Sunday, December 31, 2006

Spinal Facts - Happy New Year 2007!

Important Biomechanical Parameters

Why are millimeters important?

The bony vertebral bodies are the primary load-bearing structures of the spine. Bone is an anisotropic material, exhibiting different mechanical properties when loaded in different directions. It is strongest and stiffest in compression. Bone remodels in response to the mechanical demands placed on it i.e. cycling, which are affected by the external loads as well as the muscle loading. Within the dense cortical shell of the vertebral body is the cancellous bone of the trabecular system. The trabecular system can be considered as a structural frame supporting the outer cortical shell of the vertebra. The natural synovial joint is a type of mechanical bearing. The lubricant (synovial fluid) and the bearing surfaces (articular cartilage) form a bearing system, which has excellent performance under the loading conditions encountered in normal human activities. That changes with cycling. The vertebral facet joint is a type of synovial joint and is the only synovial joint of the spine.

Synovial Fluid
Synovial fluid is highly non-Newtonian as it rapidly decreases its viscosity at high shear rates i.e. spine angle over the top tube. Some form of elastohydrodynamic or micro-elastohydrodynamic mechanism occurs as the joint moves, which helps to maintain a fluid film between the articular cartilage of the two bones. The high viscosity helps to maintain a fluid film by resisting squeezing out with the joint at rest.

Articular Cartilage
Articular cartilage is the structural material of the bearing. Along with lubricating synovial fluid it allows articulating joints to move and support loads without wearing. This biological system is more efficient at lubrication than any man-made material.

Articular cartilage comprises 80% water, with the remaining 20% made up of a collagen fiber network and proteoglycan matrix. This can be modeled as a biphasic material in which the initial application of a load results in a change in geometry of the material and pressure gradients being set up in the fluid phase of the material. These pressures cause fluid flow out of the cartilage resulting in a second phase of deformation. This resistance to flow is controlled by the permeability of the cartilage and the hydrophilicity of the proteoglycan matrix.
Articular cartilage is viscoelastic and has an ultimate compressive stress of 5MPa.

Ligaments work as passive tensile restraints, controlling the separation of their attachment sites. Mechanical properties of ligaments are expressed graphically as load-elongation curves. Two distinct regions can be identified: At low loads, the 'Toe Region' has minimal stiffness associated with the 'crimp' pattern exhibited by collagen fibrils. As the load is increased, fibrils begin to straighten and these 'crimps' begin to decrease. Once the crimping has been removed, the load-elongation curve becomes a straight line signifying a constant stiffness and this region is referred to as the 'Linear Region”. The stiffness of this region are the values most often reported in the literature. The ‘ultimate load’ is the load at which the ligament is defined to have failed. This is typically the peak load. The area under this load-elongation curve is the energy absorbed by the ligament.
Material properties of ligaments are described in terms of stress-strain curves. These can be obtained from the load-elongation curves of the whole ligament normalized with the geometry of the ligament by the ligament length and cross-sectional area. These curves have a similar shape to the load-elongation curves. The stress-strain curve is geometry independent and modulus, ultimate stress, and ultimate strain values are obtained.
At low loading rates ligaments are viscoelastic structures: they display time- and history-dependent behavior. This is displayed in two ways: stress relaxation and creep . With time, the stress required to hold a ligament at a constant length will decrease to a steady value (stress relaxation), and with time, the length of a ligament will increase to a steady length as a constant stress is applied to the ligament (creep). This may lead to creep rupture. Essentially, the viscoelastic nature of ligaments is due to fluid flow. At high rates there is not sufficient time for the fluid to flow. At rates, such as those associated with traumatic events, ligaments behave elastically.
Ligament properties change with age. Linear stiffness, ultimate load and energy absorbed to failure all decrease with increasing age.

Intervertebral Discs
Intervertebral discs are the primary motion structure between the vertebral bodies (note that there is no disc between the occipital (C0) and C1 and between C1 and C2). The disc is not a synovial joint. It consists of three distinct parts: The centrally located nucleus pulposus, which is a loose and fibrous network accounting for 30-50% of the disc surface area. The annulus fibrosus, in which the outer fibrous portions are arranged in concentric bands like a tree trunk; these adjacent bands are oriented at 120º to each other. The third part is the end-plate which is composed of hyaline cartilage and connects the disc to the vertebral bodies.
Intervertebral discs are viscoelastic structures, which exhibit creep when a load is applied and held constant i.e cycling for hours. The observation that we are several “millimeters shorter at the end of the day” is attributed to the creep behavior of the discs. If there is too much load on the spine at the start of the ride, creep will add more load at the end of the ride. It is important to maintain a light stretch to reduce the creep behavior of the discs, but not too much with longer rides!

Mechanical and Material Properties
The properties of a structure, such as the vertebral column, are referred to as mechanical properties. Mechanical properties include the load-displacement behavior, stiffness, ultimate load and energy absorbed to failure. Another term for mechanical properties is 'structural properties'. Material properties are the structural properties that have been normalized for geometry, and are thus a more general description of the properties of the material itself. Material properties include stress, strain, Young's Modulus (related to stiffness) and strain energy.

Vertebral Coordinate Systems (VCS)
Coordinate systems are used to quantify the direction of load and motion. The specific definition of a coordinate system is arbitrary, but in order for scientists to compare their results a common coordinate system is desired. Unfortunately, a standard coordinate system for the spine has yet to be established. We present the coordinate system adopted from White and Panjabi (1990).
In the VCS, the origin lies in the center of the vertebral body. The X-axis is to the right, the Y-axis is in the cranial direction, and the Z-axis is in the anterior direction.

Loads and Displacements
The loads on the spine can be described as either linear (Force) or as rotational (Moment) or more important a combination of both.
Force - The three primary components of a force are compression, tension and shear. With respect to the vertebral coordinate system there are three independent forces along each of the coordinate axes.
Moments - Moments (M) or torque are couples of equal and opposite force (F) that act at a distance (D), defined simply as F x D = M. With respect to the VCS there are independent moments. A positive moment about X, for example, produces flexion.
Displacement of the spine is complex, three-dimensional, and varies with the level and posture of the spine i.e. over top tube and ones leg rpm. As with loads, displacements can be described as linear, rotational, or a combination of both. Your spine posture should change given the loads you place on it.
Linear - Linear motion is a translation of the vertebral body and there are three independent directions of translation each along an axis of the VCS.
Rotational - Rotational motions can occur about each axis of the VCS and in combinations.

Viscoelasticity is time-dependent elastic behavior. Viscoelastic behavior is typically associated with energy loss through dissipation of heat and/or the flow of fluid. The energy loss of the load-displacement is the area enclosed by the load-displacement curve and is termed hysteresis.
Viscoelasticity is typically quantified with two types of experiment. The load-displacement relation defines recall, material and structural behavior. With viscoelastic behavior time is the third variable. Therefore, experiments to explicitly study viscoelasticity hold one of these three variables constant. In a ‘ creep test ’, a fixed load is applied and the resulting displacement over time is recorded. i.e. laying on our back with hips against a fixed wall. In a ‘ stress relaxation test ’, the displacement is fixed and the resulting decrease in stress or load over time is recorded. This allows us to find a truer spine length.

Physiological Cross-Sectional Area
Muscle strength and loading is difficult to quantify, as direct measurement of muscle forces is currently impractical. A number of different approaches for quantification of muscle forces have been applied in the literature. Electromyography can indicate the intensity of muscle activation, but it is not yet possible to determine accurately the force exerted by each muscle in a complex. One approach is to relate a muscle's ability to generate force to its size and architecture. Cross-sectional area has been used to measure force ratios. The physiological cross-sectional area (PCSA), (cross-sectional area of the muscle perpendicular to all of its fibers), is however believed to provide a better estimation of muscle strength, being proportional to the number and cross-sectional area of the tension-producing fibers. The PCSA can indicate the contribution of each muscle in a group of muscles, particularly when they reach a limiting stress, such as in strenuous activity.

Joint Mechanics
The Spine as a Whole
The spine is comprised of vertebral bodies joined by the intervertebral disc and various ligaments. The spine consists of three general regions: cervical, thoracic and lumbar. Each region possesses unique anatomical characteristics and mechanics. Some characteristics transform continuously from region to region while other characteristics are distinct for each region. The smallest spinal unit of each region is the functional spinal unit FSC. Note that the anatomy and mechanical properties of the spine vary with the spine region.
Typically, female anatomy and material properties vary less than those of males. Typically, female upper body anatomy is less in weight and size. The upper body acts as a counter weight for the legs to work. They do better to load their spine and achieve a lower position over the top tube.
Age can also dramatically decrease the mechanical properties. Functional spinal units are addressed when we have the intervertebral disc and various ligaments, nervous tissues, connective soft tissue all move to their limit of constraints. This is when the spine reaches its limits of the applied load (Units deg or mm) and stiffness (Units N/mm or Nm/deg) with extension This double–action locks the joint, as the ligaments do not elongate further. Exceeding this limit affects the handling, the ability to adjust to the terrain, breathing, etc…

Functional Spinal Unit (FSU)
A functional spinal unit consists of an inferior and superior vertebral body and all of the connective soft tissue between them. Contractile and nervous tissues are excluded. An FSU is the smallest functional unit of the spine below C2

Motion Descriptions
When the motion of a functional spinal unit (FSU) lies within an anatomical plane of the vertebral coordinate system (VCS), the planar motion is relatively straightforward to describe. Planar motion is often a combination of rotation and translation. One approach to describing planar motion is to define a rotation angle and a center of rotation (COR). These two variables completely describe any planar motion. Throughout a range of motion, the COR may be fixed or may move with the degree of motion.
When the motion of an FSU is not planar, describing the 3D motion completely is non-trivial. We prefer to use the helical axis of motion (HAM) variables, also known as the screw axis. The HAM variables consist of a rotation (theta) about and a translation (t) along a unique axis in space. Typically, the HAM translation for normal spine motion is minimal. When the spinal motion is planar, then the HAM axis is perpendicular to that plane of motion and the point of intersection of the HAM axis with the plane of motion is the COR.

Coupled Motions
Coupled motions are defined as motions that are not in the principal direction of the applied load; they are inherently coupled to the principal motion. For example, loading that produces left lateral bending can also produce axial rotation and flexion. The axial rotation and flexion are coupled to the lateral bending and in the healthy spine these motions cannot be separated.
Functional Spinal Unit (FSU) Mechanics
The mechanical behavior of the FSU is described by the relationship between the applied loads and the resulting motions. This relation is often non-linear.

Range of Motion (ROM)
ROM is the motion that occurs between the limits of the applied load (Units deg or mm). The loads from big gears and creep in a 40K are not the same vs. the long haul (many hours).

Stiffness (K)
The K is the slope of the load-motion curve (Units N/mm or Nm/deg). It is important to define at which point on the curve the stiffness is calculated. Typically it is defined in the secondary region of the curve where stiffness is constant over that range.

Neutral Zone (NZ)
The NZ is the zone between opposite directions of loading within which the stiffness is minimal. Physically this corresponds to a zone of “joint sloppiness” or laxity. The NZ is calculated in a variety of ways, but most commonly it is defined as the motion occurring below a given low load “Sweetspot” of the saddle & tilt or as the motion between the two X-axis intercepts of the extended secondary.

Occipital-Atlanto-Axial Region
The occipital-atlanto-axial region of the spine is certainly the most unique region of the spine and is often referred to as the C0-C1-C2 joint. The significant mechanical interaction directly between C0 and C2 necessitates that this region be considered as a single functional unit. In this joint there are no vertebral discs and the articular surfaces and the ligaments are the primary components maintaining the structural stability of the joint.
The superior articular surfaces of C1 are cupped to accept and articulate with the occipital condyles, while the inferior surfaces of C1 are flat and sloped medially to laterally and articulate with the superior articular surface. This shape helps to confine the axis of rotation of C1 relative to C2.
The two primary ligamentous structures of C0-C1-C2 are the transverse ligament and the alar ligaments. The transverse ligament is the posterior restraint of the dens of C2 and has a cross-section of 18mm 2 and a length of 20mm. It is one of the strongest spinal ligaments with an ultimate load of approximately 450N. Understanding this, it is important to rotate the eyes upward and keep them level verses the rotation of the head.
The alar ligaments arise from the lateral portions of the dens and insert at the base of the C0 condyles. The alar ligaments are the primary restraint to axial rotation of C0-C1-C2. The alar ligaments have a cross-sectional area of 22mm 2 and a length of 20mm. Their ultimate load is 280N.
The alar ligaments restrain axial rotation to the left and right through a unique double-action mechanism. The normal range of axial rotation of C0-C1 on C2 is 45 degrees in both directions. The laxity of the alar ligaments permits this large range of axial rotation. As the limit of rotation is reached, both alar ligaments simultaneously tighten. Once tightened each attempts to force rotation of C0-C1 about its own origin. This double–action locks the joint, as the ligaments do not elongate further. Therefore, if one alar ligament is damaged rotation to both sides is increased, and the secondary restraints such as the facet capsules and tectorial membrane resist further rotation.
The C0-C1-C2 joint is the most mobile joint in the spine. In flexion-extension there is a small neutral zone (NZ) of 4 o and a range of motion (ROM) of 45 o . In total (left plus right) axial rotation, the NZ (65 o ) comprises most of the 90 o of the ROM. Over 85% of axial rotation occurs at the C1-C2 joint. Total lateral bending possesses a NZ of 6 o and a ROM of 20 o that is equally split between C0-C1 and C1-C2.
The degree of coupled motion in C0-C1-C2 varies with the direction of motion, the posture and the level. In flexion-extension there is essentially no coupled motion. In lateral bending the coupled motion is greater at C1-C2 than at C0-C1. The coupled motion consists of both flexion-extension and axial rotation, although the direction and magnitude of each of these coupled motions varies with the initial posture. Axial rotation at C1-C2 is the most prominent coupled motion due to the large NZ in axial rotation and the shape of the articular facets. These same factors results in a minimal amount of coupled motion at C1-C2 when the primary motion is axial rotation. Conversely, flexion-extension and lateral bending both occur as coupled motions at C0-C1 with axial rotation. From another perspective, the natural tendency of the spine is to move in physiological directions. When loads are applied in directions that would produce non-physiological motion the spine responds by redirecting the loads to reproduce physiological motions.

Mid-and Lower Cervical Region
The vertebral joints of C2-C3 through C7-T1 constitute the mid- and lower cervical region of the spine. The functional spinal units (FSUs) in this region are more typical of those in the lower spine. The vertebral bodies can typically support compressive loads of 1500N or more.
The articular facets of this region have minimal curvature and are oriented in antero-superior to postero-inferior inclination.
The anterior longitudinal ligament (ALL) is a broad ligament that attaches along the anterior wall of the vertebral bodies. Its primary role is to limit the distraction of the anterior vertebral body during extension. The ALL has a stiffness of 12N/mm. The strength of the ALL in tension is 110N. The failure deformation at this load is 9mm.
The posterior longitudinal ligament (PLL) is analogous to the ALL but attaches along the posterior wall of the vertebral body. The PLL has a stiffness of 12N/mm. The strength of the PLL in tension is 75N. The failure deformation at this load is 6mm. This is the weakest area of failure (ALL vs. PLL).
The capsular ligaments encompass the facet joints. Their failure load is approximately 200N at a deformation of 8mm.
Ligamentum flavum fails at a tension load of 140N at a deformation of 8mm.
The interspinous ligaments are weaker than the other primary ligaments and fails in tension at about 35N at a deformation of 7mm.
Thoracic Region
The mechanics of the functional spinal units (FSUs) of the thoracic region (image) have received the least attention of any region of the spine, in part because the thoracic region is well stabilized by the rib cage and its articulation with the thoracic vertebrae. Therefore mechanical testing without the ribcage has little clinical relevance, while testing with the rib cage possesses enormous practical challenges. The strength of the vertebral bodies in compression range, with the vertebral level, from values similar to the cervical region to values similar to the lumbar region.
The facets are fairly flat as in the cervical region, but there is a transition in the orientation from the cervical facets to a nearly vertical orientation in the thoracolumbar region.
The range of motion (ROM) in flexion and extension are approximately 5 o in flexion/extension, 18 o in total axial rotation, and 12 o in total lateral bending for each FSU from T1-T2 to T9-T10. From T10 to L1, the reported ROM increases by about 5 o in flexion/extension, decreases by about 10 o in total axial rotation, and increases by about 4 o in total lateral bending.
The bending stiffness of the thoracic FSUs are 2.5Nm/deg in both flexion/extension and axial rotation, and are slightly stiffer in lateral bending.

Lumbar Region
The lumbar region contains the largest vertebral bodies and connective structures of the spine. The vertebral bodies fail in compression at approximately 5500N. The facets of the lumbar region are a continuation of the transition from the cervical to thoracic region. The lumbar facets reach a more vertical orientation than the thoracic facets, and also possess a curved shape in which the facet surfaces lie in both the frontal plane and the sagittal plane.
The six major ligaments possess a range of mechanical properties, which typically exceed those of the other regions. Even with better mechanical properties, physiological loads and limit patterns can (damage or irriate the spinal cord or nerve roots).
The anterior longitudinal ligament (ALL) has a cross-sectional area of 52mm 2 and its length is estimated as 13mm, although it must be appreciated that the ALL fibers can run the length of several bodies and defining specific attachment points along the anterior wall of the vertebral body is not easily done. The ALL typically fails at a load of 450N and at a deformation of 15mm.
The posterior longitudinal ligament (PLL) is smaller but somewhat analogous to the ALL as it attaches along the posterior wall of the vertebral body. The PLL has a cross-sectional area of 16mm 2 and an estimated length of 11mm. Its strength is reported to be 320N with a failure deformation of 5mm, making it much stiffer than the ALL.
The ligamentum flavum appears to be unique in that it can exhibit significantly more strain than the other spinal ligaments and is believed possess a large resting tension to. These factors prevent the ligamentum flavum from buckling into the spinal canal during extension as the attachment points approximate one another. The ligamentum flavum has a cross-section of 65mm 2 and a length estimated to be 19mm. Its strength is approximately 285N and fails at a deformation of 12mm.
The capsular ligaments of the lumbar spine fail at approximately 220N with a deformation of 11mm.
The interspinous ligaments fail at approximately 125N with a deformation of 13mm.
The supraspinous ligament has a cross-sectional area of 23mm 2 and a length of 11mm. It fails at a tensile load of 150N with a deformation of 30mm.
The principal motions of the lumbar spine are described by the neutral zone (NZ) and range of motion (ROM) values.
These motions occur about rotation axes that are located anteriorly and posteriorly for flexion and extension, respectively. In left and right lateral, the locations of the rotation axes have been reported to lie on the side opposite the direction of lateral bending. While in axial rotation, the rotation axes lie on the posterior portion of the vertebral body.
Lumbosacral Joint
The neutral zone (NZ) and range of motion (ROM) values of the lumbosacral joint are reached by allowing gravity and time, while laying on your back.

Spinal Stability
Spinal stability is the most clinically important biomechanical parameter, but also the most elusive.
In the text by White and Panjabi, spinal stability is defined as “…The ability of the spine under physiological loads to limit patterns of displacement so as not to damage or irritate the spinal cord or nerve roots and, in addition, to prevent incapacitating deformity or pain due to structural changes ...“.
More definitive guidelines for surgeons have been provided by them and by others. These guidelines are typically specific measurements for which a range of normal values is given. When the spine measurements lies beyond a given threshold value it is considered an indication of instability.
From an engineering perspective, a system is said to be stable if it returns to its initial state after a perturbation. With an axial compressive load of more than 20lbs the ligamentous lumbar spine is unstable, it cannot remain upright and buckles. Thus the musculature of the spine is essential in maintaining spinal stability, so do your core training!

Leonardo DaVinci was the first bioengineer to appreciate this instability and hypothesized that the musculature of the spine performed in the same way as the guy wires of a ship’s mast.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Oscar Pereiro & Alejandro Valverde " 2006 UCI ProTour winner" honing-in their tt positions using EMG!

Some dream, some guess, some watch others and wish they could? When the worlds best pros are "letting-go" using real science to unfold more muscle turths! Not claims or a sizing tool! Since 2000, we have been using sEMG to show you better truths. Noraxon USA has worked w/ us since our start. We are "Rocket Science", NASA used our sEMG in space!

The pros are now learning that a powermeter only tells them the sum of the work, not what muscles are doing what!

In 2001, we only had 5 National Championships. This past year we had over 25 National Championships? In this industry, given all the mass marketing, media, coaching, etc..., it has taken 6 years to get the word out about using your muscles? Talk about a plum-line/death grip on the world?

Here it is almost 2007 and the cycling world is just starting to learn what makes a difference! Much better than the drugs!!! Learning how to fire your muscles is key. The UCI ProTour winner is using EMG because it works! He has moved his saddle to get the most of his muscles.

Sure that brand new state of the art $,$$$ bike looks good, but it will not inform you on how to pedal!

You don't have to be 2006 UCI Protour winner to learn the "The Truth." Myo-facts sEMG/Dartfish makes a difference in your game. What's in your game, a plum-line? Good luck!!!

Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears riders Oscar Pereiro & Alejandro Valverde are preparing for the 2007 season by honing-in their tt positions using EMG. The Spaniards know the importance of tt in grand tour races; Pereiro bravely fought to keep his yellow jersey in the 2006 Tour de France during the final individual test on the penultimate day and Valverde used his abilities to hold on to 2nd in the 2006 Vuelta a España.

In only the last few days, at Miguel Indurain Velodrome in Tafalla (near Pamplona, Spain), the two riders were working with positioning guru, Italian Alessandro Mariano, and technicians from the team's bike supplier, Pinarello. Valverde, 26, travelled to Italy last winter to work with Mariano on his positioning and in the past year he has steadily improved.

"Its work, but it is also useful for raising psychological levels," explained the 2006 ProTour champion to La Gazzetta dello Sport. "Up until the end of last year I was afraid of time trialing. I know that we are working very well and now I feel strong also in these [TT] races."

Instead of a wind tunnel, Mariano is using the velodrome combined with electromyography (EMG), to verify muscle work, and a "spinal mouse," an instrument that measures the vertebras' shape and mobility. This work, combined with improvements from Pinarello technicians, could help the Spaniards hold their own in the tt and go on to win the 2007 Tour overall, which this year includes 117 TT kilometres.

Myo-facts sEMG/Dartfish will be ready for our dealers in Jan 07!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

U23 Rider of the year Brent Bookwalter uses Wobble-naught!

U23 RIDERS OF THE YEAR, Brent Bookwalter's coach is Rick Crawford and he wanted Brent to get fitted using our system by Andy Applegate in Asheville,NC. Why? Because it makes a difference!

In 2006, Bookwalter (Priority Health) showed that they were not only the strongest in the under-23 category, but that they are capable of racing with the big kids. After winning the national U23 time trial Bookwalter, who won the Tour of Shenandoah while many of the top domestic riders were at the Tour de Georgia, finished second in the national U23 road race when the TIAA-CREF team of winner Craig Lewis had him outnumbered. Bookwalter took revenge two days later by winning the time trial with a pace that was faster than the winning time in the elite men's race.

Whants in your game!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Two American Female Cyclists of the Year are in our data base!

2006 VeloNews Awards: North American Female Cyclists of the Year.

Two of the North American Female Cyclists of the Year in 2006 are in our Wobble-naught data base. They are Kristin Armstrong & Sarah Hammer.

VeloNews had to choose a North American Female Cyclist of the Year in a season when Kristin Armstrong, Sarah Hammer and Jill Kintner all won world championships? The answer is, they didn't. Instead, VeloNews chose to honor all three for their remarkable accomplishments and brought them together in November for a photo shoot.

Go to to see!

We have fitted so many and you never know who will step up and take the title of World Champion in their respected game. One thing we do know, for the cyclist interested in performance, good bike fit is paramount.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Georgia Gould goes to Cyclo-cross Worlds!

Wobble-naught fiitted & Myo-facts sEMG/Dartfish user Georgia Gould (Ketchum, Idaho/Luna) - was announced Monday based on her performance at the USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Championships and the Crank brothers U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclo-cross.

Georgia told us by phone, she was looking forward for a break? Ha!

Myo-facts sEMG/Dartfish being used today!

It was pointed out in Velo News that someone should use Dartfish for cycling? We are already in partnership w/ Dartfish, under the name Myo-facts sEMG/Dartfish.

We have been using the Myo-facts sEMG/Dartfish for a few years now, perhaps that is why we had about 25 National Championships in 2006? Perhaps that is why the queen of mtb, Shonny Vanlandingham Luna uses us? We use a "Quantifying/Qualitative" approach for studing human movement.

Myo-facts, Noraxon, Dartfish have been working together for two years now and we will have our new product out in Jan 07.

We are changing the way we train people.

Stay tuned!!!

Monday, December 18, 2006

USA Cycling names world's Cyclo-cross team!

Three-time national champion, Katie Compton earned an automatic nomination by virtue of her win Sunday in the elite women's race in Providence. Our gal Runner-up Georgia Gould also earned a bid as the top American in the final series standings in the 2006 Crank Brothers U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclo-cross.

The 2007 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships are scheduled for Jan. 27-28 in Hooglede-Gits, Belgium.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

What a ride it has been in 2006 Happy Holidays!

It only takes a few pedal strokes to determine victory or get the edge on your toughest competition. Whether the pedal stroke will make the difference in those moments that count.

To be good, you need to refine the small things, breaking the pedal stroke down to the single pedal stroke. After all you pedal 10,000 pedal strokes per hour!

It takes brain's to do well. With Myo-facts sEMG/Dartfish repetition of the perfect pedal stroke, actions become second nature. Great performances come!

It's amazing how many of our cyclists showed improvements in their physical and mental focus. Big wins in high-pressure events. The results say it all w/ top placements and consistency week after week in battles in different terrain, conditions, roads, tracks by America's best, all over the world.

Got a competive edge? Our customers do! We've proven w/ our racers that our Wobble-naught CAD fitting & Myo-facts sEMG/Dartfish has helped cyclists perform their best in the battlefield. The results say it all!

Wobble-naught & Myo-facts sEMG/Dartfish wishes you all a Season's Greetings. Enjoy and have your happiest holiday ever!

US Cyclo-cross Nationals - Gould 2nd!

We just got off the phone w/ Georgia Gould. She pointed out that she was not feeling her best even before the race, perhaps the trip or nerves? She did give it her best, as she shot off the front in a effort to take the lead at the US Cyclo-cross Nationals, but Compton got a few seconds on her and that is how it ended.

Compton had to keep it together as Georgia was w/in striking distance if Compton made a mistake. What more can you ask, sometimes you have "good legs/bad legs."

A big year! Georgia has made a name for herself this season! At the start of the season, the 26-year-old was happy to just be around experienced riders. Impressive finishes to take second in USGP overall & second at US Cyclo-cross Nationals after her NORBA XC Championship.

Keep an eye on her next year!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Good Luck Georgia Gould, You show the media!

Media does everything to hype Colorado's Katie Compton?

"Her only loss on the USGP came in Portland, Oregon, where inclement weather and muddy course conditions relegated her into fifth place."

"Newcomer Georgia Gould (Luna) poses the greatest threat to Compton, but the Idaho rider consistently finished minutes behind the Coloradan on the USGP circuit. Still, Gould isn't counting herself out."

Hey Fred, I was there w/ Nat Ross and I saw Georgia crash when she had the lead on the first lap? I have pics of it? Georgia screwed up her gears, but still had the guts to pass 5 to 6 racers to w/in only 23 seconds behind Katie? What about that?

"I don't think anybody was questioning the fact that Katie was human," said Gould, after finishing ahead of Compton in Portland. "Maybe you guys [the "Fred" media] were."

"Gould thinks Compton is mortal, however" "Georgia knows she can race her."

Media Fred, I also saw you drop out of your race before 1/2 through it? I have pics of that also! What's up w/ that?Georgia doesn't quit any race and she didn't quit chasing Katie after her crash!

Velo News photo: Fred Dreier (file) Go to their site to see.

"If the women's field hopes to challenge Compton, they must survive her trademark first-lap attack and her ever-steady tempo."

"I just want to go hard from the start and keep it fast and make it a good, tough race," Compton said after the No. 3 USGP in Longmont, Colorado."

Fred - why don't you share w/ the world that Idaho women took Road Nats, TT Nats,TT Worlds,, Norba XC "Georgia Gould" Nationals and 24 Norba Nationals!

Listen to what Georgia said!!!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Ernesto - Ohio State Cross Champ 2006

Quick update before I head out to Cyclocross Nationals tomorrow. Just wrapped up the Cleveland Cross Series - finished up with 2 wins and a second place overall in the series. And - just this past weekend, just narrowly missed winning the John Bryan State Park Cross Race (last race in the Bio-Wheels Series/Ohio State CrossRace) by 5 seconds, taking 2nd overall.

Great news was that the winner was from Michigan, so I was the first placed Ohio Rider - thus making me the Ohio State Cross Champ for 2006. Full write up can be seen here:<" target=_blank>> Goes without saying, I am pretty blown away with the results I get from your fitting system and that I couldn't of done it without you and Wobblenaught. Thanks Tom -Ernesto

What's in your game?

Things are sweet on the big island.

The alpha mtb professional cares about the smallest of details. Here is how Shonny Vanlandingham used our Myo-facts sEMG/Dartfish to get her moves tight to the millionth of a uV! Watching multi muscle activity and coordination is the key.

This is the only way to see what your muscles are doing!!!

Just reading a powermeter only gives you the sum of all the muscles, not what muscle is doing what?

This is a "Frequency-Fatigue" analysis along w/ a "Spectrum Report" of her before and after.

What's in your game?

Monday, December 04, 2006

Shonny Vanlandingham gets Wobble-naught Aloha!

Three time NORBA Series Champion gets things right at her isolated tropical home in Kona,Hawai'i on Tthe Big Island. The queen of mtb, serves me hand picked coffee each morning, all kinds of fruit right from her own trees, just on the lower half of her dense rainforests.

By the way there when you look west, as far as the eye can see is a big body water 1,500 feet below the house, a thick green jungle, full of many colorful plants & rare species of tropical birds birds? Off in the distance, to the right is a bay w/ black lava reaching into water. Shonny pointed out, w/ my Swarovski's I can view where Capt. Cook was killed by the natives.

Yes, they all use the term "Aloha" meaning hello,love, goodbye.

"E 'oni wale no 'oukou I ku'u pono, 'a'ole pau."

"Endless is the good that I have given to you to enjoy."
King Kamehameha I

What's in your game?

Saturday, November 25, 2006

A new age where Knowledge & Technique are King

All sports advance. Whether you're sixteen or sixty, male or female, beginner or expert-when you ride your bike you should know the best techniques. You don't have to be a super athlete, just bring whatever ability you have, and let us teach you to exploit what you are capable of doing. The only thing you need is a commitment to learn.

This is not the seventies and many technological breakthroughs have taken place. We have the tools to teach, to make you better. Bike designs w/ geometry & construction materials have also changed. Why then has bike fitting taken so long to change? Why should you be forced to use old outdated bike fitting info and methods? Why don't retail stores care? Who has the tools to unveil the "TRUTH" of what you need?

Think about it, you don't have to be in the know to own a retail store. And if you did own a store why would you care about how someone rides. That is not your concern! You only want your money from pushing whatever brand you have on the floor.
Great for the dealer, bad for the person who wants to learn.

Even if you have some sort of sizing cycle, tool, or a basic plum-line, it is not just about the fit. People want to learn the "TRUTH" and there are very few places that teach you how your muscles are firing w/in the pedal stroke. Yes, teaching the better techniques/movements of the world's best athletes to other cyclist at all ability levels we can be a primary influence in the sport. Yes, education is the way to help you understand the dynamics of cycling. Myo-facts sEMG/Dartfish is the key for that learning.

We are witnessing another technological breakthrough in cycling "TEACHING". But where does one go to get the biofeedback. Power meters only tell you the sum of the movements, it will not let you see what muscle is firing and when. So who is to say you need to have a certain bike setup w/o having the tools that provide the biofeedback data? Very soon, you will not have to take the word of someone who thinks you need something because they are the person who works on bikes every day, are your Coach,MD,PT,PA or they are the fastest fish in their pond! Very soon, dealers will hold the biofeedback tools that show you what you really need.

Thank goodness, for the power meter. The power meter has busted a lot of ideas on training how too! They are a great tool, but now we can even break it down to the single pedal stroke using Myo-facts sEMG/Dartfish. The game will never be the same!!!

Here is how change occurs! It was not long ago, that old classic cross country skiing (plum-line) vs. skating (Myo-facts sEMG/Dartfish), now that is the norm. After people learned the new skating, they describe it as " energy maximization..." But it took time for the results to change things. There where many professionals teaching the old school game. Nothing wrong w/ the old school, but it is not what won races. The same is being said after people use our Myo-facts sEMG/Dartfish. Old school meet new school, things are changing! In the mean time, many are going to have to learn from the old school of someone telling you what they think you need to do! Better? Perhaps? But if someone uses our Myo-facts sEMG/Dartfish, they see it, get and get better faster!

So what is a person to do? Here is how most retail stores work. Take skiing,you go buy your skis(bike), boots, etc..., at your local retail ski store, then you hit the slopes to learn on you own or you head to a ski school, or a join ski team to learn how to use them. Super, So where do you go to learn how to pedal? Who has the tools to teach you? Do you get a coach over the internet and instruct you? They don't have the biofeedback to show you what you need to do? Or you are very much on your own, after all there is not that much to riding a bike and I can keep up w/ my club. What's to learn anyway? The experts in my pond know! RIGHT!

It is ski season and as I look outside it is starting to snow. There are few hardcores jumping on their bikes for 2 1/2 hour ride. Perhaps everyone should get off the bike, get on the snow and learn how to bend a ski. It might do more for their pedal stroke and learning how to move than they know. Hope they have the focus and do the right moves or they are just learning bad motor skills for their base.

There is a lesson here, we learn from others and maybe we learn from the people we ride with? We know mass marketing impacts what we can learn. Ford is pushing their car & parts and Chevy are pushing their products. Then you have Porsche & BMW designs that perhaps care a bit more? Now think of the USA market and the 1,000 Chevy dealers and 1,000 Ford dealers? This is true, to become a dealer, you have to follow what they tell you. Sell,sell,sell!!! You don't make them money by teaching or caring how to drive the car. How about translating pedal power to the chain?

It's not the parts, it's how you put everything together. After that you still have to learn how to fire the muscles and learn the pedal stroke. Where can you go?

Why has cycling taken so long to unveil its secrets of movement? When Lance Armstrong was racing, do you think he was going to share w/ you what you need to do to take him out! Let's see, Tiger Woods is going to share w/ you what he knows to play on the PGA Tour? Come on! That is how they make their money.

So the next best thing is listen to the guy on TV who thinks they know what Lance or Tiger's muscle tone is when they make their moves. Do they know? Answer: NO! That is why they are now using software to break the movements down. The eye can't do that!

Back to the industry giants and how they have had a "gun-to-the-head" of their dealers. Dealing w/ specific fit needs "NOT". They want the dealers to sell bikes that they determine are the mass marketing needs. It cost the giants money to care!

Some brands market their brand by saying that if the dealer doesn't have their $$$$ sizing tool, plus 18 bikes on the floor, you don't become a dealer. Again, sizing a bike is some what a myth. We can fit you on a bike that is too small or too big. It mostly depends on what is it you want to do?

Just like skiing, we can fit you to long DH boards or shorter SL, but you will have a harder time dealing w/ the longer skis in tight turns or the bumps. So the question becomes what are the best-handling sizes for your game. Most brands come in sm,med,lg,xl to cover sizing. But the sales guy/gal has been told to sell what they have on the floor or else?

Look at skiing. Talk about understanding what is the best aero position. How getting your hands just so to mask your forearms, shaping your ski poles around everyhing allowing for a better tuck, allowing the eyes to see w/ the best head position, counter rotation, leg lead-change, hip angle allowing for the best use of the legs, all working as a moving counter weight for the legs to work. Understand in skiing, you can't make speed, you go w/ what the hill,surface and wind allows you.

Tiny margins make a huge difference in the sport of ski racing where 1,000th of a sec. makes a difference. And every country has their methods of looking for an edge! Skiers got into wind tunnels 30+ years ago! We found that sometimes being more aero will get you kill if your muscles don't work w/ the best range of motion at 45 to 70+mph. Look at the wrecks you see w/ tt setups!

This is important, we have a long history of looking for tiny margins. We know that is what makes a difference. Working w/ Olympic Champions from around the world. I mean people who won, not just one gold, but gold's! Working w/ the biggest names in the history of the skiing. Too many to name, but one comes to mind. James Major, the brother of Paul Major who was first a coach at CU, then being asked to work w/ the US Ski Team. James was the only North American named the head coach of a major European ski team. James Major was the coach for many years of World Cup, World Championship and Olympic medalist Ole Christian Furuseth. He used pictures to teach!

James is the co-author w/ Olle Larsson of a book "World Cup Technique"on ski technique and another on training methods. The book broke down the moves of the best in the game. They did not have the software we have today. He holds a Ph.D. in Exercise Physiology from the U of Utah. As I know, his wife Helde Aune from Norway is currently the assistant coach of the UC Davis Gymnastics team and the Program Director of the Davis Diamonds Gymnastics program. In addition to coaching ski racing, James has coached ski racers and gymnasts in gymnastics programs for almost 30 years.

Why is this important. Because we are new to coaching and we have been working w/ the physical demands of sports at the highest level true experts/coaches for years. From World Cup to Pro Tour to NCAA Champions! We have a rich history of success w/ many, long before all of the cycling success. We are not new to elite level sports.
I will say, what you learn in your pond might not be what is needed to make it in the ocean!

Take just using video and reflectors. You need to know that skin moves and you "Can Not" track the true joint angles, nor understand the extremity kinematics.

How can you determine the muscle activation (tone)that in truth determines the outcome?

Anyone who has spent any time at all skiing at the World Cup level knows that we can tune your skis for a given course (bevel edge angles), cant your ski under the binding or from the ski boot, or w/in the ski boot w/ a footbed. They all do different things. A footbed is use to reduce the lag time of any movement in any direction (inward/outward,forward,backward,etc...) And some would say, you don't need them. They can even hurt you if you don't know what correct!

Too much and the knees may wear out, or the hips, or your lower back. Too little and they don't do you any good, power can be lost. Your ankle angle is a very large part of being good in skiing, being able to feel the slope, as it is in cycling. To adjust the flex of a boot for correct angling is determined by the speed you can handle of any event (Sl,GS,SG,DH Bumps,Gen). In cycling is harder to learn, as you have to learn your angles in space. The heel is not providing feedback.

Further more, the person on skis needs to learn how to ski, timing, pole plants, one pole, two poles, etc..., when to pressure, when to get on/off edge, down-weight, up-weight, dive downhill, thrust the hips forward after the turn, where the hands need to be in space, counter rotation, and on & on. Then you have all the different events SL,GS,SG,DH plus getting more aero.

Sounds like a lot? It is! So the next time you jump on your bike, regardless of the setup and that might not be what you want, and it can even hurt you? Run all this through your mind.

Even w/ the perfect bike setup, using a Power Tap, SRM or Garmin, you still have to pedal, to learn to ride. And most important of all, how to fire your muscles!!!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

A preview of a Mythbuster coming in Jan 2007

This is the real deal. This is not some toy! Myo-facts sEMG/Dartfish is changing the level of understanding.

Do you want to know how your muscles really work? How your motor unit recruitment patterns occur. Muscle tone provides the basis for resistance to gravity's pull, emotional tone, leading to your best movement. Without this biofeedback you are only guessing. Do you really want to waste your time on bad motor skills?

The pull of gravity is ubiquitous, and the muscles must respond to this call. On the other hand, if muscle fibers fired continuously in order to counter this force, they would soon become exhausted.

This means that the central nervous system rotates which motor units are firing w/in a given muscle group. We can show you what your muscles are doing long before you find the sum of muscles by only reading the wattage!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Congratulations To Georgia Gould (Luna) 2nd Overall in the USGP

What a season she had! You can't ask for more from anyone. She is one tough gal.

Note the two crowns above in the background! I didn't see it when I took the pic. I guess I should had moved to their right more to get the crowns over their heads. How funny!!!

If you don't know Georgia's face, she is the one on your left. Both gals where mtb 2006 NORBA champions, Georgia in mtb XC & Reba in mtb 24 hour. We have some really tough girls in Idaho.

Science has helped separate Georgia from the pack w/ cutting-edge techniques. This science allowed her to widen her (know how) lead over the competition. If you intend on racing w/ the pros, optimal racing performance is needed in this grueling sports event. These races are won or lost by very small margins.

At this level, a scientific approach is vital for optimizing performance.
Georgia Gould has a bright future!!!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

What does it take?

What does it take for an young smart individual to race some of the most knowledgeable elite-level racers on earth? To battle North American's national champions.

Think about it, you are a newcomer and you have captured the lead in the USGP series until the very last day. There is only one race left and you have a chance to take the championships. How cool is that?

A big part of one's success and career is by "Demystifyling" how you bike is set up, what your muscles should be doing, not what you think they should because someone said so? You can't waist your racing career/seasons w/ confusing information. Sure you can read this and that and you will hear everything. But the numbers of sEMG don't lie.

Bold moves by Georgia placed her at the top of the elite-level cyclists,wearing the USGP leader's jersey for most of this 2006 season. Georgia was smart enough to take time (6 hours) to learn the "TRUTH" about your pedal stroke. Most just guess and go ride. She knows that she has taken it to the next level. Knowing truth is power!

With a second-place finish by Bessette and Gould's fourth-place finish, Bessette regained the USGP leader's jersey she relinquished to Gould after Gould's victory in Gloucester. Compton missed the opening weekend of USGP racing and is not in contention for the USGP title. Bessette now leads Gould by only six points.

It has been a "Great Run" by Georgia Gould no matter of the outcome today! What a year she has had.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Go to our Results and see what we do!

While sitting and attempting to describe to a freind what we do, I had Joe Brungardt who is a teacher to provide feedback on how he see's what we do. Here is his thoughts.

Consistency is the name of the game. Since 2001, when we took 5 National Championships up through this year 2006 season our count was around 20 National Championships in 2006 alone, plus a world.)
How do you backup what works? Our results speak for themselves!

Thursday, November 16, 2006


We can teach you inside!

We can provide graphs that make it easy to understand!

We can even go outside!

We can focus on the game you want to play (road,tt,mtb,track,cyclocross,et...)
What is it you want to know?

Think about watching, learning everything you motor is doing i.e. which muscle is firing and how much and at what time, your heart rate, your cadence, your wattage, your speed and finding angles that make a difference? The game will never be the same!
Myo-facts sEMG/Dartfish "Truth Inside & Out." while on your bike anywhere!

More than a promise, it's how we do business. What's in your game?

Coming Soon!

What is the "Truth" about your cleat placement?

You hear and read everything about cleat placement. Do this, try this,etc... You never hear info on what muscles impact your pedal stroke? No one talks about "what is the best line of pull for the muscles that make a difference? They don't even inform you about what muscle needs the "best range of motion"?

General info is just that!!! Most people don't understand that by adding a footbed changes the cleat placement? How can you determine the contraction of a muscle in question w/o using sEMG? How can you determine the best line of pull of muscles w/o Myo-facts sEMG/Dartfish?

Free advise is just that, very general at the least? After all it is "Free." We don't care to waste our time nor yours w/ the generals, that is why we use science to nail the "Truth" about things.

Do your homework and study! It will do you well to study the Tibialis anterior and Extensor digitorum longus "why focus" on it? True, we not free, nor was our schooling & tools, they costed us huge time and money, but its correct when you leave.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

A letter from a real mtb pro.

Hey guys! Would you think of using a different fit?

Do you like the Wobble-naught & Myo-facts sEMG/Dartfish? A smile is worth a thousand words!

I just sent a thank you to our friend "Chopper" for giving us a thumbs up to yet another pro. Greg Randolph is a much respected voice of mtb pros and road racers. He is the real deal and for those who don't know of him look his name up.

Chopper is the guy in the chicken outfit, standing w/ our good friend Whit. Why is this funny, because to see him ride is "Chicken Not." In fact I would say that most riders can't keep up w/ both Chopper or Whit. Look up Chopper and note who he is. Whit is Idaho's mtb state champion. Perhaps, your only time to watch them might be when they ride away from you.

I want to point out that "Chopper" paid for his bikes to be fit. Pros pay for our services.

The point here, if your product doesn't work, it will be found. Sure there are many mass marketing fitting systems that would like to cut our legs or our head off. But results and good words w/in the circle of pros is the real deal. Having the cash to write books, pay pros or hype things up might not be what you read or even see. It either works, obtaining the results or it doesn't. It takes brains to be good and for that brain to work the muscles correctly.

In our game, you become much like a chicken w/ his neck on the chopping block(Chopper)? You could loose your head! Racers will not use anything that doesn't make them faster. You can't give them free services that don't work or make sense, in most cases you can't even buy their respect, you have to earn it. If it is not the real deal, (their underground word) you neck will be cut off! Its black or white and no gray here. It works or not!

It is well know, that pros can hold a team contract,be on that team that uses a certain brand bike, etc..., but will ride another bike w/ a team paint job if it is that important to them. A lot of cycling is marketing.

Again, racers will do anything to gain an edge. That is why we have rules. Look at all the problems w/ so many pros using drugs to get an edge? We need to point out that this is not just in cycling, but in all sport. Even NASCAR pros get busted/fined each week through the whole season for some sort of edge over the field. They get hit w/ huge fines and move on until NASCAR change the rules.

We agree, that everyone should be on the same playing ground (run the same gas.) So we don't want to see someone running hot racing fuel, racing the next guy on regular gas! That is not sporting?

So, would you not agree that it is nice to see something that really makes a difference for so many pros. They simply "LEARN" what they need to do w/in head. Knowing how is what makes a difference! So where do you go to lern how?

Read what Chopper has to say!

Hey Tom

Not a problem. I think it is a great service and something which I confidently recommend people do. I see a lot of folks who are not enjoying riding as much as they could because their bike set up sucks so bad! If it is ok I would like to hit you up in the late winter/early spring to fit my new mtb and road bike. Other than that I really appreciate what you have done for our local kids and that program is really cool for them. Billy is going to start knocking it out of the park for you over the coming year I expect. At some point it would be cool to try this new stuff you have with the Myo-facts sEMG/Dartfish but the main thing for a guy in my life now is to have a comfy bike.

Cheers Tom enjoy the big island!

Greg Randolph
Bike Promotions and Marketing Manager
Smith Optics

Chopper did our Wobble-naught fit and our Myo-facts sEMG before adding the Dartfish. But even w/ the Wobble-naught CAD, we make you comfy, provide you w/ the most power. Now you learn what you muscle are doing, plus see the outside angles for the best line of pull and the best range of motion.

Do you really enjoy your riding? Do you know what your muscles are doing? Do you know the best line of pull? If you did not use our system, chances are you don't know the "TRUTH."

How can some mass maketing fit show you how your muscles are moving? Reading the power meter only tells you the sum of the muscles. It doesn't tell you which one is doing what? We take you to a "higher self." We change your brain!!!

Why are the best in the game using our service?

Because in any sport, why would anyone not want to be better. Do we play sport to see how poor we can be? Do we take pride for poor performance? Our tools simply allow you to tap into a "Higher Self." There is no better way to gain the "TRUTH" about what you need to focus on.

Even w/ our science, it is true many don't want to know what they are doing wrong?

Our last count was 15 "Stars & Stripes", but Kenny Williams pointed out that we did not add his results. Sorry! He informed us that he took 7 major wins and won many gold's on the track.

I would have posted his success sooner, but he was out "bow hunting for elk" in his home state in WA. It is said that we are what we eat and elk is high protein. They perhaps have the most powerful legs of any large game in North America. To see what they can do in the roughest moutains you can find is a sight to behold.

Elk are not dump, they are smart, and that is how they stay alive! Of course, the elk's streamlined long, narrow body and long legs are perfect for outrunning predators or wind-whipped wild fires. Even when a large predator, such as a grizzly bear, does bust up the herd with a sudden rush, the elk usually run off only a couple hundred yards and regroup. Sounds like Kenny when he wants to put the hammer down on his bike.

To get close to one of these powerful animals is a real contest. Western elk country is vast, and elk are not found everywhere, even in elk country. You better have the legs to climb to upper sub alpine regions of real mountains, not hills like back east. Talk about dryland training (toughest there is)! Most of the time you are above you start at 8,500 feet and go up and the air is thin. Then if you get one, you have to pack it out. That is not like your local gym or riding on a trainer.

Kenny is well know for outrunning (outcycling) his predators. If you know him, look at his legs, you will know what I have talking about. He doesn't just go to the gym or ride a trainer. He does some real dryland training in the snow, rain, etc...

We are a product of what we do (Body Adaptation.)

Monday, November 13, 2006

Guess who is on deck from Luna Chix for our WN fit & Myo-facts sEMG/Dartfish?

She is a really good rider and is a very complete athlete? She is a member of the strongest female squad in the entire cycling universe. Her coach ownes the distinction of being Lannce Armstrong's first coach. She was also a former Homecoming Queen.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Proprioception "Make Sense Of It All"

When we started our company, we didn't want to become a coaching company, but we are finding that many folks are not getting what they need to hear from the many coaching programs. Just jumping on a trainer is not going to make a difference in your proprioception. Get off the bike and take time to learn your motor skills!!!

Proprioception is the human body sense of joint position, pressure, and movement. During any sporting activity, proprioceptive information plays a key role in the control, organization, and timing of actions. So how does it work w/in the pedal stroke.

With regard to the knee and your motor skills, the sensory afferent information comes from mechanoreceptors situated in the cruciate ligaments, menisci, infrapatellar fat pad, and joint capsule.

In the fall if a athlete just trains on the bike, proprioception information can become a problem. Bad motor skills can come to play. Even w/ spinning, when the leg speed increases, you simple can't sense the mechanorecptors information. Your bike setup can be off and that can lead to a overuse issue.

In overuse soft tissue injuries, nerve endings and pathways may be damaged leading to impaired transmission of nerve impulses in a reflex action. This may result in impaired balance, reduced co-ordination and joint position sense, and a tendency for the knee to give way to wear & tear. Get off the bike and go do something else.

Proprioceptive exercises should be part of ones fall/winter training. The athlete should become more aware of his/her joint position sense. This will help w/ the correct pedal pattern, including alignment and position of the knee, and correct weight transmission during the stroke. plus help the proprioceptive input. We have found that many pedal in a poor pattern because they can't sense what is needed. They just sit in the saddle and pedal.

Here are a few things that can aid in your propriceptive needs. I think eveyone would agree that the pedal stroke is semi-weight bearing and the forces will increase w/ climbing. So perhaps off bike exercises should be as follows.

Proprioceptive exercises can be started in a partially weight bearing position such as sitting with feet placed on a rocker board and moving forwards and backwards. Proprioceptive exercises can progress to using unstable surfaces such as a rocker or balance board, a mini-trampoline, or a Pro Ski Fitter. Balance boards are used initially with two legs, then with one leg only, w/ gradual progression of difficulty.

Once the athlete can manage these tasks, jumping and hopping exercises can be undertaken, initially on a mini-trampoline, and then on the floor, adding twisting movements. Maybe a few weeks of , walking, running, snow skiing, something other than sitting on the bike.

Skipping can be used with different combinations of hopping including: on the spot; forwards; backwards; sideways; or single hops (on each leg). A sports cord can be used to resist motion when jumping and hopping. Agility and sports-specific drills also encourage an improvement in proprioception. Repetition of specific movements and actions helps to pre-program muscle activity which is important for neuromuscular control and joint stability.

Bottom line, get off the bike and get control of your movesments. It will make a difference in your ability to pedal better.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Not one week goes by w/o someone showing up w/ their saddle too low?

A joint is a structure of peculiar delicacy, and one that responds only too readily to injury. Man was not originally deigned to stand upright, and so it is natural that the weigh-bearing joints, in particular those of the lower limbs and vertebral column should be among the principal sufferers. Add gravity (hill work)and that changes everything as the loads increase.

You can buy the best tires in the world, but if the front end of the car is out of alignment they will wear out quicker. Now think of the chronic wear on the knees.

Rather than having a totally destructive effect on joints, it seems more likely that since we are semi-weight bearing while on the saddle moderate, regular exercise is beneficial. But the truth is anything over moderate can cause you problems.

Use the idea of hanging a plumb line from you knee and you are sure to get things off. For starters, no two people have the same knee cap size/thickness, nor foot size. What about the different sizes of upper & lower legs? Even the inclination and diameter of the pelvis can affect the "human link" chain.

Maybe that is why we consider the hip shape and size as part of the fit. Not just the knee over the ball of the foot.

We can't tell you how many knee problems we seem to relieve from a too low saddle. We ask how did you find you saddle height? They always come back that they used a plumb line?

Even w/ the perfect set up you still need to know how to pedal.

Monday, November 06, 2006

BIshop reported in stable condition!

Bishop is well know for his downhill speeds. The point here is if you going faster you wreck harder and this one really hurt!

After the incident, Bishop was reported in stable condition but will undergo an operation to treat two fractures on his nose and jaw that he suffered because of the accident.

A note from his coach Hunter Allen:

Jeremiah is doing better and I think he’ll fly home tomorrow. He’s pretty messed up, and I don’t think he’ll ride for a few weeks.


We hope he recovers quickly.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Rebecca Rusch takes 4th GC. In Costa Rica.

1 Marg Fedyna (Can) 5.57.34
2 Hilary Harrison (USA) Kenda-Giant 21.53
3 Louis Kobin (USA) XFusion 26.16
4 Rebecca Rusch (USA) Specialized-Red Bull 42.11
5 Marla Streb (USA) Luna-Red Bull 1.00.19

General Classification

Open Men
1 Leonardo Hector Paez (Col) Full Dynami 14.01.52
2 Andrei Amador (CRC) BCR-Pizza Hut 24.41
3 Federico Ramirez (CRC) BCR-Pizza Hut 37.57
4 Deiver Esquivel (CRC) IBP 1.17.43
5 Marzio Deho (Ita) Olympia 1.19.18
6 Tinker Juarez (USA) Cannondale 1.21.21
7 Adam Craig (USA) Giant USA 1.43.00
8 Eddy Perez (CRC) Dos Pinos 1.44.03
9 Marvin Campos (CRC) IBP 1.51.47
10 Thomas Frischknecht (Sui) Swisspower-Scott 2.04.32

1 Marg Fedyna (Can) 19.11.15
2 Louis Kobin (USA) XFusion 1.12.08
3 Hilary Harrison (USA) Kenda-Giant 1.27.52
4 Rebecca Rusch (USA) Specialized-Red Bull 2.21.29

Georgia Gould holds on to the USGP title.

Crank Brothers U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclocross Overall Series leader is Georgia Gould, by 10pts.

Even w/ the race Compton/Bessette battle today for the win,Georgia Gould (Luna) held on to the USGP title after battling back from mechnicals placing 3rd. She has place in the top 5 of her races in both mtb & cyclocross for most of the season.

After Gould finished third, retaining the series lead, she also collected the Adidas Most Aggressive Rider award.

Georgia is learning her ropes! She is young and taking many notes. She is becoming one of the strongest female racers in North America.

Bishop is out, so are a few teeth and his nose is out of place.

The strong performance of Bishop sitting in 2nd place in Costa Rica is over. He over cooked a turn and had a very hard crash. From what we know, he broke two teeth and his nose just a few k from the end of the second stage.

He had it going on, and it sounds like he was attempting to close the time gap on the leader on the downhill. There is always a point of no return and when it happens, it happens quick. Racing is pushing it to the limit and he did.

We hope he is going to be ok? We are just glad that he did not get hurt more!!!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Xilinx Cup, USGP #3, Gould takes 2nd.

Xilinx Cup, USGP #3- C1
Longmont, CO, USA, November 4, 2006

US Gran Prix of Cyclocross #3 in Longmont, Colorado, National Champion Katie Compton does well at home, as she takes another victory with a margin of more than one minute. We saw how tough she is after a hard crash last week.

Good for her after having her bike ripped off.

Our gal Georgia Gould took second in a sprint finish over Katerina Nash. Lyne Bessette and Melissa Thomas rounded out the top 5.


Elite Women
1 Katie Compton (Spike)
2 Georgia Gould (Luna)

Friday, November 03, 2006

Jeremiah Bishop takes 2nd today in Costa Rica.

Hector Leonardo Paez (Full Dynamix) has taken a large lead in the La Ruta de los Conquistadores after the first day of racing. He put nearly 15 minutes in front of Jeremiah Bishop (Trek-VW). Bishop's obstacles were mainly mechanical problems: " cassette broke to pieces...

Costa Rica's Andrei Amador (BCR Pizza Hut) preserved local pride with third, almost seven minutes behind Bishop.

Defending champion Thomas Frischknecht (Swisspower) fell of the leader's, succumbing to the heat and humidity - although going off course in the final 15 kilometers didn't help matters.

1 Hector Leonardo Paez (Full Dynamix)
2 Jeremiah Bishop (Trek-VW)

A Word from Rebecca Rusch in Costa Rica.

(The following is from Rebecca who is already in Costa Rica and probably just about finishing the first day of competition. Race started at 5:15am Friday morning. )

Hello Everyone!
After three weeks of rest from one of the hardest races I've done (24-hr solo Worlds), I feel ready to go again. I am on my way out to a race called La Ruta de los Conquistadors that traverses the country of Costa Rica. It's a 3 day mountain bike stage race, so we stop in a new town every night. Sounds easy getting to sleep at night, right?! Well, this race is rumored to be more of an adventure than a bike race and average mileage times are exceedingly slow...less than 5 mph. It has the reputation of being one of the hardest bike races in the world with over 30,000 ft of climbing over 250 miles in 3 days. The course is full of mud, river crossings, very technical terrain, and of course snakes, bugs and the typical jungle bacteria. I think that keeping the bike running and being able to make the 5am start every day will be quite a challenge. There is also a really strong women's field, so I'll have my work cut out for me.

The website ( ) shows the daily profiles of the route and will also be doing regular updates. (Note from Mom: Be sure to click on "Last Minute" on the left to see stage map, elevations, race course surface, mileage, etc...loads of info.) After the race, I'm actually staying down there for a much needed beach vacation after a long, hard, good season!

Included below are some links from some really funny video clips from 24 Hour Solo World Championships. My sponsor from Light and Motion was there to capture some of the drama and it's quite eye-opening to watch my crew in action and see how completely spent I was towards the end of the race! So happy internet surfing!

Thanks again for reading and for keeping tabs on me. Mom will be sending out race updates and hopefully a few photos while I'm down in Costa Rica. Otherwise, I will be in touch again in mid November!

Have a great fall!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Don't get fit and then go race that same week!

We performed a fit on a racer/bioengineering student one night. A few days later we then used Myo-facts sEMG/Dartfish to show her the % of muscles she was not using. She spent about 1 hour on our system. She then raced the next day. Ouch!!!

We never know how your bike might be set up? So things can change big time using our CAD. Her fit really changed. We then worked her over w/ the Myo-facts sEMG/Dartfish, her muscles/body did not get a break. It should be pointed out that the biofeedback has you doing the moves correctly, so you are using muscles and a greater % of muscle fibers. You are going to be sore!!!

Sonya is bright and is going to grad school at CU in bio-engineering. No question, school is a place to learn. Lesson learned "Too much - Too soon." Her hamstrings got cooked. When you change you fit, one needs to give their body time to adapt!!!

We say, 30 days to train the muscles (on the bike) and 21 days to change the brain.

Read about it at her blog.

Only Three days till the La Ruta de los Conquistadores.

Can you say "Climbing-28,858 feet." It is less than three days until the 14th edition of the La Ruta de los Conquistadores. The event begins on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. Today, the organisers held a press conference in San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica, with some of the top contenders, our man Jeremiah Bishop (Trek-VW).

Also on hand is our 24 hour Natonal Champ Rebecca and from what we understand the field is 40 deep.

Total distance: 176.4 miles.
Total climbing: 28,858 feet.
Total maximum finish time: 35 hours.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Tough Girls Getting Tougher.

They all want to be the toughest girl.

USGP Cyclocross leader Georgia Gould warms up in Boulder, CO.

Boulder, Colorado, USA, October 29, 2006. You have got to love the press and how they tell the story. Headlines read: Wells and Compton take dominant victories Katie Compton solidly won the UCI women's Boulder Cyclo-cross race, beating second place Georgia Gould. This coming week USGP in the area is going to showcase some really close racing.

We had the chance to attend the Boulder race and we filmed the whole event,true to point, they 380 racers, but I don't think more? I sat next to Dave & Nat as they called the event and they had the start list. True Katie Compton raced w/ the men's 3, only to crash hard "heels over her head flip" as she ran into the back of the leader, lucky she did not get hurt, but she had to end her race right there. I have that crash on film. Ouch!!!

It was like I was at a high school football game and Katie Compton, the(local gal)is the only star. So I had keep low about my gal Georgia Gould. This is Boulder,CO and all the press, etc..., those were her people. Understood!!! When in Rome, do as the Romans. The same would hold true if the race had been held in our neck of the woods!

I just want to point out what we saw. Georgia Gould put on a super show, as she took the lead from the start and was pulling away from a small group, until her front wheel went out from under her just after coming out of the lake area, at the top of the hill, just before the long road section, crashing on her right side(on the right hoods,gears,etc...)to a mixture of gravel on top of the road surface. Another Ouch!!!

A good 5-8 racers pass her while she attempted to gather herself,get up and get back on her bike. The bike was not in working order. As I watched, she took a long time to get the bike together. It came to me that she would just end the race then & there. The leaders really put some time on her, because they just hit the road section and as a group really hauled it.

Georgia did get back up,and headed into the long road section w/ a headwind. She did not catch them until(5 or 8)they hit the dirt, then she made up lost ground on the group. At the same time Compton put about about 20 seconds on them all. Georgia then attempted to real the 24 seconds back on the leader. Compton held on that lead for the remainder of the race. Compton and Gould showed why they are both so tough, as they both had crashed hard today, but then they had what it takes to pull away and put a lap most of the field.

After the race I followed Georgia to her car. She pointed out that the crash cost her big. She could not shift into a number of gears. The course was long, allowing for large gears, in which from what she told us,she did not have.

That is racing and what a show both Compton & Gould put on. I just wanted to point out that had Georgia not have crashed, I know it would have been very tight. Even w/the crash, it was still a good race, as they both had each other in sight the whole race. It was great fun and a great turn out! They even had a local high school drummer team there. It was almost like a football game. A ton of support for the racers.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Denver's Subrau Veloswap is HUGE!!!

After a full week in CO, working w/ 24 hour king, Subaru-Gary Fisher's Nat Ross on his new in Golden. We had the chance to hook up some of the best in mtb at the Veloswap in Denver. It was a huge show and a huge success for Wobble-naught and Myo-facts sEMG/Dartfish.
We cranked the Myo-facts sEMG/Dartfish up at 7:30am and ran 2006 24 hour Women's National Champs "Tough Girl" every hour on the hour. We had a 12ft. wide screen and people packed around watching the girls learn how to refine their pedal strokes.
We even had Subaru-Gary Fisher's top gun Jeremy Horgan-Kobeelski "JHK's" wife Heather Irmiger hooked up. Yes JHK stayed for the whole hour to watch the science uncover Heather's pedal stroke.

She kept saying, is this going to help me catch Georgia Gould Luna Chix. Perhaps?

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Does Biofeedback work?

If you live in the Denver, CO area come see us at the 2006 SUBARU DENVER Veloswap & sportsexpo this coming Oct 28th. Watch why Myo-facts sEMG/Dartfish biofeedback on the 2006 24 hour NORBA National Champions (Tough Girls)as they watch their stroke inside & out!

For more info,go to Also Wobble-naught new dealer in Golden,CO owner of will be signing autographs at Subrau display. Nat Ross will be the first to tell you that is what has made a difference for him.

Biofeedback is a form of electromyography whereby surface electrodes are placed over particular muscles and attached to a portable biofeedback unit. We can even go outside and watch you ride. An electrical stimulus is applied and the muscleÂ’s activity is recorded. Changes in muscle activity are relayed to the you using visual graphs, along w/ Dartfish, plus we have auditory feedback, allowing the user to consciously alter the level of muscle contraction.

For example, electrodes placed over the vastus medialis muscle will indicate to the user the strength of the contraction during the specific exercise such as pedaling. Biofeedback can be used in the re-education of postural muscles as your body extends over the toptube.

This high-tech allows you to re-educate your body to what you need and not what someone else thinks you need!!!
It is more powerful than a powermeter, as the powermeter only tells the sum of the muscles and not which muscle is doing what.

Sports will never be the same w/ this high-tech.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Muscle Spasm and Why?

What is a muscle spasm? A simply understanding of when to drink can make all the difference! Rick Crawford's - "Never be late."
Muscle spasm involves a contraction of the muscle fibers following failure of these fibers to relax, thus causing the muscle to spasm. The spasm may be transient (comes and goes periodically) or it may be chronic. Some muscle spasms will affect the position of the joint, others will present as a tight feeling in the muscle.

What is the cause? Muscle spasms can occur as a result of trauma, chronic use, and fatigue, or may be due to an electrolyte imbalance secondary to dehydration.

What are the symptoms to look for when on the bike? You may notice a unopposed contraction or tightness in the involved muscles, causing a muscle deformity, especially when the spasm occurs in the smaller joints, such as those in hands and feet. The contraction can range from one that is painless but deforming to one that is quite painful but not obvious to visual inspection.

What tests are needed?

Tests should be performed to establish the extent and cause of the spasms especially if they are frequent and/or severe. Palpation and functional testing can usually detect chronic spasm in a muscle.

What treatment is needed?

Stretching of the muscle that is in spasm will usually help to reduce the contraction. On the bike while you pedal, lower your heel to stretch the lower leg. Chronic spasm may be more difficult to relieve and your doctor may recommend physical therapy treatment.

How can muscle spasm be avoided?

Spasm can only be avoided if the cause is understood. In cases of transient spasm during or following vigorous activity, the cause may be due to "fluid loss" and proper hydration will help prevent such problems. "Rick Crawford-Never be late." Chronic spasm may be positional in nature and prevention can be through modification of the work environment and/or frequent breaks for stretching. Get your bike dialed!!! Go to a professional bike fitting service that gets your position in the correct zone.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Rick Crawford's Fort Lewis racers have done their homework!

Backed by a sweep of the top-three spots in the men's short track cross country race and the top-two spots in the men's 4-cross competition, Fort Lewis College dominated the Division I ranks as the 2006 USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships that opened Friday.

Fort Lewis College's Division I title was a result of several key performances that included 11 visits to the podium.

Rick knows his science. That is why they fly us down to Durango, CO to work w/ each and everyone of the racers. Rick knows we are the real deal and that is why he wants his team using Wobble-naught CAD fit, plus use our "truth telling" Myo-facts sEMG/Dartfish. He can count on the results.

Division I short track. Fort Lewis Team is the "Top-of-the-Class" at Angel Fire Resort in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in Northern New Mexico, the 2006 USA Cycling Collegiate MTB National Championships had 290 athletes from 71 schools.

After Hagman captured the short track title Friday and teammates Eric Ransom and Noah Singer placed second and third respectively, Fort Lewis College kept its winning streak alive.

Division I men's short track XC race on Friday, on a selective course at 8,600 feet was enough to cut the 77-university rider field down to a select group of contenders after just a few laps. Midway through the race, Wobble-naught fitted Alex Hagman showed he was the strongest rider, as his teammates Eric Ransom and Noah Singer followed for Fort Lewis ahead of fourth-place finisher Andy Schultz (Montana State University) and fifth-place rider Peter Stetina (Colorado State University).

Fort Lewis has so many good riders you never know which one of them is going to be the winner of any given race. They all have used Wobble-naught & Myo-facts sEMG/Dartfish. Catch them if you can.

Let's see? By Fort Lewis Team obtaning their 3rd straight National title, that makes 12 2006 USA National champs in road,tt,mtb,24 seeing 3 make the National track team. Not to forget our TEAm Lipton gal taking World TT Champion, plus Granny Gear 24 hour series win. I did not list the ones who made the top five, in which is a big deal alone.

Here is one big reason why Alex Hagman is Wobble-naught fast and why he just took both the 2006 XC & Short Track Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships!

Fit Placed On 1/27/2006 9:18:38 AM
Fit Name: Alex Hagman
Gender: M
Fit Type: mtb
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 145 lbs.

Account: WobbleNaught (tom)

trochtofloor = 970mm
rtankle = 70mm
ankleknee = 425mm
baseknee = 98mm
kneetotroch = 470mm
neutral = 250mm

trochtowall = 110mm
crest = 235mm
acrelax = 690mm
acup = 740mm
acdown = 670mm
actoac = 380mm
actoelbow = 375mm
knuckle = 370mm
shoulder = 1060mm

top_tube = 630mm
seat_tube = 555mm
sangle = 73 degrees
crank = 175mm

ltsesamoid = 132mm
rtsesamoid = 132mm
ltcenter = 44mm
rtcenter = 44mm
ltheel = 195mm
rtheel = 195mm

FIT Computations:
Cleat Placement (A) Longitudinal
*** Right Foot: xxxmm
*** Left Foot: xxxmm

Cleat Placement (B) Lateral
*** Right Foot: xxmm
*** Left Foot: xxmm

Saddle Height: xxxmm
Fore/Aft Saddle Position: xxmm w/ correct saddle tilt w/ the sag of shocks

Effective Body Extension: xxxmm

What fitting system do you use?

Let's get deeper than muscle!

Boney facts! A little understanding goes a long ways. Did you know that if you have your effective body extension correct that you can produce more power to your pedal stroke, plus provide more protection for your spine. The angle of your spine in space makes a huge difference in your game. Basic Biomechanics: Spinal Elements: Cortical bone is the outer dense bone of the vertebral body. Within the cortical bone is a complex structure of cancellous bone, referred to as trabecular bone (image).

The bony vertebral bodies are the primary load-bearing structures of the spine. Bone is a two-phase composite material comprising mineral salts (making the bone hard) and a matrix of collagen and ground substance (giving the bone flexibility and resilience). Bone is an anisotropic material, exhibiting different mechanical properties when loaded in different directions. It is strongest and stiffest in compression. By having your saddle to your handlebars at the correct distance can greatly improve your ability to make more power.

It is true, bone fractures usually occur due to complex loading conditions, involving combinations of tension/compression, bending, shear or torsion. Like ligaments, bone exhibits some viscoelastic behavior and is stiffer, can sustain higher loads before failing, and stores more energy when loaded at higher rates. The key here is to place the hoods in the correct locations in space.

Bone remodels in response to the mechanical demands placed on it, which are affected by the external loads as well as the muscle loading. The spine/hip angles are key for the mechanical demands placed on them by hard efforts from the legs.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Muscle truth: In science, the most widely accepted theory of muscle contraction is the sliding filament theory.

The question then becomes why so many different theories? The point is getting your muscles to work in the best fashion? If we have the best theory, and we understand the structures of muscles, understanding the changes in banding pattern resulting from the movements of thick & thin filaments past each other during contraction, then would we all not want to produce the best cross bridging or sliding of the filaments for the sport? After all what mind plays sport to play poorly?

For years we have made graphs using sEMG of the mechanical responses or the "twitch", of a muscle cell to a single action potential. We can watch the phases and application of the stimulus, along w/ the visible shortening of the muscle over the course of a time. Why then is their so many basic fitters. The real reason of this ongoing debate or guessing is the lack of money a professioinal fitter is willing to pay for the tools that show you your needs. They are not williing to pay for high-tech that is driven by the health care or insurance industry. There are people willing to pay for the service, they just can't find the professional to do it? So it really comes down to money driving things.

Even w/ the science, we have people claiming that they are professionals, they have been riding for years and they know. Or they have attended some fitting school for basic fitting. How slow the bike industry or world learns. Perhaps all fitters should be required to go to school for 10 years to learn and understand the topic thoroughly. But as we know, this is not the real world. The mass marketing iedas are focused on products. They are very basic and they have jumped into the bike fitting because they want to move their products and make money from (saddles,shoes, bikes,etc.) They have placed a lot of stress on the local dealer to use their system "if they want to move their brand."

Skeletal muscle is made of muscle bundle, leading to smaller msucle fiber, to even smaller myofibril. The myofibrill is then made of myofilaments of the molecular level F, G, H and I bands. It is know that actin filament and myosin filament

Skeletal muscle is the largest tissue in the body, accounting for 40 to 45% of the total body weight. But it seems that the structural charaoteristics of skeletal muscle are not well know?

The most striking feature of muscle fibers is the series of transverse light & dark bands forming a regular pattern along the fiber. Though skeletal muscle patterns appears continuous across a fiber known as myofibrils. Bundles of these fibrils are enclosed by a muscle cell membrane or sarcolemma. Each myofibril is about a micron in diameter. Between the myofibrils are large numbers of mitochondria,which are to be expected in cells that have such a high energy requirement. The myofibrils show the same pattern of cross striations as the fibers of which they are a par.

Skeletal muscle fiber are multinucleated cylindrical cells, 10 to 100um in diameter, and may be up to 1 ft.long. Generally each end of an entire muscle is attached to a bone by bundles of collagen fibers know as tendons. Some tendons are very long, and the site of attachment of the tendons to the tendon to the bone is far removed from the muscle. For example, some of the muscles which move the finger are found in the lower portion of the arm, between the elbow and the wrist.

Now lets get to the real properties of it all. The properties that you can't see w/ your eye. The properties of actin & myosin produce the cyclic activity of the cross bridges and they are responsible for contraction. Aggregation of myosin molecules form thick filaments, w/ the globular heads of the myosin molecules forming the cross bridges. The structure of actin has a thin myofilament composed of two helical chains of globular actin monomers.

Muscles can exert a "pull" but not a push. For ths reason, muscles are typically arranged in antagonistic pairs: one pulls a bone in one direction and the other pulls the same bone in the opposite direction. Such pairs of opposing extensors & flexors are found at the ankle & knee, as well as at other joints when either the flexor or the extensor contract, its antagonistic muscle need to permit the bone to move. To not understand what is really going on here is like riding w/ your brakes on!
Even more important is the understanding that the way you think and how you fire your muscles, has more to do than you know. In order to have the proper coordination, its your nerve impulses that more to do w/ the muscles than you know! Its what to think about that makes a difference,plus have the cleats, and your motor(legs) and hip angle correct for antagonistic pairs to function properly.

Back to the bottom of it all. Myosin, is the larger of the two molecules, and it is shape like a lollypop or golf club heads. They are oriented tail-to-tail in two halfs of the filament; the globular ends extend to the sides, forming the cross briges which binds to the reactive site on the actin molecule. Actin is also a globular-shaped molecule having a reactive site on its surface that is able to combine w/ myosin.

The globular end of the myosin molecule, in addition to being a binding site for the actin molecule, contains a separte binding site for ATP. I am not going to go inot that, but understand it is what makes things go. This active site has ATPase activity, and the reaction that is catalyzed is the hydrolysis of ATP!

Myosin has a very low ATPase activity. It appears that an allosteric change occurs in the active site of myosin ATPase when the myosin cross bridge combines w/ actin in the thin filaments, considerably increasing the ATPase activity. It is believed that the oscillatory movements of myosin cross bridges produce the relative movement of thick and thin filaments, resulting ultimately in the shortening of a muscle fiber.

Many cycles are needed to produce a degree of shortening during muscle contraction, the myosin bridge must be able to detach from the actin and then rebind again. This is accomplished by the binding of ATP to the myosin in the cross bridge, forming what is know as a low-energy complex. The low-energy complex has only a weak affinity for actin; the actin-myosin bond is broken, allowing the cross bridges to disociate from actin. Shortly after this event, a conformational change occurs in the myosin -ATP complex & a "High Energy" complex is formed. The high energy complex has a high affinity for actin, and the cross bridges are able to rebind to the actin. In this manner, the cross bridges are able to bind and dissociate from actin in a cycle of coordinated actions.

The bridges swivel in an arch around their fixed postions on the surface of the thick filaments, much like the oars of a boat. When bound to the actin filaments, the movement of the cross bridges causes the sliding of the thick & thin filaments past each other. Since one movement of a cross bridge will produce only a small displacement of the filaments relative to each other, the cross bridges must undergo many repeated cycles of movement during contraction.

The analysis of leverage in musculoskeletal systems has several applications that are useful for the true movement professional. The advantages derived from knowing muscle mechanic are emphasized in the follow.

The magnitude (amount) and direction (angle of pull) of a muscle or muscle group on a bone is very exacting. Exact magnitudes of the components can be determined by rather sophisticated techniques, but what is more important to understand here are the relative magnitudes of the two components of a muscle's force on a bone. Thus, the greatest torque may be generated by a muscle whose direction of pull is correct to the shaft of its bone. In all sports this can be determined.

Now lets think about the basic fits. Or all the science of being more aero. You will hear everthing. But if the muscles don't work, don't expect to faster. Perhaps the biggest debate are in the tri bike fits. Even w/all the sicence to date, there is still a ton of "old school" thinking and many claims? I guess its becasuse you have to this to your muscles to better run or swim? Back to the turth about movment.

It is important to understand that several joint positions change in the course of a movement, the muscle-to-bone angle changes as well. Certain positions of the joints allow for greater rotary muscle torque; these muscle torques are related to the angle of the muscle attachment as well as the lenght of the muscle at any given instant.

Take the action of the hamstring muscle at the knee. The largest force arm that can be achieved by the hamstring muscle at the knee is that produced when the muscle pulls at its best angle to the leg bone. In other words the cross-bridging of the actin & myosin. If the muscle line of pull is off then the systems fails. When the muscle angle is greater than the correct determined degree (continued flexion of the knee), the rotary component diminishes.

The length-tension relationship is significant here because the muscle is a two-joint muscle. This is huge because who knows what size & shape of hip, sit bones one was given when they picked their mom and dad? If the hip joint is held in a position of extension, (i.e., in a standing position,) the tension able to be produced in the muscle continues to decrease as the muscle shortens to flex the knee.

Because the hamstring muscle is a two-joint muscle, certain adjustments to the length of the muscle is shortening at the other end (i.e.,as the knee flexes, the hip may be flexing.) Your saddle and location of your center of mass behind the botom bracket is very important. Thus the length of the muscle may be maintained, because it shortens to flex the knee while it lengthens w/ flexion of the hip. Consequently, if the hip is flexed as the knee is flexed, the muscle does not lose the tension advantage of its resting length, as it would if it were merely flexing the knee.

The ability to maintain the length of a two-joint muscle during its contraction may allow the muscle greater tension. The angle of attachment of the hamstring muscle in different positions will change the torque in knee flexion. So a zone of hip angle works best as we are moving in & out of balance.

That is one reason we measure your hip size/shape, plus find your sitbones, as that is where the hamstrings are attached. Our constraints and measurements allow you the best chance of finding the correct degrees of pull for a more effective action & myosin contractions.

After that we can even show you a graph of the mechanical response, the twitch, of a muscle cell to a single action potential. That allows you to control your stimulus.

Muscles fibers, like nerve fibers, have a refractory period, that is, a very short period of time immediately following one stimulus, during which they will not respond to a second stimulus. The refractory period in skeletal muscle is so short (about .002 second) that muscles can respond to a second stimulus while still contracting in response to the first. The result of this is the summation of contractions, which leads to a greater than normal shortening of the muscle fiber.

Some to know about fatigue. If we have to work some muscles more because you don't know the best movement, you deplete that muscle stores of glycogen. This may actually be felt by the individual before the muscle reaches the exhausted condition.

In contrast to true muscle fatigue psychological fatigue may cause an individual to stop exercising even though his muscles are not depletet of ATP and are still able to contract.

An athlete's performance depends not only upon the physical state of his muscles but also upon his will to perform. But if the muscles are not allowing for their best shortening "Game Over."