This guest article is provided by one of our readers from the UK! Sally S. talks about your legs and how to get the most out of them.
Mountain bike riding is a great way to lose weight and shape up as it provides both a cardiovascular workout and muscle training. Although biking actually works on a surprising amount of muscles, including the abdominals, it is the toned shapely leg muscles we most associate with mountain bikers.
Biking is particularly effective for exercising the quads and the calves; bending the knee to pedal a mountain bike requires the use of the semitendinosus, which is located behind the thigh, and this works together with the gluteus maximus and quads each time the pedaling motion is carried out. Additionally, in the calf muscle, the gastrocnemius, which goes down from the knee to the ankle is used for cycling and can become painful during contractions.
However, it is unfortunately, wishful thinking if you believe that you’re going to start cycling and your leg muscles will become the envy of everyone at the gym; during biking, carbohydrates are converted from glucose into glycogen which is stored in the body’s muscles. But the amount of glycogen that the body can store is limited so when a person starts to engage in strenuous activity, such as mountain biking, the glycogen is quick to be used up. If a mountain biker does not adopt a new diet regime that includes enough carbohydrates then the protein in the muscles will be used to provide energy and as a result the muscles would actually break down; the opposite effect you were hoping for.
As muscles are made of protein, to get the most out of your legs and build some impressive muscles, it is recommended that those in training should ingest protein after each workout to counteract the protein used. This is why many athletes and weight trainers often use supplements and whey protein powders that provide the recommended ratios of protein, carbohydrates and fat that will improve performance.
The Maximuscle Promax Extreme protein shake is currently the British exercising elite’s favourite for repleshing proteins lost during sports such as mountain biking. The promax protein range also comes in capsules, powders, bars and milk drinks so you can pick and choose which best suits your sport type and lifestyle. All are available from maxishop.com.