It ’s ability of the trunk, lower back, pelvis, and hip region to generate effective and efficient generate power when external load act on it.
The ideal cycling position is one of a comfortable flexion with the pelvis supported by the saddle and arms supported by the handlebars. Moreover, cycling is non-weight bearing sports. Don’t think too much? how “core stability” is important in cycling? Here we explain how it’s important.
During the pedal, stoke movement occurs in 3 planes; flexion-extension, lateral flexion, and rotation.
What does the evidence say?
Cyclists reporting lower back pain have been found to have an increase in lumbo-pelvic flexion and rotation (Burnett et al 2008). An inability to control the movement and position of the pelvis, especially excessive lumbar flexion, may cause undue strain on the lower back and pelvis which turns into pain and pathology (Burnett et al 2008).
It is very interesting that the cyclists with lower back pain had greater flexion in all cycling positions and their posture does not change from start to finish. Cyclist started in more a flexed position and stayed.Here the author gives a suggestion that the cause of back pain was due to positioning error rather than fatigue in the ‘core’ (Van Hoof et al (2012).
In 2007 study by Abt JP1, Smoliga JM, investigated the link between “core stability” and cycling. 15 highly trained cyclists were cycled to exhaustion before and after a core-fatiguing workout. The motion of both the knee and ankle increased following the core fatiguing workout. Unfortunately, Total frontal plane knee motion , sagittal plane knee motion , and sagittal plane ankle motion increased after the core fatigue protocol. Only knee and ankle motion were measured so it difficult to know in the reduction of control movement in the lower limb. In addition to that whether it was due to reduced control and stability in the proximal joint. However, it does suggest that reduced control of lower limb movement was due to poor proximal stability and force transfer from the truck and pelvic region.
From the referances, we conclude the below exercise that is essential for cyclist.
The list of ‘core’ exercises is endless. We would recommend choosing few exercises that challenge trunk-pelvic-hip control and stability through different ranges.
Improvements in ‘core stability’ could promote greater trunk stability leading to improved force transmission to the pedals which helps in the maintenance of core stability. Improved core stability and endurance could promote greater alignment of the lower extremity when riding for extended durations as the core is more resistant to fatigue.
- Comparing lower lumbar kinematics in cyclists with low back pain (flexion pattern) versus asymptomatic controls – field study using a wireless posture monitoring system . Wannes Van Hoof a,*, Koen Volkaerts a Manual Therapy 17 (2012)
- Lower lumbar spine axial rotation is reduced in end range sagittal posture as compare to neutral spine posture. Burnett A1, O’Sullivan P, Ankarberg L, Gooding M, Nelis R, Offermann F, Persson J.Man Ther. 2008 Aug;13(4):
- Relationship between cycling mechanics and core stability. J Strength Cond Res. 2007 Nov;21(4):