The anatomy of a cyclist - which muscles are used to ride



mikesbytes

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What are the primary muscles used when cycling, in partiular road racing and what are the supporting muscles?

Definition of usage;
Primary: The primary muscle used in the movement
Supporting;
- Synergist: A muscle that assists another muscle to accomplish a movement.
- Stabilizer: A muscle that contracts with no significant movement.
- Dynamic Stabilizer: A biarticulate muscle (A muscle that crosses two joints) that simultaneously shortens at the target joint and lengthens at the adjacent joint with no appreciable difference in length. Dynamic stabilization occurs during many compound movements.
- Antagonist Stabilizer: A muscle that contracts to maintain the tension potential of a biarticulate muscle at the adjacent joint. The antagonist stabilizer may be contracted throughout or at only one extreme of the movement.

Diagrams of muscles in the legs
Gluteus Maximus
Hip Abductors - Gluteus Medius and Target: Gluteus Minimu and Target: Tensor Fasciae Latae
Quadriceps
Hamstrings
Gastrocnemius
Soleus
Tibialis Anterior

Diagrams of muscles in the back
General Back
Erector Spina (also in the waist)
Latissimus Dorsi and Teres Major and Trapezius Lower Fibres and Rhomboids
Trapezius Upper Fibres and Trapezius Middle Fibres and Levator Scapulae
Infraspinatus and Teres Minor
Subscapulari
Supraspinatus

Diagrams of muscles in the waist
Rectus Abdominis
Obliques
Transverse Abdominus (don't have a picture)
ErectorSpinae (also in the back)

Diagrams of muscles in the Back
General Back
Erector Spina
Latissimus Dorsi and Teres Major and Trapezius Lower Fibres and Rhomboids and Rhomboids
Trapezius Upper Fibres and Trapezius Middle Fibres and Levator Scapulae
Infraspinatus and Teres Minor
Subscapulari
Supraspinatus

Diagrams of muscles in the Shoulders
Deltoid Anterior
Deltoid Lateral
Deltoid Posterior
Supraspinatus

Diagrams of muscles in the Triceps
Triceps Brachii

Diagrams of muscles in the Biceps
Biceps Brachii
Brachialis
 

MaddSkillz

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So which ones are the primary? Okay so we know what muscles are what but nothing here explains which muscles are primary, secondary etc... in a bicycle ride.
 

mikesbytes

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MaddSkillz said:
So which ones are the primary? Okay so we know what muscles are what but nothing here explains which muscles are primary, secondary etc... in a bicycle ride.
This is exactly my question, I don't know exactly which muscles are used. Quadriceps would be one of the primary muscle groups. I'm hoping that there's someone out there who knows something on this topic.
 

sogood

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I have a diagram on the dynamic application of the various muscle groups. But there's no image upload facilities. See if the following works...
444207690_f08c9595d4_o_d.gif
 

discobean7

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That diagram is nice. Your hip flexors are off though. The green color indicates Iliopsoas (iliacus, psoas major, psoas minor), Sartorius, and Tensor fascia latae (more of a stabilizer). Also Quadriceps femoris is a 2-joint muscle so can act as a hip flexor as well.
 

mikesbytes

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Thanks Disco, much appreciated.

How does this look ?

Power Phase
A - Hip Extensor => Gluteus Maximus
B - Knee Extensor => Quadriceps
C - Ankle Plantar Flexors => Gastrocnemius and Soleus


Recovery Phase
D - Ankle Plantar Flexors => Tibialis Anterior
E - Knee Flexor => Hamstrings
F - Hip Flexors => Iliopsoas (iliacus, psoas major, psoas minor) and Sartorius and Tensor Fasciae Latae (more of a stabilizer) and Quadriceps Rectus Femoris is a 2-joint muscle so can act as a hip flexor as well

You wouldn't happen to know which usage category the muscles fall into;

Definition of usage;
Primary: The primary muscle used in the movement
Supporting;
Synergist: A muscle that assists another muscle to accomplish a movement.
Stabilizer: A muscle that contracts with no significant movement.
Dynamic Stabilizer: A biarticulate muscle (A muscle that crosses two joints) that simultaneously shortens at the target joint and lengthens at the adjacent joint with no appreciable difference in length. Dynamic stabilization occurs during many compound movements.
Antagonist Stabilizer: A muscle that contracts to maintain the tension potential of a biarticulate muscle at the adjacent joint. The antagonist stabilizer may be contracted throughout or at only one extreme of the movement.
 

discobean7

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The original circular diagram depicts the agonists at different points of the pedal stroke. In general the two-joint muscles like hamstrings (biceps femoris, semimembranosus, and semitendinosus), rectus femoris, and gastrocnemius are most important. For the purpose coordinated movement the antagonist muscle will have some activity especially at higher cadences. As you will soon see there are many variables and no single correct answer due to differences in power output, cadence, level surface or incline, seated or standing climbing. Here are a couple of links with good info and diagrams.
http://jap.physiology.org/cgi/content/full/85/3/927#B14
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=3468609&dopt=Abstract
 

mikesbytes

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Those papers pretty much went over my head, what I did get from them was a percentage, however Ankle Dorisiflexor (Tibialis Anterior) is missing

Power Phase
A - Hip Extensor (27%) => Gluteus Maximus
B - Knee Extensor (39%) => Quadriceps
C - Ankle Plantar Flexors (20%) => Gastrocnemius and Soleus


Recovery Phase
D - Ankle Dorsiflexors (?%) => Tibialis Anterior
E - Knee Flexor (10%) => Hamstrings
F - Hip Flexors (4%) => Iliopsoas (iliacus, psoas major, psoas minor) and Sartorius and Tensor Fasciae Latae (more of a stabilizer) and Quadriceps Rectus Femoris is a 2-joint muscle so can act as a hip flexor as well
 

mikesbytes

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Anyone know the fix for the percentages so Ankle Dorsiflexors can be included on the rating?
 

ccrnnr9

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You have some of the things wrong. The tibialis anterior with dorsiflex not plantarflex. The soleus also helps to flex the knee. The tensor fascia lattae does not really do much flexion. Also, it would probably be better to specify which muscles cause flexion, not just use general terms like "quads". I think you would enjoy "Road Cycling" by the Handbook of Sports Medicine and Science. It has a lot of good resources although it is more in depth than the sources you linked to so if that was more info than you wanted, this may not be anything you are interested in. The diagram that was posted also is a very good resource.
~Nick
 

mikesbytes

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JungleBiker said:
Hi Mike,

Just curious to know why you want to know all this?

JB
Hi JB, cycling is impacting my weight lifting, I don't seem to be finding a suitable day of the week to do squats, which I need to work on, as I intend to enter the Sydney powerlifting competition next January. So I'm attacking this problem from several angles, including understanding what the exact overlap is. In the end I'm hoping to get the cycling and the weight lifting to work together.

Mind you, the weight lifting doesn't seem to be affecting my cycling, as I got my first race win today - yippie !!!
 

mikesbytes

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ccrnnr9 said:
You have some of the things wrong. The tibialis anterior with dorsiflex not plantarflex. The soleus also helps to flex the knee. The tensor fascia lattae does not really do much flexion. Also, it would probably be better to specify which muscles cause flexion, not just use general terms like "quads". I think you would enjoy "Road Cycling" by the Handbook of Sports Medicine and Science. It has a lot of good resources although it is more in depth than the sources you linked to so if that was more info than you wanted, this may not be anything you are interested in. The diagram that was posted also is a very good resource.
~Nick
Hi Nick, thanks for the info. I'll make the corrections and repost
 

swampy1970

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Originally Posted by sogood .

I have a diagram on the dynamic application of the various muscle groups. But there's no image upload facilities. See if the following works...
444207690_f08c9595d4_o_d.gif
The image works but the info on it is ass backwards...
 

davereo

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Jun 17, 2010
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Originally Posted by swampy1970 .



Quote: Originally Posted by sogood .

I have a diagram on the dynamic application of the various muscle groups. But there's no image upload facilities. See if the following works...
444207690_f08c9595d4_o_d.gif
The image works but the info on it is ass backwards...




The ass in the image is in the right location. The rest is just to much info.
 

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