YOUR ANKLES MATTER
Reduced flexibility in cyclists predisposes to hip and knee injuries.
In recent years, a wealth of valuable research has been done into hip biomechanics. It is well known that the weakness of certain hip muscles, particularly the hip extensors, abductors and lateral rotators (such as Gluteus Maximus and Medius), and the tightness of other hip muscles, especially the hip flexors, adductors and medial rotators, predispose us to poor lower limb alignment, resulting in torsion at the hip, knee and ankle during loading. More detailed discussions of tensor fasciae latae/ITB issues appeared in the July and August editions of Ride.
Loading refers to the load sustained by joints and soft tissues during activity, such as running, step-downs or cycling. If we visualise the resultant torsion at the knee, it is like that childish prank where you jam your knee behind someone else’s knee from behind just as they are about to straighten it, throwing them off balance …