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does biking use any muscles at all?

cambocambo Posts: 125
edited October 2007 in Health, fitness & training
Hi there, I have been a bit confused of late, when I go out on my bike I generally go to llandegla, and get around in about 1hr 20 (just the red, only just getting into this malarkey). Afterwards I have no aches at all, but if I go to the gym I hurt like hell for 1 - 2 days. I thought that biking would help my leg strength, but it seems I am no more able to use the treadmill than I was before. What I am wondering is what muscles do you use biking, and what can I do in the gym to help improve my riding (I get a real bad pain in my lower back after about an hour on the bike - is that normal?).

Cheers
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Posts

  • jacktheocjacktheoc Posts: 1,556
    biking improves the leg muscle alot but it takes a while to notice, if you have no aches at all try and make your journey abit longer put another few miles in..
  • Fab FoodieFab Foodie Posts: 5,155
    Biking doesn't hurt my legs much...but running makes 'em hurt like hell... for days.
    They are different muscle actions, so cycling build muscles that are best for...um, cycling.
    Lower back-pain is not uncommon for newbie cyclist as the lower back does a fair amount of work on a bike. You'll either build those muscles and the pain will go, or if it doesn't then there is possibly something wrong with your position on the bike.

    One area which is common to running and cycling is Cardio-vascular capability and both running and cycling will improve this.

    The pessimists of this world are rarely disappointed....
    Fab's TCR1
  • andyturner28andyturner28 Posts: 1,225
    cambo wrote:
    Hi there, I have been a bit confused of late, when I go out on my bike I generally go to llandegla, and get around in about 1hr 20 (just the red, only just getting into this malarkey). Afterwards I have no aches at all, but if I go to the gym I hurt like hell for 1 - 2 days. I thought that biking would help my leg strength, but it seems I am no more able to use the treadmill than I was before. What I am wondering is what muscles do you use biking, and what can I do in the gym to help improve my riding (I get a real bad pain in my lower back after about an hour on the bike - is that normal?).

    Cheers

    That is possibly the dumbest question i have ever heard. If you don't ache your not riding fast enough. Find a route with lots of hills. I have only been riding again for a 18 months and my legs are like tree trunks.
  • Yes, cycling uses your muscles.

    But it uses them a little at a time, so the after-effects are not the same as doing a gym session which, depending on what you're doing, uses them a lot at a time.

    It therefore won't necessarily make your legs stronger. You won't become able to push harder as a result of doing long rides, you will just get better at doing long rides, because as well as training your legs, you're also training your heart and lungs.

    Fitness is activity-specific. If you want to be a better bike rider, then the thing to do in the gym is to ride intervals on a stationary bike. Nothing you can do with weights etc will have a significant effect unless you are training for track sprinting.

    As Fausto Coppi once said when asked how you become a great cycling champion: Ride your bike, ride your bike, ride your bike.
    John Stevenson
  • andyturner28andyturner28 Posts: 1,225
    I agree with everything John said, but if you peddle in as higher gear as possible and sprint up every hill, it is fantastic for your thies(sp) and quads, well all your leg muscles actually. If you realy want to build your legs up though there is nothing better than squats, especially holding a couple of 10lb dumbells. Be carefull though as i overdid it last Wednesday and my calfs have only just recovered!

    Appologies for the tone of my previouse reply. Had a bad day :roll:

    Andy.
  • cambocambo Posts: 125
    thanks guys (even Andy, it probably doesn't make much sense!!!). Basically I'm just a bit confused, running uses leg muscles, riding uses leg muscles, there aint too many muscles in your legs so I was hoping that riding would have helped my running and vice versa, but it doesn't seem to. On the plus side, I don't seem to get aches after running now either, so maybe something is working somewhere.

    And yes Andy, my rides and runs are getting faster, and to be fair, Llandegla may not be the toughest place to ride, but believe me, its got plenty of steep hills, thankfully some of them even go down...
    _____________________________________________
    www.mtbplanet.com - come on in, its a friendly little North Wales bike forum...
  • andyturner28andyturner28 Posts: 1,225
    It is true that running and cycling use different muscles. On one of the many occasions when my bike was being repaired i decided to go for a run instead. I hadn't done any running for years but the backs of my thies and calfs were killing me for days. Probadly the best thing to do is alternate between running and cycling, but i hate running.

    Andy.
  • cambo wrote:
    Basically I'm just a bit confused, running uses leg muscles, riding uses leg muscles, there aint too many muscles in your legs so I was hoping that riding would have helped my running and vice versa, but it doesn't seem to.

    Conditioning is very activity-specific. Running and riding use different parts of your leg muscles, in different ways. Training them for one type of movement won't make them better at the other.

    You don't get better at maths by memorising French irregular verbs even though both use your brain.
    John Stevenson
  • Dr_DeathDr_Death Posts: 1,262
    cambo wrote:
    there aint too many muscles in your legs

    Yeah, only 34 (ish)
    Steve

    Trust me, I'm a doctor!

    http://www.vimeo.com/DrDeath
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