Maintaining a good bike seat position is the key to transferring all of the power generated from the glutes in every pedal stroke. First, we have to consider if our hip mobility and flexibility is as good as our glute power. Flexibility and mobility will directly compromise our range of motion in the upper part of the pedal stroke (when the hip its in complete flexion) and the ability to produce power as we desire.
In order to identify if we have a lack of mobility in our hips we can do a very simple test as follows:
Now we know if we have some problems in our hip mobility and is time to take action to correct this deficit. We need to get off of the bike and start a training that will focus on mobility, flexibility and stabilization of our hips and core. One type of training that will help us is myofascial release using a foam roller. We need to incorporate this type of routine in our warm ups prior to riding or strength training. Myofascial release will help to reduce tightness and help to improve range of motion without over lengthening or weakening the muscles.
The recommended exercises to start our myofascial release will be the following.
1.- ITB - Iliotibial Band - This band runs from the hip to the knee and is a primary stabilizer that is stressed heavily during cycling.
2.- Hip Flexors & Quadriceps - The front of the thigh just below the hip bone
Using these exercises with 10 to 15 repetitions for each limb will be a good start, it's important to make a full range of motion across the muscle that we want to activate.
To increase our hip flexibility, these exercises are going to be executed after training or competition, because we want to increase our range of motion with passive stretches, and help the muscle to recover after a hard workout.
1.- Low Lounge
2.- Butterfly Stretch
3.- Spiderman Lunge with reach
4.- Adductor Rockbacks
5.- Pigeon Pose
6.- Eye of the Needle Pose
Must do 10 - 15 seconds on each limb always going to full range of motion, making 2 - 3 sets in each exercise.
There is always room for improvement, and we must identify which are our weakness and how to correct them, i hope this article can help you to always be a better athlete, and avoid injuries to prolong your sports career.