Do you love to cycle or run? Is this your main (or maybe only) type of exercise? Has anyone ever encouraged you to “cross-train” to supplement your workout routine?

What if I told you that cross training can not only improve your power and efficiency with these activities but also prevent or resolve pain at the low back, hips, buttock, knees, and ankles. Would you consider cross-training then?

The Breakdown   Running and cycling are great ways to exercise and a healthy alternative for commuting to and from work. Both of these activities are very “sagittal” focused meaning your body primarily moves in forward and backward motion. These activities are great for cardiovascular health but lack a well-rounded approach to strengthening that may lead to disuse of other important muscles for daily activities.

The Neglected vs The Overused  Because of the posture and movement patterns emphasized, commonly neglected muscle groups are the gluteals (especially gluteus medius) and core stabilizers. For these same reasons, commonly overused muscle groups are the hip flexors and back extensors.

Common Pain Patterns and Poor Experiences  Given this information, there are common aches and pains that those lacking cross training will experience. Poor control at the gluteals and core can cause tension into the hips or low back and can affect ankle and knee stability when loading these joints during running or cycling. Increased muscle tension and lack of flexibility in the hips or low back can cause increased neck tension and changes your upper body posture affecting arm use during running and shoulder or wrist loading while cycling.

Now you know more about keeping your body healthy while continuing to do the things you love. If you need more information, need to schedule a consult with our bike fit expert, or schedule an appointment regarding treatment for pain or discomfort, please visit our website at

Stay tuned for next week to learn about common strengthening exercises to build well-rounded strength!