Too much cycling and improper bike use can also cause problems in the hips. The repetitive forward motion of cycling can cause the piriformis muscle to become tight. This can put pressure on the sciatic nerve. In addition, since cycling is primarily a forward motion, the inner and outer thigh muscles can become weak and deconditioned, which leads to a muscular imbalance. You may develop pain in the buttocks, and it may radiate down to the hips and legs.
This muscle imbalance is something everybody owe to know but not isolated case of indoor cycling.
If you think that you are working on muscles evenly and there’s no muscular imbalance to be considered, work on stretches. Stretch your hip flexors.
Lack of strength and flexibility in your hip flexors may promote an increased risk of hamstring strain, lower back pain and even hip bursitis.
Many injuries may be result from a muscular imbalance, inadequate warm up or cooldown.
Everybody always wants to get to the main dish without starting with an appetizer…. Gradually getting into the main course. And, even if they did, they want to skip the last of the course by setting your stomach properly.
Regardless who is instruct, it is mindless to follow anybody who instruct the class to start working hard within 5 minutes into the class. Someone just mentioned to me that one of the instructors told the class to go with heavy gear as soon as the class started. (Keiser M3 bike) To my surprise, many of them followed and later complained. And, somebody else said that another instructor who tells the class to go gear 20 and up in less than 10 or 15 minutes into the class. (again Keiser M3 bike). I guess these people followed instructor. The strange thing is that everybody knows and this is pretty standard that we all need to warm up gradually and get ourselves ready for the hard work. Unfortunately, many people go by THE TOTAL CALORIE burn instead of focusing on their fitness level. You are not in better shape just because you burned more calories. What you are missing is that you could have achieved higher level if you have done it properly. If you had 60 minutes to workout and skipped warm up and cooldown, of course, your total calorie burn is going to be higher, but this does not mean that you are in better shape than those who followed properly.
Oh, well….. there is so much you can say….
I was going to put this in my blog, but I might as well send to everybody hoping one more person who have better understanding.
CONTRAINDICATED MOVEMENTS – REMINDER!!
I have mentioned this to you before and many of you are familiar with this. So, this is just a reminder since these movements are constantly introduced. I just encountered the following short article and thought I should share it with you. The article is in black ink, my comments are in purple.
The movement is usually contraindicated and many times the participant is asking because they experienced pain or an awkwardness but they didn’t want to be the only person in class not doing it.
Here is a very short list of contraindications that should never be part of any indoor cycling class:
• Floats, isolations (there are many names for this)–holding your body still puts all the force generated from pedaling to be absorbed by the joints, which leads to hip, knee and back pain. This also inhibits a participant’s ability to put a good amount of force on the pedals, which results in a lower power output and reduced calorie burn. Crank arms are not meant to stand on them. You are supposed to be pedaling. Isolations are also bad for your knees not mentioning you’re not achieving anything. This is not too much different from those people who remove saddles so that they are forced to stay off the saddle. Awkward movements and positions put you in certain stress, but don’t think you are improving your fitness level. You may be going toward joining circus.
• Riding with weights–When the hands are occupied, safety is compromised. If a rider’s foot comes out of the pedal, they may fall into the handle bars causing injury. In addition, when on the bike the participant is not in a stable position to lift weights with meaning. Cadence and force is compromised. The workout becomes mediocre compromising both cardio and strength training.
• If you want strength training, GET OFF the bike and lift weights.
• Performing pushups on the bike–Just like riding with weights, the focus is taken away from pedal technique. The participant does not get the full benefit of performing the push up and not being in a stable position is a risk for injury. I am not too concern about injury so much, but pushups is to be done against gravity not with it. Why anybody bother bending over and think you are doing something to your abs. Leave the pushups for the resistance training classes.
• Pedaling backwards–Sometimes while standing up, one handed. (What!) I don’t know the benefit of this, other than making me laugh when I picture someone doing that. Safety is greatly compromised. I have seen people doing punching crosses while they are sitting down. I’m not sure if their legs were moving or not. I guess they were not too concern if they were pedaling or not. Sitting down on the bike and cross punches must have felt comfortable as they were not doing much. They were wearing cycling shoes, though. What a waste!!
People who take those classes may become an instructor one day which happens all the time. If this person does not take the time to learn on his or her own, the same contraindicated movements will be introduced in the class. They are like weeds…. Keep coming out.
I don’t know why contraindicated movements end up in an instructor’s repertoire. I don’t believe any instructor deliberately intends to put their participants at risk for injury. I think ultimately they intend to deliver the program correctly but sometimes just lose their way or give in to the pressure imposed by uninformed participants who think these moves are fun and challenging. Participants trust instructors to lead them through a workout that will help them improve or maintain their fitness. They expect that when an instructor teaches a specific movement, that it has a benefit and more importantly they will be safe doing it. Being an instructor is a privileged position. Instructors should take care to always ensure the participants safety. Indoor cycling is just that, cycling. One of its greatest features is its simplicity. You may be out of saddle more frequently than you would riding outside. But, the whole idea is that anyone can get on the bike, at any level, and get a great workout. Doing all the crazy stuff takes away from the simplicity of a great workout. So why do it? I am forever asking myself that question.
This is a great exercise tool and is something you can do as long as you can sit down. I had my knee operated many years ago, I was able to continue my cardio workout riding a stationary bike at home. During that time, I was thinking that there may be another incident which will enable me to run, jump, kick (I was thinking about my kickboxing class). I had to find something else to do then. Well, the Indoor cycling became my PLAN B. So, let’s think about indoor cycling as your forever cardio workout tool.
How Do You Burn More Calories? Ride Harder.
Doesn’t adding upper-body gyrations on the bike increase overall activity that burns more calories?
Why? Because when you start twisting, turning, and lifting arms or hand weights while riding, the powerful work of the legs is greatly reduced (don’t get me started about safety). Activating more muscle and applying real stress increases the amount of work and thus, calories burned. The muscles of the legs are much greater in size than those lifting arms or the twig weights, so why would we trade more for less?
The mechanics of the bike strongly, if not exclusively, target stress on the legs; why diminish the effects of this beautiful movement with upper body silliness? The answer is simple—those that contort their abs and pump their arms in praise of the calorie gods don’t know what they are doing.
So let me give it to you straight…
If you want to burn more calories on the bike, ride harder…and with resistance.
You know you are getting the most out of your ride and burning a great amount of calories when your upper body is simply hanging on for dear life. Twisting upper body, making yourself in awkward hand and body position may make you feel like doing something…. Yes, doing something but FOR NOTHING.
They Are Trying to Sell Their Class and More or don’t know any better
People who promote the upper body workout and core benefit of an indoor cycling class are often looking to either hype their personal style or condone the contraindicated movements they use. If the indoor cycling industry was subject to the same risk stratification scrutiny as personal training and other functional movement modalities, some instructors would be serving jail time for their crimes.
To add insult to almost certain injury, it is often these misrepresented classes and fitness model instructors that make the news and host Hollywood favorites among their attendees. In the public eye, it doesn’t matter that these ab-crushing, 1 lb-weight-wielding, stretch-band-snapping, and arm-flailing cycling classes violate sound training science.
Who Are the Real Offenders?
The responsibility falls on the instructors spreading these false claims as truths.
To those who occupy instructor bikes and spout fitness illusions and training quackery, we like to beg them to either take responsibility and get educated or step down and stop confusing everyone.
I’ve been asked a few times now if I’m worried about losing muscle from doing cardio. To be honest, I’m really not. Yes, you can burn muscle from doing too much cardio, but you can also not burn muscle. It really just depends on how much you do and how you do it. So in reality, the answer is no, cardio does not burn muscle; training in an incorrect way is what burns muscle.
I also have been asked many different questions regarding muscle loss vs. fat loss. My overall reply is that I’m usually not too concerned because I don’t over-train or under-eat.
Since this post isn’t about the benefits of cardio I won’t go into detail on that, but I am a fan of cardio. No question about that. I love cardio and even high impact as long as I can remember.
I feel that it is a good way for those of us who have desk jobs or are stationary for the majority of the day to get in some quality exercise. Lifting weights is good, don’t get me wrong, but getting your heart rate up, sweating a bit and doing some good ole’ cardio is good too. I personally don’t fall into the crowd who thinks cardio is dead. It may not be necessary to get in shape, but it certainly isn’t ineffective either.
I mentioned to one of the members who was concern about “too much cardio workout” how much cardio is too much to worry about losing muscles.
There are many different types of cardio. Some cardio is considered better for burning fat, some for increasing your lactate threshold and there is even some cardio designed for burning muscle. Overall, cardio can be a very powerful tool when used correctly. The so-called phenomenon around cardio burning muscle is more of a result of poor diet and/or over training than the type of exercise itself. Which I also mentioned to the member.
There are three situations where your body will burn muscle:
1. Muscle is the only source of energy available (meaning you don’t eat right on regular basis)
2. You are not consuming enough protein (eat chicken, eat fish, eat nuts…. Stay with natural food)
3. Over training
Believe it or not, these shouldn’t be taking place too often. Whenever you exercise (or do any type of physical activity) your body has a pattern it follows.
As you know, we use our energy source as follows:
First, you burn carbs, then you burn fat and THEN you burn protein, which is what causes muscle loss. So it’s not the cardio that burns muscle, it’s the lack of proper diet and/or rest that burns muscle.
Are you thinking about “burn fat” stage now? How do I get there? I think I mentioned this to you already in the past. Low impact less strenuous cardio use more fat as an energy source compare to high intensity workout. So, let’s say that we use 40% of the energy source from fat doing low impact compare to 30% doing high impact. But, you may burn 350 calories doing low impact and used 140 calories of fat vs burning 500 total calories total and 150 calories came from fat. This is something you should remember.
Where’s the proof? Most of us do not do hours of cardio exercises to concern that you are losing muscles. As I indicated above, you use glucogen (carbs) first, and fat, if nothing else is left, your body use muscle for energy source. This applies more with marathon runner, Tour de France cycling race, and whatever requires long duration of cardio. You don’t lose muscle for doing a couple hours of cardio as long as you eat right through your normal diet.
Before and After Weight Training
If you do too much cardio before hitting the weights, chances are you will not want to do weights or you will not be able to lift as heavy compared to if you had not done so much cardio.
A good solution is to do either an easy 10 minutes before your weights and another 10-20 minutes after your weights. By doing this you will save energy for the weight training and not tire yourself out.
But, who wants to do this type of routine. The majority of people, mainly women prefers cardio workout because it is easier compare to men. Men do not mind lifting weights.
If I have only three days a week to workout but more than 2 hours to spare, I will definitely lift weights before doing cardio. Why? You can chose any form of cardio workout throughout the week, but for strength workout, you have to lift weights and target the muscle groups. Lifting lights weight and running around the room won’t do.
There are lot more to think about and what your goal is, but the bottom line is that cardio (for the amount of cardio the average people do in the gym) won’t lose your muscles. But, if you don’t lift heavy weights, you are losing your muscle mass every seconds. While we are happy running around doing cardio and feeling good, your muscle mass may not be that happy.