', you'll find a ton of references.

    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    Glute strength in the gym means nothing. The only thing that matters is if you recruit a muscle while riding. That involves neuromuscular coordination. Bigger glutes give you nothing. I guess I said that already. One must recruit appropriate muscle groups through the appropriate range of motion at the corrrect moment. The only way to do that is on the bike.
    This is the thing; if you have a bunch of cyclists that, for the sake of this argument, have the same technique, geometry, and bike setup, and you could measure ass recruitment during cycling, you will find out that, probably not two of them will recruit the same amount, and the percent of recruitment will be all over the place.

    Adaptations from training motor abilities may feed off of each other, but if a set of muscles are strong enough to carry most of the load, neural pathways to other muscles that could assist the effort are used less and less. More bike riding will not fix that because when you ask your legs to perform, your ass simply doesn't respond (it is not used to it).

    To improve intramuscular coordination (rate coding) and intermuscular coordination (onset patterning), your best bet are off the bike exercises specifically designed to hit your ass. Once the neural pathways to your ass are reestablished and it begins to respond to stimuli more readily (fancy way to say muscle adaptation) biking will finally recruit more ass which will in turn ensure that the ass also gets a workout.

  15. #15
    Senior Member late's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Southern Maine
    Posts
    8,290
    Mentioned
    28 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    and as one muscles fatigues, others will try to pick up the slack...

    I didn't 'discover' glutes until my 50's. Don't wait that long.
    Old Man Maine

  16. #16
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Everett, WA
    My Bikes
    CoMo Speedster 2003, Trek 5200, CAAD 9, Fred 2004
    Posts
    8,178
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by abdon View Post
    google up 'cycling gluteus', you'll find a ton of references.



    This is the thing; if you have a bunch of cyclists that, for the sake of this argument, have the same technique, geometry, and bike setup, and you could measure ass recruitment during cycling, you will find out that, probably not two of them will recruit the same amount, and the percent of recruitment will be all over the place.

    Adaptations from training motor abilities may feed off of each other, but if a set of muscles are strong enough to carry most of the load, neural pathways to other muscles that could assist the effort are used less and less. More bike riding will not fix that because when you ask your legs to perform, your ass simply doesn't respond (it is not used to it).

    To improve intramuscular coordination (rate coding) and intermuscular coordination (onset patterning), your best bet are off the bike exercises specifically designed to hit your ass. Once the neural pathways to your ass are reestablished and it begins to respond to stimuli more readily (fancy way to say muscle adaptation) biking will finally recruit more ass which will in turn ensure that the ass also gets a workout.
    Only study I saw was one saying how proper cycling technique changed glute recruitment. I didn't see anything that showed gym work increasing glute involvement in cycling. It's all about technique. Proper technique recruits proper muscles. It can't do else. Get on the rollers and work on it. The reason one sees such a variation in glute involvement is because not all riders have good technique. I see it every week in spin class. Hardly anyone there even knows how to position themselves on the bike, how to hold their feet, not even the basics. And the flywheel effect of a spin bike makes it difficult for the rider to detect and improve poor technique.

    You'll get a lot faster quicker by studying good technique than by fooling around in the gym. Ask me how I know.

  17. #17
    Senior Member late's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Southern Maine
    Posts
    8,290
    Mentioned
    28 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I am just an old duffer, who doesn't go especially far or at all fast. (Although I am trying to do better).
    But I do a few exercises here and there, and found butt exercises helped my cycling.

    Beyond that, it really helps when you have to lift something heavy, and just seems to
    add something sort of in general.

    The two exercises I linked are pretty good, and you can do them at home.
    For a few bucks more you can do squats and deadlifts with rubber bands.
    Perform Better has these huge rubber bands meant to help people do
    pull ups. I got them and cut them. I use them as straps for deadlifts and squats.
    The biggest one I call the Beast. Try deadlifting with one by grabbing the bands down near your ankles,
    I found it to be a but much last winter. I haven't really started with the winter strength training yet,
    maybe this year.

    http://www.performbetter.com/detail....tegoryID_E_352
    Old Man Maine

  18. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    5,063
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by abdon View Post
    google up 'cycling gluteus', you'll find a ton of references.
    Didn't find anything close to a peer reviewed study showing an improvement in cycling performance by working on the glutes in the gym.

  19. #19
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    7
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I've been trying to improve my speed for a while now and found that my legs kept getting bigger and bigger but I wasn't getting much faster. by looking at people that I ride with, I can see that they have much smaller legs, but are still far faster than me. This is when I went online to find the key difference between my riding and theirs. Several people, fast people had said that with emg, their glutes produced half of their downstroke and were active for a very long time during the pedal stroke. When I assesed myself, I realized that I had a very small contraction at the top of the stroke, and that was it. surely if I made my glutes stronger, I would be significantly faster. It's not that they arent contracting as in some people, they just arent putting a lot of effort in. It would stand to reason that if they became large enough to become dominant, they would do more work. and I do drills for for cadence and one legged drills(could deffinitely see how these could make a marked improvement). thanks everyone for posting.

  20. #20
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    483
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    Only study I saw was one saying how proper cycling technique changed glute recruitment. I didn't see anything that showed gym work increasing glute involvement in cycling. It's all about technique. Proper technique recruits proper muscles. It can't do else. Get on the rollers and work on it. The reason one sees such a variation in glute involvement is because not all riders have good technique. I see it every week in spin class. Hardly anyone there even knows how to position themselves on the bike, how to hold their feet, not even the basics. And the flywheel effect of a spin bike makes it difficult for the rider to detect and improve poor technique.

    You'll get a lot faster quicker by studying good technique than by fooling around in the gym. Ask me how I know.
    All I'm saying is that muscle recruitment doesn't happen if the muscle is not activated, and if you are not predisposed to activate your ass (by genetics of conditioning), technique on the bike will have negligible effect on this. You don't do ass exercises to make your ass stronger for cycling, you do ass exercises to teach your ass to respond in the first place. Once your ass begin doing this, then and only then will proper technique has a full effect on your ass.

    Maybe you are one of the lucky ones. Me, I feel it helped a lot with pushing lactic acid threshold. Since I added ass-specific exercises my climbing has improved.

    Again, I didn't exercise my ass to make it stronger, I exercised it to teach it to get off itself and begin working some of itself off. Heck, if it doesn't work, you still get better posture and a cure for a number of lower back pains.

  21. #21
    soon to be gsteinc... rkwaki's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    getting photographed by rockets...
    Posts
    8,167
    Mentioned
    19 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Read my posting in the squat thread as I have posted yesterday's leg routine. Glutes are part of a proper pedal stroke and power development/output. Can I prove it scientifically? No only experience tells me this
    "if you ride it the way it's meant to be ridden there's no way any wife is less of a ***** than a bicycle." - gstein

  22. #22
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Saratoga, CA
    Posts
    11,507
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Keithm View Post
    I've been trying to improve my speed for a while now and found that my legs kept getting bigger and bigger but I wasn't getting much faster. by looking at people that I ride with, I can see that they have much smaller legs, but are still far faster than me. This is when I went online to find the key difference between my riding and theirs. Several people, fast people had said that with emg, their glutes produced half of their downstroke and were active for a very long time during the pedal stroke. When I assesed myself, I realized that I had a very small contraction at the top of the stroke, and that was it. surely if I made my glutes stronger, I would be significantly faster. It's not that they arent contracting as in some people, they just arent putting a lot of effort in. It would stand to reason that if they became large enough to become dominant, they would do more work. and I do drills for for cadence and one legged drills(could deffinitely see how these could make a marked improvement). thanks everyone for posting.
    Here's the thing, the glutes only function for a certain number of degrees of rotation of the crank. Sure, you can utilize them well past a horizontal-crank, and you can find ways to measure that they're still contracted. But that extra amount is wasted because it's pushing in a different direction than where the crank & pedal is moving. You can be pushing down at the bottom of the stroke all you want, but all that force is going into stretching the crankarm, not spinning the pedal around. That's wasted power. So it's better to fire the glutes only during the portion of the pedal-stroke where they actually generate motion at 90-degrees to the crankarm:



    While it's the single largest contributor to the whole pedal-stroke, it's still a small portion of the total. You'll also want to work recruiting and managing the other muscles as well so that the entire total will be larger. I did a month of training at the OTC in Colorado in the early '90s and they showed me some force-plots around the crank. One football player had generated some of the highest pedal-forces they've ever registered, +250-lbs on a single pedal!!! But he was really slow on the bike. Turns out close to half of that force was used to push up the dead-leg on the upstroke of the other side.

    As others mentioned, you can also bend over to move the glutes usage area further down the pedal-stroke, but it also starts later and you'll still end up with only 90% of the rotation coming from glutes anyway.



    There can be power-reductions from being bent over so far without adequate training. Your diaphragm will be more constricted and you may not be able to take in as much O2. And your hamstrings will be stretched more, again, dropping power elsewhere in the crank-rotation, such that total-power produced will be lower even with higher utilization of the glutes.

    However, that's still only part of the equation. Unless you are going for 200m-sprint or RAAM records, peak muscle-strength and pedal-force is not the primary limitation for average cruising speed. That's more a function of the aerobic system and how much oxygen it can process and deliver to your muscles. You balance the aerobic versus the muscular system with gearing so that they are both working at the same percentage of their maximum. It sounds like you're over-working the muscles, getting sore and cramping and thinking that it's your muscles that's letting you down. I bet if you use a heart-rate monitor, you'll find that you're barely taxing your heart & lungs.

    The general rule-of-thumb is that higher-gearing (lower-RPMs) will tax your muscles more and your heart/lungs less. Conversely, lower-gearing (higher-RPMs) will tax your heart/lungs more and legs less. So, in your case, using 2-gears lower while riding with the other guys will let you go faster and further before your legs give out. Using 3-gears lower may tax your heart/lungs too much and blow those up before your legs feel a thing. So you'll want practice using your gears to optimally balance your muscles with the aerobic systems.

  23. #23
    Senior Member dadof7's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    shreve, ohio
    My Bikes
    cannondale, schwinn, specialized moutain bike
    Posts
    127
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    sumo style squats. Legs slightly further apart than shoulders. Toes pointed OUT. About 45 degrees. Light weight VERY deep. Light up the gluts. Try some 10 sets of ten for endurance and agony!Now, tell me how to get huge quads, i only fire on my gluts! Got butt muscles, tiny quads!

  24. #24
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    My Bikes
    Giant Propel, Cervelo P2
    Posts
    5,499
    Mentioned
    8 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The benefits of great glutes go beyond cycling. As you age, maintaining a 'great set of glutes' becomes more and more difficult, and some of us are vain in that area. You can have great cyclist legs, but have your butt just sort of disappear on you. I'm going to add sumo squats to the deadlifts I've been doing, and see what that does for me.
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •