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Caleb Ewan's Sprint Position - Revealed through Kinesiology

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Cycling Quad Fatigue

Got quad burn?This post was inspired by real client questions and then later discovering that a lot of people on the internet have also asked the same questions: Why do my quads burn while I cycle? Instant fatigue in quads - any ideas?Why do my legs hurt so much after cycling?Does cycling build quads?Does cycling give you big thighs?How do I stop my legs aching after cycling?Why do my legs feel heavy when cycling?Why do my legs feel like jelly after cycling?The quads burn will burn too quickly due to a poorly fitting bike or because you're using the wrong muscles groups to move the pedals.  A bike fit is a straightforward fix that involves some trial and error, but fixing the latter part is a beast to fix if you don't have a background in anatomy and experience in fixing motor patterns.  In fact, many Pro cyclists suffer from the latter part, but either they or their coaches are too overwhelmed or impatient to fix it.  If you suspect that you have a bike fit issue, here are a …

Cycling Exercise: Super Tuck Planche Push Ups

I was one of the early adopters of this technique, and continued to use it after I saw firsthand that I could descend faster than others with Zipp 404's or 808's and $6-13k framesets.  At the time, I was riding on a $400 Fuji Roubaix- aluminum frame and stock wheels.
If you're not familiar with the aero tuck, here's a video of Chris Froome performing one (fast forward to 2:27): The aero tuck is the most aerodynamic position of any cycling position.  The advantage is so great that some Pros have unfairly called it cheating (most notably Dan Martin).   PASSIVE AERO TUCK VS. ACTIVE AERO TUCK Chris Froome's technique is indicative of a passive super tuck.  He uses minimal energy from his upper body by resting his shoulders on the handlebars and supports the rest of his weight through the extended leg.  This method only works on straightaways or very slight bends.  As demonstrated in the video, he never corners in this position because cornering requires active stability.  …

Cycling Squats - Single Leg Squats vs. Bilateral Squats

If you're a cyclist looking to improve your performance, a question that almost never gets brought up is "Should you do unilateral (single leg) or bilateral (both legs) squats?"

To no surprise, a quick YouTube search for "cycling squats" revealed a list of videos with thumbnails showing bilateral squats.  Coupled with cycling culture's obsession with quads and the desire to copy the Pro's, I cringe at the thought that the masses are heading to the gym just to do bilateral squats.

The Problem with Bilateral Squats
Bilateral squats require more quad and erector spinae activation, and if you're already overusing the quads while cycling, bilateral squats will only reinforce bad habits (1,2).  I recommend starting with single leg squats first because in order to do them correctly with full ROM, you must have adequate range of motion and full posterior chain activation.  You'll fall down if you lack either, but this isn't the case with bilateral s…

Glute Activation Test for Athletes

THE ULTIMATE GLUTE ACTIVATION TEST: The knee limited single leg squat.

This simple test (video below) identifies compensation patterns and the participant's ability to overcome them.  This is a great test for anyone participating in sports or activities that require single leg power and control (running, cycling, basketball, football, soccer, raquet sports, climbing, etc).  I initially created this test to evaluate my progress towards reducing quad dominance, but I discovered that it can also reveal activation abnormalities in the deep hip rotators and core.  Since it does not require normal ankle mobility (dorsiflexion) or normal hip mobility (flexion), it's a great way to dissect your squat form and reveal imbalances that might have gone unnoticed.

Head, torso, knee does not touch the foam roller.Hip, knee and ankle maintains anatomical alignment throughout the entire movement.Thoracic spine remains neutral.Scapula remains in neutral position.Trunk maintains for…

A Targeted Approach to Hamstring Stretching

The hamstrings are made up of four muscles.  Depending on the way we stand and move, one or more of these muscles can become overly tight.  In a standard hamstring stretch, this one particularly tight hamstring muscle might not get the attention it needs because all four muscles will share the stretch.  The stretches below will show you how to isolate the stretch on each group, and shift the hamstring stretch further away from the knee.

The four muscles of the hamstrings involves the bicep femoris (short head), bicep femoris (long head), semimembranosus and semitendinosus.  The bicep femoris group is located laterally while the semi's are located medially.  Knowing the anatomy and general location of the muscles is key to knowing whether you've focused the stretch where it matters.

We'll get more specific below, but in the meantime, here's a brief rundown of the stretches.  Notice how the foot is positioned relative…

Ratings of Perceived Activation (RPA Scale)

I would like to introduce my method for measuring muscle activation, a Ratings of Perceived Activation Scale.  I developed this chart to help manage problematic areas that need to be addressed.  It also helps my clients provide feedback regarding their ability to consciously activate certain muscle groups.

By assigning a number to a client's muscle activation, a map of their muscle activation can be made. This makes it easier to focus on establishing muscle activation in areas that need it the most.

Example Client:  Cyclist complaining of quadricep fatigue, difficulty breathing, knee and lower back pain.

RPA Map: Quadriceps: 10 Gluteus Maximus: 3 Rectus Abdominis: 10 Pectoralis Major: 8Middle trap/ Rhomboid: 4Back extensors: 5 A quad dominant pedal stroke stresses the patellar tendon.  By working on muscle activation protocols to increase glute activation specifically for the bike, knee pain diminishes.  Increasing back extensor activation helps the cyclist maintain an anterior pe…