I have been paying attention to my own body and I feel that together with a sedentary job and not moving more than with the bike due to the COVID restrictions, I spend a lot of time in that shortened potion of the psoas which I'm sure will yield or aggravate problems around the hip like incontinence due to too much tension.

I have already had a fitting in the bike, measuring the pressure in the saddle, and how my knees and back is positioned.

But what can you do in a roadbike to prevent this issues on long rides in terms of technique while I'm riding? I had always heard about having activated your core, but I think this could also yield to problems because you are over tensing the rectus femoris and then together the psoas, and you don´t really ride relaxed? What muscle should be trainer to counteract this tightness?

I also think stretching is not enough to compensate for such a long sitting + also being in that position on the bike, so there should be something to pay attention while you ride so that al muscles act balanced, but Iḿ not able to find more information than just 5 generic stretches repeated over all websites.

In general I would like to now how to balance and check that the pelvic floor musculature works as it should during bike riding so that riding keeps being something healthy instead of aggravating being sit for hours.

2 Answers 2


When they say activate the core, they mean you should also actively use the muscles on the front of your belly and inside. Not just your back. It definitely does not mean you should be overstressing your rectus femoris or psoas.

Something has to hold your posture. Hands do some of the work, but also cannot take too much, because then they become tired and numb. So than the spine and the muscles around it take a lot of stress. Mobilizing the core means taking some of this load from the back muscles.

I recommend this one where the topic is discussed on an actual bike saddle in the other half of the video.

One has to use the abdominals to held the position, not just leave everything on the back muscles. The context of the video is the pressure on the saddle. But when you watch the pelvis and the lower back when he loosens the abdominals, you can also imagine the stress on the psoas.

There are many articles and videos about core exercise specifically directed to (road) cyclists. For example:

Getting those muscles stronger will enable using them for holding the posture and relieve some other parts. If you only look for stretches, it may not be enough for you.


On thing I find helpful is to pay close attention to biomechanics while riding. Specifically, pay attention to

1) Is your hip joint able to close as far as it needs to at the top of your pedal stroke?

2) Do your knees stay in the same vertical plane during the whole pedal stroke?

3) Do your ankles stay in the same vertical plane during the whole pedal stroke?

4) Can you easily pedal without rocking the bike side to side at all? (for this, it's good to compare how you feel pedaling with the bike fixed in a trainer vs on the road. Do you need to use a different seat height in the trainer?)

5) this one is harder to judge, but does it feel like your sit bones are contacting the seat at approximately the same place on both sides, ie you're not twisting your pelvis or favoring one side?

The reason for these questions is that I find when my psoas is tight, it restricts the hip closure and I do all sorts of bad things to compensate, like bending my lower back so that the pelvis is more vertical and my forward lean is with the back rather than hips or rocking the bike so that the knee does not come up as high relative to the hip at the top of the pedal stroke or flaring out the knee and/or flaring in the ankle for the same reason. If you use clipless pedals with some amount of float, they can enable this last tendency, as you might not notice the side-to-side movements of your ankle the way you would on grippy platform or fixed clipless pedals.

Sometimes I have to ride the tops for the first 10-20 minutes of a ride before I loosen up enough to lean forward to the hoods or drops. But riding on the tops with good mechanics is better than going straight to the hoods and riding with bad mechanics for a while.

I find that focusing on good mechanics while riding forces me to strengthen and loosen the appropriate muscles, though I supplement with a lot of additional off-the-bike strengthening and stretching.

You may also find it's easier to pay close attention to your mechanics while in a trainer before trying to do it on the road.

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