Home Chat General Chat

Hamstring sorness from cycling...

Hi everyone

I'm still very new to tri and am on a very steep learning curve, after a few meduim-long runs out on the bike i have found that i am aggravating my hamstring (semitendinosus - thats the one that you can feel if you put your hand around the back of your knee from the outside (just above your knee actually)).

Just on one leg......and always the same one. I am guessing it is because i must be pulling the pedal up on that particular side and this is causing the problem.

Has anyone got any experience of this and if so do you have any advice?



  • TommiTriTommiTri Posts: 879
    first off how well is your bike fitted?

    Because if you have fitted it using measurements, and to some degree even with a proper bike fitting it may not account for inflexibility in the hamstrings, which may cause you to feel strain in them as they are overstretching at the bottom of the stroke.

    I used to have quite poor hamstring flexibility due to playing football i think, and I never did much stretching etc. So when I set up my bike I had to start off with the saddle a cm or 2 lower than the height suggested by my inseam.

    This has gradually resolved and I am much more flexible now, which makes aero position a lot easier!
  • Ive been having a similar issue and for all the rehab and injury prevention work I have done it seems to of got better but I would definitely suggest bringing your seat down slightly so that the hamstrings are not put into too much of a stretched position.

    The reason I had my problem was because I had an exercise induced leg length discrepancy. Basically because the muscles around my right hip had become so tight it meant that my right leg was about 1cm shorter than my left leg. This meant that although my seat height was fine for my left it was causing me to overstretch on my right hence getting the pain.

    Obviously to rectify this i had to have a lot of massage and stretching to the muscles around my hip, but also to stop making it worse I had to bring my seat height down until I restored my normal leg length.

    I would give you 2 pieces of advice - try to get a physio to look at you because you may try and self diagnose but you will find it nearly impossible, and secondly dont carry on and ignore the pain because its better setting yourself back 1 week than you are months
  • Jack HughesJack Hughes Posts: 1,262
    Check the riding position.. You pelvis should be stable - if it rocks, then you are too high. When the pedal is at the lowest position, your leg shouldn't be fully locked at the knee, and your foot wants to be nearly horizontal, but up a bit at the heel. Also you don't want to be too far forward.. hard to put the right set up into words!

    What gears are you pushing? A lower gear might help. Any soreness in the lower back?

    Are you doing much climbing? Do you climb standing or are you trying to stay seated?

    Too high gears, sub optimal climbing technique, can put a strain on things - but you would probably get lower back ache as well.

    It's most likely an overuse injury - you're doing too much too soon! Have a rest day, and incorporate some hamstring stretches into your gym work (make sure you are nicely warmed up before doing the stretches though!)
  • treefrogtreefrog Posts: 1,242
    Also the old perennial - shoes, ill fitting shoes are often the root of many leg problems.
  • Thank you everyone, i will investigate further!
  • hi gary,

    do you have a turbo trainer? if so take the resistance right off and pedal at a cadence of 90 rpm, this will show you your pedaling techniqueand should reveal any weekness..if not do it with one leg and will will reveal even the most experienced cyclist week spots...

    If not then try it one a downhill quiet route in the lowest gear, but my god be carefull!

    happy pedling, all the best mate...
  • garyrobertsgaryroberts Posts: 869
    Hi terry (andrewsmall)!

    Unfortunately i don't have a turbo trainer, i had to choose between one of those or my marriage! I will wait until the autumn!

    But after all the advice i have been for a bike fit, i wasn't sure at first as the guy didn't measure every last little element of me or the bike (which is what i had expected after reading so much about the importance of 3mm here and 2mm there) - but i gave him the benefit of the doubt (as he had 30 years experience and i had 30 days!).

    Anyway, my saddle was an inch too high, and to boot he raised my handlebars by another inch! I also got a new stem, longer due to the extra height.

    I've been out today to ride my first triathlons' route (18K), the bike feels better, getting out of the seat feels better, and whats more, no hamstring issues (although was only a short ride).

    Thanks everyone!
  • garyrobertsgaryroberts Posts: 869
    OK......hamstring pain is back.......did 42K today back to square one......

    ...at least i know its not the saddle height!
  • puddlespuddles Posts: 37
    Hi Gary, sorry i cant help, i'm fairly new to this- only been riding since last july. I'm looking for a bit of advice on a similar problem.

    I get cramp in the top of my hamstring/ bottom of my glutes or ass cheek. Always in my left leg tho.

    When it happens its usually after riding 10 miles or so without any probs, then muscle tightens for the next 15-20 miles- feels like its about to cramp or it does cramp.

    Anybody got any ideas what could cause pain, tight muscle or cramp in that way? I've read the saddle height could be too high but i dont get it when on turbo, but that may be coz i dont usually spend more than hour on it. If it persists i will go c a physio.

    Any ideas appreciated, thanks
Sign In or Register to comment.