Calf muscles - is it worth working on them?

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by Bigbananabike, Mar 10, 2006.

  1. zaskar

    zaskar New Member

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    Nice job..............
     


  2. Billsworld

    Billsworld New Member

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    You mean like crazy kids telling themselves that going 60 mph down a hill is fun. Just kidding veloman:)
     
  3. pod

    pod New Member

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    You keep beating it to death by saying completely incorrect things. Try standing up straight and flexing your calf muscles as hard as you can. You will have raised up onto the balls of your feet but I bet your knees didn't flex at all. Calf muscles have nothing to do with flexing knees. Perhaps you and AmpedCycle are trying to pull our legs?
     
  4. AmpedCycle

    AmpedCycle New Member

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    The Gastrocnemius (calf muscles) originates on the femur (big leg bone) and inserts (by way of the achilles tendon) into the heel. Along with the hamstrings, these muscles flex the knee.
    Can you dig it?
     
  5. Billsworld

    Billsworld New Member

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    Its primary function is ankle flexion. Although it is in part responsable for knee flexion. The normal force in endurance cycling requires submaximal contraction. Therefore although it is obviously being used isometricly and in some small part for knee flexion, is cycling responsable for the appearance of lower leg development in some cyclists or is it genetics. For that to be the case it would seem the ower leg would have to be contracting with greater force than even the quads as to induce hypertrophy?
     
  6. pod

    pod New Member

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    No I can't dig it, I can't seem to flex my knee at all using my calf muscles. Try it, you dont need to read a book. Or look a little wider "Action - Powerful plantar flexor of ankle" connected to "posterior nonarticular surface of medial femoral condyle" http://www.rad.washington.edu/atlas2/gastrocnemius.html
     
  7. Fday

    Fday New Member

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    I am confused as to why anyone would think that pulling up on the recovery forces one to use the calf muscles.

    First, the calf muscles cause plantar flexion, which means pushing the toes into the ground, whereas pulling up requires forces that would tend to pull the toes away from the ground, in other words dorsiflexion, and require the use of the tibialis anterior muscles, not the calf muscles.

    Second, those riders that actually do "pull up" on the back stroke (as shown by the oft quoted Coyle study, most riders don't completely unweight - unless, of course, they have trained with PowerCranks) rarely apply upward force on the pedal of any significant amount (except, perhaps, briefly during starts) but mostly just unweight the pedal on the back stroke. Unweighting really requires no force from either the calf muscles or the tibialis anterior, other than the forces required to keep the foot from drooping down against gravity.
     
  8. acoggan

    acoggan Member

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    As would people like Jim Martin, Ph.D., and Jeff Broker, Ph.D. - in fact, I am not aware of a single biomechanist/sports scientist who would claim that trained cyclists pedal markedly differently than untrained individuals, or that this is a key component to cycling performance.
     
  9. Fday

    Fday New Member

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    Don't you think that might depend upon how they are trained? 10 years ago I would agree with you. Now, I am quite certain that it is possible to train onself to pedal considerably differently than an untrained person and that there are many biomechanist/sports scientists who believe that. The only question is whether learning to pedal differently (in "circles") provides any advantage. Many think it does and others think it does not. So far there is only one study that has looked at this question and it concluded it makes a difference. We will have to wait to see if this study result is confirmed or not.
     
  10. AmpedCycle

    AmpedCycle New Member

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    That's a fancy origin and insertion description, alright... and I thought I was the bone master all along!
     
  11. n crowley

    n crowley New Member

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    Why would they, all cyclists are using variations of the same basic natural pedaling style which uses vertical pedal pressure as the main power supplier. As for perfecting the pedaling technique, that is impossible for all sports scientists because for them it's a case of the blind leading the blind for the past hundred years, as they can see no further than the stomping or circular pedaling styles.
     
  12. Cat1RDR

    Cat1RDR New Member

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    You are simply wrong.

    "Biomechanical efficiency is the element people miss when they say a watt is a watt, no matter how it is produced. In George's earlier years, when he was less biomechanically efficient, he had to produce 550 watts over the same ten-minute section of pave in order to stay with the leaders. This was because he was fighting his own forward progress from within his pedal stroke. In the final 50km, he did not have the energy to stay with the leaders, whose superior efficiency allowed them to go the same speed with a lower sustained power output. Through training, his mechanical efficiency improved to the point where he can afford the energy cost of being one of the race leaders, and even attack and sprint in the final 10km. The Classics are nearly 300 km and 7 hours of riding a bicycle over terrain American suburbanites wouldn't drive their SUVs over. To be one of the "hard men" who can win such an event, you have to be extremely efficient with your power delivery."

    Chris Carmichael
     
  13. velomanct

    velomanct New Member

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    :p

    I got 56 the other day in town. fun
     
  14. velomanct

    velomanct New Member

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    If you pedal squares and produce 550watts, you aren't going to go slower than if you were to pedal more efficiently and produce 550watts. BUT, you will however make yourself less efficient, and run out of gas sooner.

    The bike doesn't care about efficiency, but your body does.
     
  15. Cat1RDR

    Cat1RDR New Member

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    What was the point of your post? I never said that it was slower, I said that he was wrong in saying that "trained cyclists pedal markedly differently than untrained individuals, or that this is a key component to cycling performance."

    A "trained" rider clearly would pedal differently than an "untrained" one. If George had to change how he pedaled than most non-pros would too.

    Therefore it is also key to cycling performance. It made George a competitor instead of a worker.

    Thanks for the input though.
     
  16. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    I don't believe he counts Chris Carmichael among the "biomechanist/sport scientists" that he referred to in his post. Notice the initials Ph.D. after the names of the other gentlemen he mentioned.
     
  17. acoggan

    acoggan Member

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    And you have provided no support for your claim.

    But on average they do not, as shown by studies using instrumented force pedals. Moreover, elite riders don't even all pedal the same way:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/...uids=15098128&query_hl=42&itool=pubmed_DocSum

    This is in contrast to what is observed in other sports where technique is critical. For example, since the introduction of the Fosbury flop you can no longer successfully compete in high jumping using the old-fashioned straddle technique. Similarly, you can't be competitive in speed skating unless you master the use of clap skates, or in Nordic skiing unless you master the skate technique (or restrict yourself to events where it isn't allowed).
     
  18. Cat1RDR

    Cat1RDR New Member

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    My point was that a huge personality in cycling and coaching and also the president of a coaching service said this so therefore I would guess that at least one biomechanist/sports scientist would agree with him. It is also hard to argue with him by the success he has had as a coach. Maybe he is wrong and we should just discount his opinion...

    Your posts never seem to add to the topic, they just try to pick out others mistakes.
     
  19. acoggan

    acoggan Member

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    You're right, I don't. More importantly, however, what Carmichael had to say really has nothing directly to do with the discussion at hand. That is, whenever the word efficiency is used people automatically assumed that is has something to do with biomechanics, but in fact cycling efficiency is far more closely related to biochemisty.
     
  20. acoggan

    acoggan Member

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    Actually, I agree with him, as would, I imagine, Ed Coyle* - but what he had to say doesn't support (or refute) your claim.

    *http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/...uids=15774697&query_hl=46&itool=pubmed_docsum
     
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