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is it the fit or my core strength?

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is it the fit or my core strength?

Old 04-14-12, 06:00 PM
  #26  
hhnngg1
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Originally Posted by blacktopper View Post
Epic Fail. Core strength is as important as Fitness in cycling. Period.
Double epic fail for even posting this.

You can do all the core you want - it won't make you a faster or stronger cyclist, let alone reduce your back pain.

Period.

Ask any/all racers here on in the racing forum how much faster on the bike they would get by adding benchpresses, squats, deadlifts, and situps to their training regimen. Answer is zero. And not just because it eats into time on the bike - even if you biked the same amount, it wouldn't amount to squat for getting faster or riding farther.

In terms of back pain, go on any of the long-distance or Ironman (112 mile bike leg) forums and see how many of those folks are doing deadlifts to strengthen their back muscles in hopes of decreasing back pain on long rides. It's like zero, if not truly zero. Because it doesn't work. Bodybuilders and gymnasts, who have insane core strength, get the same ol' back pain as everyone else when they're on the bike for 5 hours for the first time.
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Old 04-14-12, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by hhnngg1 View Post
Double epic fail for even posting this.

You can do all the core you want - it won't make you a faster or stronger cyclist, let alone reduce your back pain.

Period.

Ask any/all racers here on in the racing forum how much faster on the bike they would get by adding benchpresses, squats, deadlifts, and situps to their training regimen. Answer is zero. And not just because it eats into time on the bike - even if you biked the same amount, it wouldn't amount to squat for getting faster or riding farther.

In terms of back pain, go on any of the long-distance or Ironman (112 mile bike leg) forums and see how many of those folks are doing deadlifts to strengthen their back muscles in hopes of decreasing back pain on long rides. It's like zero, if not truly zero. Because it doesn't work. Bodybuilders and gymnasts, who have insane core strength, get the same ol' back pain as everyone else when they're on the bike for 5 hours for the first time.

wow...well you just continue to ride your bicycle now...

Strength is paramount in addition to riding to become fast. Here is Lance's core strength training session in preparation for the 09 season.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDawlrIeaVM

nuff said.
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Old 04-14-12, 06:30 PM
  #28  
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Of course they must be relevant, cycling specific core strength exercises...
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Old 04-14-12, 06:31 PM
  #29  
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Were not talking about weightraining just to become stronger but rather to fix imbalances and maintain good posture.

I have a slight anterior pelvic tilt which makes certain muscles weak. If I followed your ideology I'd be riding with a lot of back pain right now.

Working on my gluteus Maximus/medius muscles and obliques has helped me maintain good posture in the saddle longer.

No one said benchpressing and squats would make you a faster cyclist.
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Old 04-14-12, 06:35 PM
  #30  
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Yup, having strong legs/core is necessary in order to be able to drive your cardiovascular system to higher levels. If one is strength limited, they wont be able to drive their heart/cardiovascular system to higher levels during their training on the bike.
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Old 04-14-12, 06:48 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by hhnngg1 View Post
Double epic fail for even posting this.

You can do all the core you want - it won't make you a faster or stronger cyclist, let alone reduce your back pain.

Period.

Ask any/all racers here on in the racing forum how much faster on the bike they would get by adding benchpresses, squats, deadlifts, and situps to their training regimen. Answer is zero. And not just because it eats into time on the bike - even if you biked the same amount, it wouldn't amount to squat for getting faster or riding farther.

In terms of back pain, go on any of the long-distance or Ironman (112 mile bike leg) forums and see how many of those folks are doing deadlifts to strengthen their back muscles in hopes of decreasing back pain on long rides. It's like zero, if not truly zero. Because it doesn't work. Bodybuilders and gymnasts, who have insane core strength, get the same ol' back pain as everyone else when they're on the bike for 5 hours for the first time.
What the he*k are you talking about. In most sports/athletic endeavour, especially at the elite level, there are two clear factors that pushes you over the top. One is mental toughness (you know, ability to suffer, endure pain/discomfort at a higher level than the next guy), and the other is superior fitness, which results in the stamina level being taken up another notch.

In short, no elite athlete ever won at the Olympics without mental and physical stamina that is not above average. That is where most elite athletes get their edge.

And regarding a cycling doofus like me, all I can tell you is that strenght training has made me a better athlete, which has by extension, made me a much better cyclist. Has it been responsible for making me faster? Well, I can't categorically say that. I can definitely ride much longer before getting tired though, and I also recover much more faster after tough rides.
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Old 04-14-12, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by jed19 View Post
i can definitely ride much longer before getting tired though, and i also recover much more faster after tough rides.
boom
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Old 04-14-12, 07:29 PM
  #33  
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My personal impression is that my legs, rather than my core cary most of the weight on the back end of my bike, and that the further back my saddle is the less weight I have on my hands because more is supported by my legs/saddle. My core muscles don't ever feel worked out, or ache like my legs (or arms, or neck and shoulders from stretching). If the muscles don't feel worked out, I doubt they actually are.

I don't think there is anything wrong with strength training, but I think we'd feel the burn in these muscles if we had to use them extensively on the bike. But hey, that's just my own rookie experience talkin'.
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Old 04-14-12, 08:16 PM
  #34  
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Core strength is the basis/foundation/platform for all physical activities. Find a PT that would disagree with that. Lack of it leads to many injuries all over the body from trying to compensate, leading to muscle imbalance, and atrophy of certain groups.

Core is not simply abs and lower back. I am not a PT but have had a few lessons from them because of my injuries cause by a weak core.

Stronger core leads to stronger everything everywhere else. Period end of story.

Last edited by ArchEtech; 04-14-12 at 08:20 PM.
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Old 04-14-12, 08:23 PM
  #35  
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Run hills, no sprint hills 2-3 times per week for a couple months and then let me know if you ride any faster....

Stronger, more in shape body = better bike rider all other things being equal.

Mix in sets of 100 rep squats with weight equal to your body weight on your shoulders and tell me hills don't seem easier...

just sayn
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Old 04-14-12, 08:37 PM
  #36  
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Do any of you 'core' fanatics even race? Ever?

I rest my case.

If you want to rider faster and more comfortably RIDE MORE. Any coach or person who tells you otherwise is full of it. Until you're riding like top amateur or pro volume, the core stuff is total bogus.


(Note - You obviously need strong legs to ride fast, but strong in an endurance way, not strength per se. No top road cyclist has monster bodybuilder sized quads except for the short distance track guys. And all that strength is built by cycling, NOT core exercises.)

Flame away.
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Old 04-14-12, 08:59 PM
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Originally Posted by hhnngg1 View Post
(note - you obviously need strong legs to ride fast, but strong in an endurance way, not strength per se. No top road cyclist has monster bodybuilder sized quads except for the short distance track guys. And all that strength is built by cycling, not core exercises
l o l !
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Old 04-14-12, 09:15 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by hhnngg1 View Post
Do any of you 'core' fanatics even race? Ever?

I rest my case.

If you want to rider faster and more comfortably RIDE MORE. Any coach or person who tells you otherwise is full of it. Until you're riding like top amateur or pro volume, the core stuff is total bogus.


(Note - You obviously need strong legs to ride fast, but strong in an endurance way, not strength per se. No top road cyclist has monster bodybuilder sized quads except for the short distance track guys. And all that strength is built by cycling, NOT core exercises.)

Flame away.

Uh...wow dude.

To the OP: Your fit should match your current level of fitness, not that of the future. Keep tweaking, do some research if you need to/want to. Or just get a pro fit. Core matters, but riding alone will build the core muscles you need. Certainly things can be improved with specific workouts, but it's not necessary unless you get really serious.
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Old 04-14-12, 10:24 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by hhnngg1 View Post
If you want to rider faster and more comfortably RIDE MORE. Any coach or person who tells you otherwise is full of it. Until you're riding like top amateur or pro volume, the core stuff is total bogus.


(Note - You obviously need strong legs to ride fast, but strong in an endurance way, not strength per se. No top road cyclist has monster bodybuilder sized quads except for the short distance track guys. And all that strength is built by cycling, NOT core exercises.)

Flame away.

Yeah, you are right to say that if you want to be faster, ride more. And nobody is talking about monster weightlifting workouts. You can design a strengthtraining workout that is specifically related to cycling. And, to be a successful racer, most of your training should be on the bike, but the guy who does a little bit of strengthtraining, running hills and other endurance building activities is gonna have an edge, maybe a little edge, but an edge all the same. And at the elite level in most sports, all you need is just a tiny bit of edge.

Paging Lance Armstrong.
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Old 04-14-12, 10:53 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by hhnngg1 View Post
Do any of you 'core' fanatics even race? Ever?

I rest my case.

If you want to rider faster and more comfortably RIDE MORE. Any coach or person who tells you otherwise is full of it. Until you're riding like top amateur or pro volume, the core stuff is total bogus.


(Note - You obviously need strong legs to ride fast, but strong in an endurance way, not strength per se. No top road cyclist has monster bodybuilder sized quads except for the short distance track guys. And all that strength is built by cycling, NOT core exercises.)

Flame away.
Whatever you are smoking, you should smoke less of it.

Your core / posterior chain are the foundation of every activity you engage in. With a stronger core and posterior chain you can simply do them better and longer.

But, none of use here will ever convince you of that.
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Old 04-15-12, 12:33 PM
  #41  
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Having a weak core will be a detriment to your cycling. You'll suffer from weak power generation and cause aching back, shoulders, neck simply because you will be pedaling in poor form.

However strengthening your core off the bike will not directly impact your cycling. It will not eliminate bad habits you have generated while working with poor form. It takes a while to build strength and find a suitable position to leverage that strength. Trust me I've tried.

This is totally exaggerated with a poor fitting bike. You have to very flexible and have a very strong core to ride a poor fitting bike.
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Old 06-19-12, 06:17 PM
  #42  
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I thought about taking up kayaking, which is even reinforced now since I don't really have any exercise regimen that works the upper body that I enjoy doing.

http://www.livestrong.com/article/54...kayaking-work/
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Old 06-19-12, 10:41 PM
  #43  
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I think what everyone here is trying to say is, if you're in doubt about your fit, dropping a couple hundred bucks to go see a professional fitter will be worth your while. Trying to see through the noise in the 41 is too risky when it comes to your comfort and potential injury. And yes, while cycling doesn't build much core strength, it does benefit your riding.
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Old 06-20-12, 06:07 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by hhnngg1 View Post
Do any of you 'core' fanatics even race? Ever?

I rest my case.

If you want to rider faster and more comfortably RIDE MORE. Any coach or person who tells you otherwise is full of it. Until you're riding like top amateur or pro volume, the core stuff is total bogus.


(Note - You obviously need strong legs to ride fast, but strong in an endurance way, not strength per se. No top road cyclist has monster bodybuilder sized quads except for the short distance track guys. And all that strength is built by cycling, NOT core exercises.)

Flame away.
I am not going to flame away. I read a lot of your posts and you know what you are talking about. I agree. While I say the core isn't immaterial, it doesn't contribute much to hand pressure or speed as you say. This subject comes up from time to time.

OK...then what does matter OP. What matters is...and this may go a bit over your head....is fore/aft body weight distribution relative to your level of pedal force. Ever try to sprint? When most of us sprint...we hold onto the handlebar tightly pulling UP. This is due to pushing down hard on the pedals. Stronger riders push on the pedals harder unweighting their upper body more. Biggest contributor over and above a level rear section of the saddle where you sit is...position of saddle relative to pedal centerline. When you push on the pedals, this is platform for your weight distribution on the bike. If your body is too far forward, you will place too much weight on your hands.

Hope that make sense. I am a distance rider which reduces my average watt output mostly. What do most distance guys do? They ride with more saddle set back. I ride well behind the BB which keeps the weight off my hands. The thing is...if you ride a lot of setback, you can't run with too low a handlebar because of a closed hip angle....think opposite of a TT position which is body rotated forward and weight supported by the elbows.

PS: here is an excellent article by Steve Hogg on saddle setback which is a very important ingredient of fit and comfort on the bike:
http://www.stevehoggbikefitting.com/...or-road-bikes/
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Old 06-20-12, 06:42 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by hhnngg1 View Post
Ask any/all racers here on in the racing forum how much faster on the bike they would get by adding benchpresses, squats, deadlifts, and situps to their training regimen. Answer is zero. And not just because it eats into time on the bike - even if you biked the same amount, it wouldn't amount to squat for getting faster or riding farther.

.
However, ask the ones that are working on getting better at time trialing whether they're stretching and working their core in order to hold a lower position, and produce power in that position, and I think you'll find a good number.

I'd agree that dead lifts and squats aren't going to make you faster, unless you're a track sprinter, and can make you slower if they take away from intensity on the bike.

That doesn't mean that stretching to increase flexibility, situps, planks, etc. can't be of some help in holding a good position on the bike.

This link makes a pretty good case for it, admittedly with a commercial motive.

http://www.cyclo-club.com/public/949.cfm

And this:

http://www.cyclingnews.com/features/...ping-saxo-bank


"Olympic time trial champion Fabian Cancellara made a clear impression on Pruitt, with the American proclaiming after the medical assessment and initial bike fit that, "I have learned a lot about the reason for this guy's success in the last few minutes". The reason for his praise? Cancellara's considerable flexibility and strength, which enable him to comfortably hold an aerodynamic tuck during time trials. Of the Saxo Bank riders seen, Cancellara seemed to impress Pruitt most, biomechanically; in fact, he had some good news for the Swiss TT specialist after the examination.



The aforementioned boost for Cancellara was the news that due to his flexibility and strength, his time trial position can actually be set lower than it currently is."

I think Andy Pruitt knows something about bike fitting.
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Old 06-20-12, 08:02 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by UMassAm View Post
I just got a new stem, went from 105 to 90. Not bad. I still feel a little too extended, like I have too much weight on my hands.
If you can just post a photo of the bike, or, you on your bike, that might make the secondary discussion of core fitness take a back seat!
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Old 06-20-12, 08:29 AM
  #47  
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I don't exercise my core (aside from riding a bike), but I should. My bikes fit well and my hands and back do not hurt on rides of any length.

This seems like a testament to fit trumping core in the context of this thread. Not saying one should ignore one's core, but fit is where you start with issues like this.
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Old 06-20-12, 08:33 AM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by RTDub View Post
I don't exercise my core (aside from riding a bike), but I should. My bikes fit well and my hands and back do not hurt on rides of any length.

This seems like a testament to fit trumping core in the context of this thread. Not saying one should ignore one's core, but fit is where you start with issues like this.
I think there would be a pretty broad consensus that you need a properly fitted bike, regardless of how strong your core is. In other words core fitness is not a substitute for good bike fit.

Where the thread derailed, and where there appears to be a majority opinion, but not consensus, is that flexibility and core strength can allow you to be fit in a more aggressive position.
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Old 06-20-12, 08:38 AM
  #49  
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I am not a physiologist.

My working theory is that core/back strength and flexibility are the critical issues in preventing back pain when cycling longer distances. I rode a little over 72 miles on Sunday (a new high for me - I have only been back on bike for 10 months after 30 or more years off a bike), and my back started complaining about 50 miles.

I concentrated on on a "flat back" - as opposed to a hunched back, and the pain went away. As I "left" more with the back muscles, I have fewer hand issues. The feeling is that your back is more or less straight, supported by your lower back muscles, and your arms are more or less dangling down from the end of a back that's mostly straight (with a little bit of lordosis).

I do a fair amount of yoga (3 classes a week for the last years or so - I am 59 and do not want back problems as I age), and I suspect that plank and cobra make lot of difference - though I think any trained dancer could demonstrate back protection.

I expect that what works for me does not work for everyone else.
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Old 06-20-12, 09:39 AM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by mikepwagner View Post
I am not a physiologist.

My working theory is that core/back strength and flexibility are the critical issues in preventing back pain when cycling longer distances. I rode a little over 72 miles on Sunday (a new high for me - I have only been back on bike for 10 months after 30 or more years off a bike), and my back started complaining about 50 miles.

I concentrated on on a "flat back" - as opposed to a hunched back, and the pain went away. As I "left" more with the back muscles, I have fewer hand issues. The feeling is that your back is more or less straight, supported by your lower back muscles, and your arms are more or less dangling down from the end of a back that's mostly straight (with a little bit of lordosis).

I do a fair amount of yoga (3 classes a week for the last years or so - I am 59 and do not want back problems as I age), and I suspect that plank and cobra make lot of difference - though I think any trained dancer could demonstrate back protection.

I expect that what works for me does not work for everyone else.
Nope. You guys can believe what you want and most will but hhnngg1 is correct. If you read Steve Hogg's article...btw he is right as well, it corroborates what hhnngg1 says. If you have tension aka are enlisting your core when powering the bike, you are robbing energy from propelling the bike...plus you are impeding your breathing. So all you guys holding up your torso with your core...back to the drawing board with your fit.

Here is some advice. If you are a weak rider both in upper body strength and don't lay down too many watts, ride with more setback and a higher handlebar. Anybody here ever sit on a recumbent? Try sitting on with with out a back rest. You will fall off the back. This is the same as setting a bike up with more setback and a higher handlebar. Rotating body CG rearward takes pressure off the hands. It really isn't that difficult to grasp.
Conversely if you ride with 8" of drop and little setback and don't lay down the watts to offset your weight rotated forward you will have a lot of pressure on your hands arms and shoulders. If you are a weak guy then this will bother you. Your false premise that I highlighted in bold applies to me. If I ride with too aggressive a fit, i.e. too little setback and too much drop, my body hurts. This isn't about me as much as it is about my fit. When set up properly for 'me' I can ride a century with no pain. Same rider, different fit.

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