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How do I uncage my glutes?

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How do I uncage my glutes?

Old 03-22-18, 09:55 AM
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How do I uncage my glutes?

I have a specialized power (not arc) saddle that I think is very comfortable. Except for my glutes. In the beginning of rides, I can feel my glutes getting smushed between my body weight and the saddle, and it kinda hurts, like foam rolling. Within about 25 miles I can't feel it anymore, presumably due to my glutes "softening". It's less of a problem when I roll my hips forward (which the power is supposedly great for) and get in an aggressive position, but I have to sit on the tip of the saddle and lift my butt a bit (yes. Ouch) for my glutes to have room to fire.

Glutes are crazy strong. I would imagine that elite cyclists would try to get the most of them. So what am I doing wrong? I'm an aspiring racer so getting every watt I can is pretty important to me. Also I'd like to be more comfortable if possible.
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Old 03-22-18, 10:10 AM
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You have a saddle that you think is very comfortable except it makes your butt hurt? That doesn't sound like a comfortable saddle.
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Old 03-22-18, 11:05 AM
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...try a 'noseless' saddle' and slant it down more and move forward on it more or raise the saddle to accommodate going to shorter cranks, or... change saddles? Are you already using clip-on aerobars?
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Old 03-22-18, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by caloso
You have a saddle that you think is very comfortable except it makes your butt hurt? That doesn't sound like a comfortable saddle.
Fair enough. But when I was initially evaluating the saddle I was mostly thinking about my perineum and was trying to resolve the terrible thigh rub I was getting on my previous saddle.

I'm 100% open to getting a new saddle if that's what it takes. I just want to know if what I'm feeling is normal. We sit on our butts. So how exactly am I supposed to use my butt muscles effectively while sitting on them? Am I missing something?
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Old 03-22-18, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by McBTC
...try a 'noseless' saddle' and slant it down more and move forward on it more or raise the saddle to accommodate going to shorter cranks, or... change saddles? Are you already using clip-on aerobars?
The specialized power is already a stub nose saddle. This is a road race bike, not a tt bike so aero bars are not an option. I already have the saddle tilted as forward as I can get without getting wonky. Any more and I'll probably end up with weird pressure and/or arm/shoulder fatigue.

Has anyone had this issue before? What saddles resolve this?
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Old 03-22-18, 11:14 AM
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Look at a pelvic anatomy picture. You don't sit on your gleuteus maximus. You sit on your ischial tuberosities (bottom part of the pelvic bone in the right part of the pic).



As far as the right saddle, try to find an LBS that will work with you by loaning saddles until you find the "right one." Or maybe get a recommendation from a good bike fit person.

Last edited by ptempel; 03-22-18 at 11:18 AM.
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Old 03-22-18, 11:24 AM
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This is more like what is meant by 'noseless'
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Old 03-22-18, 11:32 AM
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no problems putting clip-ons on a road bike--e.g.,

Make Your Road Bike Aero | Triathlete.com
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Old 03-22-18, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by smashndash
what am I doing wrong?
Lack of glutes' power delivery and/or discomfort has nothing to do with the type of the saddle.

These are the possibilities of what is wrong:
Incorrect saddle position,
Incorrect saddle location.
Incorrect "sitting" posture.
Rear end ailments (musculoskeletal or neuro).
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Old 03-22-18, 03:44 PM
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I could never ride a saddle like the Spec. Power. That wide rear end would cut off circulation down the inside of my leg. I chose saddles that stay narrow as they go back with no sudden changes. (I am also a rider who likes to slide back and forward a lot. Used to when I raced 40 years ago and still do.) My favorite saddles how that I have to deal with perineum issues is the Terry Fly, basically the Selle Italia of many years ago with a cutout. Pre-issues, those Selle Italias were my go to. (I believe they make the Fly for Terry.)

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Old 03-22-18, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by ptempel
Look at a pelvic anatomy picture. You don't sit on your gleuteus maximus. You sit on your ischial tuberosities (bottom part of the pelvic bone in the right part of the pic).
This saddle was technically recommended to me by a bike fitter, though I don't put much faith in his opinion. Anyway, looking at your diagram, it seems that the ischial tuberosities are covered by the gluteus maximus. So how is it possible to sit on the bone without also sitting on the muscle? I'm an absolute beginner to biking and honestly need advice on how to sit on my bike.

Originally Posted by McBTC
no problems putting clip-ons on a road bike--e.g.,

Make Your Road Bike Aero | Triathlete.com
Those types of seats seem mainly to be of use to TT/tri people. Also, aero bars are banned from both road races and group rides so they would be of little use to me.

Originally Posted by IK_biker
Lack of glutes' power delivery and/or discomfort has nothing to do with the type of the saddle.

These are the possibilities of what is wrong:
Incorrect saddle position,
Incorrect saddle location.
Incorrect "sitting" posture.
Rear end ailments (musculoskeletal or neuro).
My glutes are *definitely* firing. I can feel them. They get sore after long climbs. I roll my hips pretty aggressively too, if that is what you mean by "sitting posture". How do I go about finding a solution to my issue, assuming it is actually an issue, and isn't related to saddles?
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Old 03-22-18, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney
I could never ride a saddle like the Spec. Power. That wide rear end would cut off circulation down the inside of my leg. I chose saddles that stay narrow as they go back with no sudden changes. (I am also a rider who likes to slide back and forward a lot. Used to when I raced 40 years ago and still do.)
Ben
Hm. When I first got this saddle, I too was dealing with these issues. Even 5 minutes of sitting would make my entire left leg go numb, and it felt like my sit bones were blades cutting through my flesh. I then slid less than 0.5 inches forward on the saddle (and slid the saddle back to compensate) and the result was magical. However, it did not fix the issue of my glutes getting constricted.

I have done 50+ miles with 4000+ feet of climbing on this saddle without any other problems which is why I say that it's "comfortable" even though my glutes hurt.
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Old 03-23-18, 09:33 PM
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Originally Posted by ptempel
Look at a pelvic anatomy picture. You don't sit on your gleuteus maximus. You sit on your ischial tuberosities (bottom part of the pelvic bone in the right part of the pic).



As far as the right saddle, try to find an LBS that will work with you by loaning saddles until you find the "right one." Or maybe get a recommendation from a good bike fit person.
You sit on your ischial tuberosities on a chair. On a saddle, you perch on your pubic ramus, the bones which make up your pubic arch. That's what the OP is perching on when he rolls his pelvis forward, exactly what he should be doing.

You might look at a Selle Italia MAN saddle. I think it has the shape the OP needs.
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Old 03-23-18, 11:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy
You sit on your ischial tuberosities on a chair. On a saddle, you perch on your pubic ramus, the bones which make up your pubic arch. That's what the OP is perching on when he rolls his pelvis forward, exactly what he should be doing.

You might look at a Selle Italia MAN saddle. I think it has the shape the OP needs.
Saddle design does seem be a factor. When fitting an ISM saddle, for example, you are supposed to sit on the nose when you rock forward...


...ISM allows you to sit almost exclusively on the section of pelvis (called the ischial rami) that we’re meant to sit on when cycling, and when set up properly will not allow pressure on the sensitive soft tissues...
How to set up ISM seats | PT - bike fit breakdown | Bike Fit Adviser

When rocking forward into an aero positon the idea is to be equally balanced on both the left and right inferior pubic ramus to bear the weight over the largest possible area...

...Pressure is on only the first few centimeters of the saddle’s noses, with virtually no other saddle contact...
https://www.cervelo.com/en/engineeri...f-road-saddles

My experience with ISM is with the Adamo but it's been replaced with the PR1.0 and PR3.0 for recreational riders looking for greater performance.
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Old 03-23-18, 11:14 PM
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The PR1.0 is not as wide and is less padded but, this one would be for the utmost in comfort (think I may try it myself when its available in white):
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Old 03-23-18, 11:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy
You sit on your ischial tuberosities on a chair. On a saddle, you perch on your pubic ramus, the bones which make up your pubic arch. That's what the OP is perching on when he rolls his pelvis forward, exactly what he should be doing.

You might look at a Selle Italia MAN saddle. I think it has the shape the OP needs.
I definitely sit on those inner rail kinda bones, though my sit bones do definitely still take some weight, especially when sitting up on the tops.

Here's a view of the Power (my saddle):



Here's an image of the MAN gel flow saddle (I'm assuming this is the one you mean):


The first thing I notice is that the power saddle has this "scoop" towards the rear. The rear is angled downwards whereas the selle italia is almost totally flat. Am I right to imagine that my glutes are getting cupped by this scoop? Also it seems that the wings of the selle italia arc less steeply than the power's. How would this affect the fit? Also, selle italia seems to sell a lot of racy saddles. The MAN gel flow doesn't look like it's one of them. I don't really have a comfort issue, just a fit issue. I wonder if there are any more aggressive alternatives?

Last edited by smashndash; 03-23-18 at 11:39 PM.
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Old 03-23-18, 11:49 PM
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Originally Posted by McBTC
Saddle design does seem be a factor. When fitting an ISM saddle, for example, you are supposed to sit on the nose when you rock forward...

When rocking forward into an aero positon the idea is to be equally balanced on both the left and right inferior pubic ramus to bear the weight over the largest possible area...
I'm definitely intrigued by the idea of these saddles, but it doesn't seem that they specifically target my problem. My issue isn't soft tissue sensitivity - it's muscle constriction. How does the noseless design help with that moreso than any nosed saddle?
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Old 03-24-18, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by smashndash
I definitely sit on those inner rail kinda bones, though my sit bones do definitely still take some weight, especially when sitting up on the tops.

Here's a view of the Power (my saddle):

Here's an image of the MAN gel flow saddle (I'm assuming this is the one you mean):

The first thing I notice is that the power saddle has this "scoop" towards the rear. The rear is angled downwards whereas the selle italia is almost totally flat. Am I right to imagine that my glutes are getting cupped by this scoop? Also it seems that the wings of the selle italia arc less steeply than the power's. How would this affect the fit? Also, selle italia seems to sell a lot of racy saddles. The MAN gel flow doesn't look like it's one of them. I don't really have a comfort issue, just a fit issue. I wonder if there are any more aggressive alternatives?
Yes, that's the saddle was was suggesting. There are so many alternatives! This place has the best saddle selection I know of: https://www.performancebike.com/shop...:&pageSize:72&
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Old 03-24-18, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by smashndash
I'm definitely intrigued by the idea of these saddles, but it doesn't seem that they specifically target my problem. My issue isn't soft tissue sensitivity - it's muscle constriction. How does the noseless design help with that moreso than any nosed saddle?

A muscle constriction issue could indicate that more is involved than the saddle being used and body position when cycling, e.g., are you a runner? Lot of information here:

https://www.thehealthyapron.com/isch...ty-definition/
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Old 03-30-18, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy
You sit on your ischial tuberosities on a chair. On a saddle, you perch on your pubic ramus, the bones which make up your pubic arch. That's what the OP is perching on when he rolls his pelvis forward, exactly what he should be doing.

You might look at a Selle Italia MAN saddle. I think it has the shape the OP needs.
Thanks for the correction. Maybe this image better illustrates that:

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Old 03-30-18, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by ptempel
Thanks for the correction. Maybe this image better illustrates that:

One should also look at the front view to understand what's going on. The curved bone which appears to touch the saddle in your illustration is the lower edge of the inferior pubic ramus. As is obvious from the frontal view, the lower edge of the pubic ramus does not sit on top of the saddle, as is shown in your illustrations, except when the pelvis is almost upright, as in the "neutral" position illustration. The shape of the pubic ramus dictates the shape of the saddle. Were it as your illustrations imply, a saddle could be rectangular. As the bones of the pubic ramus are shaped differently in different individuals, so different saddle shapes suit different riders.
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Old 02-09-21, 02:18 PM
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My glutes have become weak with age and (on one side) slight sciatic pain. Please would someone tell if they know of any techniques, in terms of tricks, training, or visualisations, other than "scraping the mud off my feet" which I already visualise, to encourage glute usage while pedalling?
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Old 02-09-21, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by timtak
My glutes have become weak with age and (on one side) slight sciatic pain. Please would someone tell if they know of any techniques, in terms of tricks, training, or visualisations, other than "scraping the mud off my feet" which I already visualise, to encourage glute usage while pedalling?
You really should start a new thread for your question. Others might miss your post and reply to the older posts here which aren't quite your issue.
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Old 02-10-21, 09:57 PM
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Another thing occurs to me, maybe it's the OP's back. Have a look at this: Riding Position Discovery

Summary: it could be that your lumbar spine is convex, which plunks your glutes down on the saddle. Were it straight, or more nearly straight, your glutes would be lifted off the saddle. You seem to be a hard rider and probably have a fairly aggressive position. My glutes are way up in the air, even on the hoods, though as you say, if I'm on the tops with fairly straight arms my glutes are on the saddle, though not pressed down.

I had a funny experience today. Yesterday I did 2 hours on the rollers and had another longish ride to do today. I sat down on that saddle, and drat it, my butt hurt. Wussy butt! I do just sit there on and on, not like on the road where one shifts around and comes in and out of the saddle. So that's my excuse. However, after 10 minutes it went numb, just like in my leather saddle years, 55-60 years ago, not a problem. Not my perineum, just the squished skin. It'll get used to it.
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Old 02-15-21, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by cubewheels
I do high step training (16" high step at my height of 5'8") with or without weights, leaned forward 45 degrees while keeping your back straight.
Thank you very much. That is about chair height but my chairs are too wobbly. I will try it. A similar sort of exercise (box jumps) for improving butt strength, is also recommended by one of my favorite YouTube karate teacher.
I have been doing weighted hydrants, diagonally back donkey kicks, lateral leg lifts, one legged squats, and hill running too. There are a lot of ladies providing "booty" enlarging videos, and some, or at least one below, are quite scientific giving references.

And just lately, in fact this morning, I feel I am getting the hang of using my glutes on my bike thanks to Carbonfibreboy
Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy
Another thing occurs to me, maybe it's the OP's back. Have a look at this: Riding Position Discovery
Summary: it could be that your lumbar spine is convex, which plunks your glutes down on the saddle. Were it straight, or more nearly straight, your glutes would be lifted off the saddle. You seem to be a hard rider and probably have a fairly aggressive position. My glutes are way up in the air.
Thank you. I also like
Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy
Here's another thought re glutes and knees:
Next time you're on the bike, when your leg gets close to the bottom of the stroke, sort of lock your knee and focus on pulling back with the whole leg. That's your glute doing that. You should be able to pedal on the flat just doing that, kind of jerky, but forward motion that doesn't involve any pressure on the front of your knee. Once you get the feel of that, combine that sensation with the sensation of flexing your ham, so you're pulling back with both glute and ham and a little up with the ham. See what that feels like after you do it for a while. Do it with your heel cups. Little or no pushing down.
I really like the thread you quote, with its Cobb videos. So...flat back, butt up, and lock knees and sort of cycle like a swordsman, with swords for legs, perhaps. That seemed to work for me this morning.

When you use your glutes I find it is like the bike has a motor, or God is helping, because once engaged glutes do their work without thinking much about them.
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