Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Basic Biomechanics of Cycling "NAUGHT"

It is common sense or very basic that there should be some bend at the knee with the foot (bottom dead center).  You don't have to be a (ortho) bone professional to know this. Like skiing, you see so many with poor movement skills. Good for the "ill care business", bad for a long active life-style!  

So why is this a hard sell to the many who need it?  It's because many don't understand a deeper level of biomechanics and are informed about it in some basic fashion, or don't provide the bone measurement solution i.e. I have been doing this for 20 years and I know, or we don't have that system here, but we sent a guy to some school for basic training.

A friend who has a degree in sport science, a masters in exercise phys. who has had a very hard time making a living is now headed to PA school.  Why?  In hopes to pay the rent and her school loans!  This person has coached in sport at a very high level.  They see a very real problem at the grass root level. 

Think of the many kids that don't get the help they need when they are young. In their small pond, they learn for better or worst.  Many, by the time they make it to the next level have poor skills.  The damage is already done and it is very hard to change what they learned for (x,y,z).
The adults just say they are young, they don't need it? Mostly its the fact that its not for them, the person who is paying for it.  Most kids don't have a income and someone simply states" that's not going to happen".  

So even with many years in a given sport, you can have poor skills!

The issue in cycling is the heel of the foot is not attached so the person with poor pedaling skills is not aware of that part of the body (poor biofeedback).  They don't know the trajectory needs.  Another issue is the timing of the stroke or firing of the muscles i.e. golf swing, swinging a bat, even fly fishing.  After all, you learned to pedal when you only where hitting the scales at maybe 60 lbs.  Much less weight than you are now!  

Think about weight as wear & tear. Now think of how many times the average person pedals i.e. over 5,000 per hour?  Should you have poor alignment, poor skills, a basic solution,  you will hurt later!  As an adult, the size of your bones, leg mass provide enough weight to cause damage with poor skills.

Below is a very basic understanding of the biomechanics of cycling.  Note:  Between 25 to 30 degrees.  So what is it?  That is the point!   What is it?  You need to take into account your knee size, shape and even the size of the knee cap i.e. Type I, II, III.

What about the size and shape of your hip?  It is a major constraint and it comes in all shapes and sizes. That holds true for your sit bones. We even have a method of measuring your sit bones.  Then we find your true spine shape to assure you don't place the hands in space too far from your sit bones. 

We wish there was a quick fix, but as painful as it is, you have to learn how to pedal.  Even with stacking your bones, you have to think about what you are doing.  You really can have the wrong stroke and not know it!!!  

That is why we use Dartfish!  To help teach you what you might need!
We do not use it to fit you!
YOU CAN'T measure your bones from the outside!

Biomechanics of cycling.  

In cycling, the height of the saddle is commonly associated with the knee joint injuries.  It has been shown that the optimum angle of the knee joint flexion at the maximum reach (dead bottom dead center) is between 25-degrees to 30-degrees.  Saddles that are too high reduce this angle and can result in posterior knee pain.  Saddle that are too low, too far forward can produce anterior knee pain.

Patellar tendinitis is a common injury in cyclists.  The main factors that contribute to this are internal tibial rotation and pronation (which is associated with internal tibial rotation/heel out).  You could be doing this just from where your knees are in space.

Medial knee pain occurs in high mileage cyclists and can be aggravated by a valgus (L shape) knee and internal tibial rotation.  

Once again, if you don't have your cleats correct you can increase/decrease your valgus pressures. 

So, you think a basic fit is going to address your special needs or (knees). Ha!  Next time you see people smiling, think of the many shaped teeth and plug that into the many shapes of bones in the lower legs!

Injuries come from: 1) compression  2) shearing  3) tension.

You can't see any of the above by tracking dots on the outside your your body! You have to measure your bones to reduce the wear & tear that can come from poor alignment!

It seems that "Sizzle Business" sells!  There are a lot of bones in your body and they come in every shape & size.  If you think its about your muscles and how they adapted to your setup, you best rethink it.  Your true (ROM) comes from the joints, not your muscles and just the timing of the pedaling stroke is enough to change the compression, shearing, tension.

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