The human gait
The description of the human gait has always been a fascinating topic. The amount of available information is huge and numerous studies have analysed this topic in great detail. One thing is for sure, evolution has provided us with an ingenious system with which, if it is not damaged, we can move forward with ease. The important basis however, is three muscle loops: two placed longitudinally and one diagonally. With their fasciae and tendon systems they have the ability to take up and store energy.
The thoracolumbar fasciae links the contralateral shoulder muscles with the gluteal muscles, which stretch all the way down to the lower leg and foot. In short, on every stride, the muscle loop system is stretched; energy is stored, and again released in the next stride. Throughout this process, we hardly need to add any muscle energy. If we, for example, just stroll along in an uncoordinated manner, the loops are not supplied with sufficient energy. This could be a reason as to why many of us experience going shopping as exhausting. In the search of unbelievable running speed of Usain Bolt 1), researchers have focussed on the long tendons which are able to catapult him forwards with incredible speed when tensioned.
Why is this of importance for cycling?
Only a biomechanically correct gait makes use of the system of contralateral interconnection. To provide for this, a correct rocking movement of the pelvis is absolutely essential. This horizontal movement is achieved with our SQlab active saddle technology.
With a fixed pelvis position in the sagittal plane when on a bike, pain in the lower lumbar spine, the pelvis and the hips are to be expected, as our musculoskeletal system is not designed for this movement.
The Spinal Discs
The spinal discs consist of an outer annulus fibrosis and a gelatine-like core. The core has the ability to bind water and through the swelling pressure it provides an excellent buffer function.
Excessive physical load
Our spinal discs have no blood supply. They feed by diffusion and the principle of a sponge. A mix of alternating load and relief keeps them alive. Unfavourable continuous high loads however cause the cells to die.
1) Usain Bolt (* 21. August 1986 in Trelawney Parish) is a Jamaican sprinter
triple Olympic champion and world record holder in 100 and 200 m sprints.
With a world record time of 9.58 seconds (August 2010) he is the only human to have
covered the 100 meter distance in under 9.6 seconds.
He stands 1.95 m tall and has a competition weight of 86 kg.