Research has shown that the role of the gluteal and core muscles play an important role in stability and power during cycling. The role of your core muscles is to offer you trunk support whilst cycling which will allow your trunk to stay still while your legs do the work. The role of your gluteal muscles (minimus, medius and maximus) is to give you pelvic stability and power.
Gluteus minimus and Medius
The role of these muscles is to keep your pelvis in a neutral and upright position. These two muscles mostly work in conjunction with each other offering stability to the hip, pelvis and trunk. These muscles are most commonly used when we stand or perform any activity that requires us to maintain an upright position such as running. However during cycling these muscles are far less active but play a role in assisting other gluteal muscles in keeping your hip in a straight line during each pedal stroke and contributing to
your power output.
Gluteus Maximus is the most powerful of the gluteal muscles. This muscle offers the majority of your power required to sprint and climb. Gluteus Maximus also offers hip stability at the bottom of your pedal stroke allowing you to maintain a neutral pedal stroke and keep your hip in a straight line.
Other Gluteal muscles
There a multiple short muscles located within the hip and pelvis which perform the role of preventing your hip from turning inwards during a pedal stroke. These short muscles offer a balance to maintain your neutral pedal stroke and keep your hip straight.
As mentioned previously, the role of the core muscles is to offer trunk stability. If you lack in core strength you will recruit alternative muscles to assist in stability which will cause you to tighten up in other areas that you shouldn’t and expel more energy than required.
Once you become fatigued you will begin to move more excessively through your trunk causing you to swerve more on the road. If you are riding in a large group this can become very dangerous. Having a lack of core strength can predispose you to lower back and hip conditions.
As you can see the role of gluteal and core strength is both crucial and quite broad. If you are looking to prevent injury or improve your strength and performance on the bike give your local Physiohealth Physiotherapist a call so we can start a strengthening program today.