Cyclists often ask why, even though they spend hours and hours training, they have such a wasted butt. Well, the answer lies in the question… You are probably spending way too much time on your bike and way too little time cross-training.
Your Gluteus Maximus, the largest of your gluteal muscles, plays an essential role in stabilizing your hip, knee and pelvic area. Its primary function is to extend and outwardly rotate the hip. For a cyclist it is essential to have strong Gluteus Maximus, especially if you are a power sprint finisher, as your glutes are what drives you forward when you are standing in the saddle.
Unfortunately, the sustained sitting position adopted during cycling, where your hips are mostly flexed, does not allow your Gluteus Maximus to contract effectively. Over time this results in weakness which other muscles around the buttock area then begin to compensate for. As time goes on these muscles, like the hamstrings for example, will become more and more tense and this can eventually lead to lower back or buttock pain.
Effective cross-training involving mobilising and strengthening the lower back and pelvic area through the use of functional exercises is the solution to this problem. These can include squats, lunges and core conditioning and should be performed in conjunction with non-cycling cardio training like swimming, rowing or running. This is most effective when performed in short high intensity sessions which will improve your power and performance on the bike.
So in summary:
Cyclists, get your butt into gear to get your butt in shape!