A Biomechanical Comparison of Cycling Sprint Positions and Its Effect on Lower Body Kinematics
Authors:Kevin Buechler, Bahar Hamedani, Kenten Harris, Taylor Thurston
Mentor:Guillermo Noffal, Associate Professor of Kinesiology, California State University Fullerton
In cycling sprints, it is essential to produce as much power as possible while remaining aerodynamic. Greater hip muscle involvement can lead to increases in maximum power output. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of cycling sprint positions on joint velocities and torso angles. Seven healthy competitive cyclists performed a five-minute warm up prior to three randomized maximal sprints in the seated position (SE), standing position (ST), and aerodynamic position (AE). Five minutes of active rest was given between trials. Angular kinematic variables were derived from motion capture software. Hip extension and flexion velocities differed significantly between the three positions and revealed greater hip flexion angular velocities from ST to SE, as well as greater hip extension velocities. The position of the trunk in AE was found to be significantly different from SE and ST trials. ST requires greater involvement of the hip musculature due to greater hip joint velocities. A medium must be found between ST and AE, as a reduced torso angle will decrease drag and increase maximum velocities in sprint cycling. AE sprints shouldn’t come at the cost of maintaining hip joint velocity. A rider that picks the ST position should focus their training to accommodate greater hip joint involvement.