Bike Fit, VO2 Testing, Bike Sales, and Bike Rentals
I am sure you have seen this picture on my website and on an earlier blog post. In the earlier blog post I talk about two aspects of the bike fit: mechanical and physical. In this picture the cyclist was riding in a very closed hip angle, his pelvis was in a posterior rotation so his core was not engaged, and he had a significant pelvic inflare. These conditions all influenced how this cyclist sat on his bike... crooked.
Like this cyclist, I have many clients say they feel uneven on the bike. So I address many issues... set the bike up to fit the cyclist correctly; demonstrate self treatment muscle energy technique (MET) to realign the pelvis, also assess stability of the foot. Then I look for muscle imbalance, instability, and immobility. Often clients that are uneven on the bike may have a weak core and uneven leg strength.
With uneven leg strength there are often times a weak link in the posterior chain and one side of the glute area does not work effectively. There are many exercises that will help glute activation and strengthening: bridges, lunges, etc. One of my favorite exercises is Monster walks (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Plp-fEaMvbw). Another great exercise is with bands, too. But you use two bands.
Here I have Cheryl doing a modification of the monster walk by using a light weight resistant band at the ankles and a medium weight band at the knees.
This exercise focuses on one leg at a time. I like this modification of the monster walk for athletes just beginning glute activation because they will immediately feel the difference.
To begin stand with feet approximately shoulder distance apart with the feet straight. During the exercise the goal is to keep the feet straight to focus on glute activation and to reduce compensation. You may use a wall, etc. for balance if you feel unstable.
The knee of the plant/balance leg should have a slight bend. For the action leg I recommend lunging backward and forward at approximately 30 to 45 degrees away from the start point and also lunging to the side. I recommend doing three sets of ten repetitions in the following clock positions:
1. Left leg as action leg and Right leg plant leg: 1 x 10 to the 7 o'clock, then 1 x 10 to the 9 o'clock, then 1 x 10 to the 11 o'clock.
2. Right leg as action leg and left leg as the plant leg: 1 x 10 to the 5 o'clock, then 1 x 10 to the 3 o'clock, then 1 x 10 2 o'clock positiion.
Then repeat 2 more sets of 10 on each leg.
As you progress do the exercises without relying on something for balance. Then progress with higher levels of resistant bands.
I guarantee you will feel the glutes at work. And who knows you may even wake one side up.
You can buy these bands from www.performbetter.com or swing by the lab I always have plenty in stock.