What you do off the bike is just as important as what you do on the bike in terms of maintaining a strong and healthy body. We had the opportunity to sit down with Cassidy Phillips, the founder of Trigger Point Performance Therapy to learn more about just why this is true and how his companys sport performance tools are helping cyclists of all levels and abilities:
What is Trigger Point Performance Therapy?
The biggest thing I want people to understand about what we do at Trigger Point Performance Therapy is that we are a sports performance and a lifestyle company. In the cycling world, if you do a Re-gen type protocol to regenerate the muscle tissue after the activity, a lot of the damage has already been done. Id like people to think about Pre-Gen. Our products are really to be delivered before you work out, so you can prepare the muscles for battle. Of course you can always regenerate after the workout, but often times the Pre-gen protocol is overlooked. You must prepare the muscle tissue for the demands you are about to place upon them.
Are cyclists using your products and how are they benefiting?
We find out everyday that there are top-level cyclists using our products, which is awesome. We were actually featured this year on Tour de France coverage on Versus by Allen Lim as something that Team Radio Shack does during the season. We also formed a relationship many years ago with T-Mobiles cycling team, now HTC, through one of our partners, Athletes Performance in Arizona. Since then, weve heard the likes of Garmin Slipstream, Radio Shack, BMC, Team K-Swiss, Timex Multisport Team, and most of the top triathletes in the world to name a few using our products. Long of the short, there are a lot of cyclists out there using our products, and its just to better their abilities to perform on top of the bike.
What are the main functional exercises that cyclists should be doing to improve their cycling performance and how do your tools help?
From a functional perspective for cycling, weve started talking about length tension relationship between the muscles and the tendons. If that relationship is compromised, the joints are going to be compromised as well. Its at this point you start dealing with ankle and knee issues. The reality is; if the muscles cannot tolerate the demands you place upon them, compromise will occur. As a cyclist, you may put too much pressure on the hands because you cant come out of the saddle efficiently. You might be closing off the diaphragm, because you are closing the space between your butt and elbows to generate force. Or you may be peddling boxes, versus a nice circular rotation due to lack to tissue tolerance. This is why weve created the Bike Fit Assist Program, concentrating on the Ultimate 6 areas of the body that we feel influence biomechanics the most.
What are the main issues/injuries that you see come up for cyclists?
The main injuries that we see for cyclists are knee and lower back issues. I personally believe that we see so many knee issues, which can be defined as patella tracking or even IT band issues, is because cyclists lock the foot at a 90 degree angle on top of the pedal. With this, the Tibia and Fibula have the ability to rotate at the knee. This rotational movement can irritate all the tendons and ligaments that are there to support the knee. Believe it or not, if we go after the Soleus region and the anterior tibialis, which are in the lower leg and connect at the bottom of the foot, we can create muscular elasticity, resulting in more foot and lower leg functionality. This will redefine the length tension relationship and reduce the rotational movement, therefore eliminating some of the problems in the knees.
Moving into the lower back, the fact is, a lot of cyclists arent sitting on the saddle properly. We actually address that by putting them on an ISM saddle or something similar, to understand how to position the body on top of the bike. In the same regard, we also rollout the quads, eliminating any pelvic tilt, along with the Psoas muscle, to lengthen the torso and open the diaphragm. This allows the cyclist to draw force from the lower body and capitalize on the back to be a platform for power generation.
What is your Bike Fit Assist Program that you are launching?
Our Bike Fit Assist Program is designed to have people understand the fact that if the muscles cant tolerate the demands you place upon them, compromise will occur. The majority of bike fitters do a good job, but they fit the bike to the body because the body isnt able to really get into an aerodynamic and/or a comfortable position. Most people sit more at their desk than any other place in life, and then we ask them to climb on top of their bike to get fit. All they want to do is feel and look like the Lance Armstrongs of the world, however the reality is, some of them cant get into that position. I believe this is because of the dehydrated state the body has been in for long periods of time, the lack of tissue tolerance, and the bodys inability to move efficiently, has forced them to compromise aerodynamics for preserved comfort while potentially losing wattage and power.
Basically we are working through specific areas of the body, defined by us, to create muscular tolerance. With that, we are going to allow the individual to be fit and in an optimal position for who they are. We are also going to educate them to understand how the fulcrums and levers of the body are actually generating force through the pedal.
For more information, visit: www.tptherapy.com