Professional cyclists want to increase their mechanical efficiency, their amateur counterparts wish to enjoy the activity more and injured people seek the safest and most efficient methods for treating various conditions.
We distinguish between the anterior position, usually used by cyclists, and the posterior position, which is not used in everyday cycling. The anterior position has the pedal’s centre placed at the level of the metatarsophalangeal thumb joint, while posterior position has it in the middle of the foot.
the top dead centre (TDC). the bottom dead centre (BDC) allows us to present these values as a function of the pedal’s angle as it changes between the topmost (0°, TDC). the bottommost position (180°, BDC).
With the complex range of hip muscle activity during cycling it is important for the cyclist to maintain flexibility and muscle balance across all the muscles that act on the hip joint.
act together to provide good stabilisation of the talocrural joint in the first phase of the revolution, where the forces reach their peak.
Chest muscles support and balance the musculature of your back and shouldeER
Many cyclists complain about pains in the lumbar region during cycling. By adjusting saddle tilt, they discovered that a greater angle (lowered front part of the saddle) reduces the angle between the pelvis bone and the ground, consequently reducing traction forces and workloads. It is recommended that the saddle not be tilted by more than 20° as that could cause the cyclist to inadvertently slide forward.
Biomechanics of cycling
0 Cycling is one of the safest non-contact sports.
0 Due to light joint workloads, cycling is advisable in early phases of post-
surgical and post-traumatic rehabilitation of the motor system as the
injured joint can be exposed to a relatively low workload combined with
a relatively large muscle effort.
• Cycling allows the rider to exercise without unduly stressing the
• Because of the smooth pedalling motion, very little stress occurs
at the bone.
• Athletes who only participate in cycling have an increased risk of
• This is another reason why weight training is crucial for
The phases of a pedal’s revolution
(i) downstroke phase (from 0° to 180° ].
(ii) upstroke phase (from 180° to 360°) .
(iii) two transitional phases (± 5° from the
TDC and BDC).
Raasch & Zajac (1999)
E/F group the RF/TA group the HAM/SG group
Gluteus maximus Hamstrings
Vastus medialis Tibialis anterior
Vastus lateralis Gastrocnemius
Iliopsoas Rectus femoris Soleus
0 The main purpose of the E/F group is to generate energy for pedalling.
0 The RF/TA and HAM/SG groups mainly act as rigid transmitters to
improve the efficiency of energy transfer between the segments.
0 The HAM/SG groups are mainly active at the end of the first phase and
help in the transition to the second phase.
0 The RF/TA group provides energy at the end of the second phase of the
revolution and helps in the transition to the new revolution cycle.
0 Starting at 0° the gluteus maximus activates to extend the hip for the first 45° of
the pedal stroke.
0 During the last 45° to the position just after 180° the hamstrings are activated.
0 From 45° to 125° the gluteus maximus and hamstrings work together to extend
0 During the recovery phase the hip flexor muscles, the iliopsoas and the rectus
femoris are activated and continue the motion of the hip.
0 The rectus femoris contracts during the last stage of the recovery phase to flex
the hip in preparation for the next pedal stroke.
0 The rectus abdominis, transversus abdominis, and obliques
(internal and external) provide anterior and lateral support to
0 Biceps, triceps, and forearm muscles all work together to stabilize the
trunk through the shoulder joint.
0 The rhomboid, rotator cuff, and deltoid help maintain proper stability
0 Pectoralis major and minor allow you to lean forward on the bike and
move the handlebars from side to side while climbing.
0 The erector spinae, latissimus dorsi, and trapezius
muscles support the spine as you lean forward on the
0 Riding also stresses your neck.
0 Both the splenius and the trapezius help keep your eyes on the
road by extending your neck.