Cycling: the perfect combination of sport and nature.
By Susy Mandia
“From the top of the bicycle, the world is different. First of all, thanks to the raising of the point of view the cyclist is indisputably, out of the fray . Bust erect, chin up, the cyclist floats above the multitude , without contempt , but without even caring about the desolating contingencies of the mainland. ”
Anatomy of cycling: muscles involved in pedaling. strong>
It is usual to think that the cyclist works only with legs and buttocks, but in reality it must be remembered that at stake there is also the stability that is given by the trunk and arms and shoulders that they contract to drive the vehicle.
Cycling is a endurance sport. The muscles we use on the bike are: upper muscles (neck, shoulders, chest, arms and abdomen) lower muscles (thigh, buttocks, hip and calf)
Upper muscles: The shoulders are the part on which the arms rest, the latter are directed to lead the vehicle. The chest and abdomen, on the other hand, through contraction help to maintain greater stability of position. The neck supports the head and takes care of the cyclist's visibility.
Lower muscles: Thighs, hips and buttocks are the muscles of greatest interest in cycling. The most important role is played by the quadriceps femoris in the anterior part of the leg and the the hamstring in the lower part. The calf supports the movement of the ankle and foot when pedaling.
That road is the most popular type of cycling, there are also important international competitions: the Grand Tours, also called the "big stage races": the Giro d'Italia , the Tour de France , la Vuelta in España. These take place over 20-22 stages over three weeks, over a total distance of more than 3000 km, in the period from May to September. The cyclist has to do a job over long distances and long times. In the climbs lactic acid is produced precisely to adapt the muscles to the slopes.
Mountain biking is very different from road cycling, in fact bikes are used that have the ability to move even on unpaved roads, thanks to the considerably larger suspension and wheels. off-roading requires a totally different position in the saddle as there is the need for different movements to respond to the stresses of the route. Often steep and short inclines involve short but intense effort cycles that call for muscle power. Frequent rhythm changes involve continuous changes in blood flow which can lead to greater fatigue. The MTB greatly stimulates the muscles of the arms and shoulders to compensate for the disconnected terrain.
in the middle between bikers and road cyclists. The more upright position involves less strain on the back while the necessarily less flexible and heavier vehicle (often the cyclist travels with saddlebags) weighs down the upper part of the body (especially the neck and back). The slow paces but linked to long mileage weigh down the buttocks and pelvis while the continuous changes of pace (due to the dangers and obstacles of the road) increase the work on the legs.