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  1. #1
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    cramping inner thigh muscle, suggestions?

    Hi all,

    I've got a chronic cramping problem.

    Inner thigh muscles of both legs. On Hot days. I 'thought' I was drinking a lot and had gatorade with me. I always have problems in the heat, and have suffered from heat exhaustion a few years ago, since then I've had issues with racing in the heat.

    As it is the inner thigh and not quads, seems to be electrolyte related as opposed to training related.

    at http://www.roadbikerider.com/cramps.htm there are quite a few ideas.

    Just wondering what some of you have had success with.

  2. #2
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    Eat a bananna.
    Start off slow & taper off from there.

  3. #3
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    i have the same problem...

    Quote Originally Posted by ashwinearl
    Hi all,

    I've got a chronic cramping problem.

    Inner thigh muscles of both legs. On Hot days. I 'thought' I was drinking a lot and had gatorade with me. I always have problems in the heat, and have suffered from heat exhaustion a few years ago, since then I've had issues with racing in the heat.

    As it is the inner thigh and not quads, seems to be electrolyte related as opposed to training related.

    at http://www.roadbikerider.com/cramps.htm there are quite a few ideas.

    Just wondering what some of you have had success with.
    while a banana is good (as the other poster suggested) it is unlikely to resolve your problem.

    i get inner thigh cramps after both mtb & road races and long, hard road rides. also, in 2 out of the last 4 mtb races i've done i've cramped (left side only) on my last lap of the race (usually around mile 24 out of 27). my doc says that part of the problem is that those muscles are weak and they are cramping due to fatigue.

    so, get thee to the gym and find the machine that works those muscels and use it. eating a banana will help some too. as will drinking something during your ride that replaces the electrolytes.

    and if you find a better solution let me know!!

    rt
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by *rt*
    while a banana is good (as the other poster suggested) it is unlikely to resolve your problem.

    i get inner thigh cramps after both mtb & road races and long, hard road rides. also, in 2 out of the last 4 mtb races i've done i've cramped (left side only) on my last lap of the race (usually around mile 24 out of 27). my doc says that part of the problem is that those muscles are weak and they are cramping due to fatigue.

    so, get thee to the gym and find the machine that works those muscels and use it. eating a banana will help some too. as will drinking something during your ride that replaces the electrolytes.

    and if you find a better solution let me know!!

    rt
    at the link I posted in my first message at roadbikerider.com,

    they make a distinction in muscles that are related to cycling cramping vs muscles that are not related. The article they posted suggested that cramping in cycling related muscles like the Quads is related to not having the fitness in those muscles, where as cramping in muscles unlreated to cycling such as inner thigh or biceps may be more related to electrolyte imbalance.

    Seems to me that the inner thigh muscles are not used at all in cycling. So I agree with the cause being related to electrolytes and not training.

    I was guzzling gatorade and it didn't help much at all. From searching the net several "cures" seem to come up often.
    -Ecaps makes a pill that seems very popular Endurolyte
    http://www.e-caps.com/products/detai...rolytes&sku=EL

    -Magonate
    http://www.magonate.com/

    -tonic water (has quinine in it)

    -Tums

    I'm going to start experimenting with some of those

  5. #5
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    i disagree.

    Quote Originally Posted by ashwinearl
    Seems to me that the inner thigh muscles are not used at all in cycling. So I agree with the cause being related to electrolytes and not training.
    the inner thigh (including the gracilis, adductor, sartorius, and vastus medialis) muscles are all used in cycling - particularly in climbing. if you are focusing on your quads or your quads and hamstring muscles then you are ignoring some major muscles that are essential to giving you a smooth efficient pedal stroke and strong climbing (especially out of the saddle). if you do not work to strengthen these muscles you will end up with a muscular imbalance and as the weaker muscles fatigue they will cramp. not to mention, the larger muscle groups (your quads and hamstrings) will have to take over and pick up the slack (so to speak) thus fatiguing these muscles faster and reducing your efficiency.

    and, as an aside, your bicep are important for cycling as well, particularly mtb'ing.


    Quote Originally Posted by ashwinearl
    I was guzzling gatorade and it didn't help much at all. From searching the net several "cures" seem to come up often.
    -Ecaps makes a pill that seems very popular Endurolyte
    http://www.e-caps.com/products/detai...rolytes&sku=EL

    -Magonate
    http://www.magonate.com/

    -tonic water (has quinine in it)

    -Tums
    gatorade isn't the best in terms of electrolyte replacement. you might also want to try Cytomax or Accelerade or Revenge.

    i've tried the E-caps. in fact i took 2 before my race yesterday. i'm not sure if they helped since i cramped toward the end of the race. however, who is to say that if i hadn't taken them i wouldn't have cramped much earlier?!

    my coach has also suggested that i try dissolving salt tablets in one of my water bottles for during the race. he also recommends calcium and magnesium supplements or a good multivitamin that includes these minerals.

    i've never heard of Magonate but i know people who use tonic water and tums. i haven't tried either.

    rt

    [edit] ps - thanks for the link to the site on cramps. lot of interesting stuff there.
    Last edited by *rt*; 04-19-2004 at 11:23 AM.
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  6. #6
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    [QUOTE=*rt*]the inner thigh (including the gracilis, adductor, sartorius, and vastus medialis) muscles are all used in cycling - particularly in climbing. if you are focusing on your quads or your quads and hamstring muscles then you are ignoring some major muscles that are essential to giving you a smooth efficient pedal stroke and strong climbing (especially out of the saddle). if you do not work to strengthen these muscles you will end up with a muscular imbalance and as the weaker muscles fatigue they will cramp. not to mention, the larger muscle groups (your quads and hamstrings) will have to take over and pick up the slack (so to speak) thus fatiguing these muscles faster and reducing your efficiency.

    and, as an aside, your bicep are important for cycling as well, particularly mtb'ing.


    Thanks for the correction on the inner thigh muscles. I had been doing some of those excecises after pulling a groin playing soccer in fall, but haven't done any lately.

    I've been researching the Endurolyte product from E-caps / Hammer and they seem to reccommend more than 2 caps before an event for electrolyte replacement. Their suggestions ranged from 1-6 caplets during the event too. So maybe you didn't take enough???

    I hear you about gatorade, no Mg at all in it.
    There is also this product too

    http://www.elytesport.com/

    Tumms has the Ca but no Mg, someone suggested Rolaids Extra which has Mg.

    I am going to do some experimentation. Probably start with the Endurolyte powder or caps.

    let me know if you find a magic bullet

    later

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ashwinearl
    Thanks for the correction on the inner thigh muscles. I had been doing some of those excecises after pulling a groin playing soccer in fall, but haven't done any lately.
    yeah, i pretty much ignored those exercises all winter! in fact, i did almost no weight training for my legs. just upper body and core. so now i guess i need to get back into the gym. -sigh-

    stretching is good too. but everyone keeps telling me that the increased strenght will make the difference.

    Quote Originally Posted by ashwinearl
    I've been researching the Endurolyte product from E-caps / Hammer and they seem to reccommend more than 2 caps before an event for electrolyte replacement. Their suggestions ranged from 1-6 caplets during the event too. So maybe you didn't take enough???
    could be. i'd never used the capsules during a race before and was afraid to take too much. also i'm pretty small (5'1", 105 lbs) so i was attempting to adjust the dose for my size. i might try 3 next time and maybe break 1 or 2 into my water. hmmm, maybe i'll try that during a training ride before-hand to make sure it doesn't taste too nasty!

    Quote Originally Posted by ashwinearl
    I hear you about gatorade, no Mg at all in it.
    There is also this product too

    http://www.elytesport.com/

    Tumms has the Ca but no Mg, someone suggested Rolaids Extra which has Mg.
    that stuff sounds interesting. let me know if how it works.

    Quote Originally Posted by ashwinearl
    let me know if you find a magic bullet
    likewise!

    cheers
    rt
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  8. #8
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    my thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by ashwinearl
    Hi all,

    I've got a chronic cramping problem.

    Inner thigh muscles of both legs. On Hot days. I 'thought' I was drinking a lot and had gatorade with me. I always have problems in the heat, and have suffered from heat exhaustion a few years ago, since then I've had issues with racing in the heat.

    As it is the inner thigh and not quads, seems to be electrolyte related as opposed to training related.

    at http://www.roadbikerider.com/cramps.htm there are quite a few ideas.

    Just wondering what some of you have had success with.
    I get cramps in the same place.
    #1 for me is to stretch for at least 10 minutes before the start of the race. I do a little warmup, then stretch. I also try to stretch after long rides.
    #2 is endurolytes. Someone posted a while ago about something which is the same as endurolytes but 1/2 price. I paid $20 for a bottle. I try to eat salty foods before a race and take 1 or 2 capsules. I put 2 or 3 capsules (broken open, poured out) in my bottles. As for dose I try to use just enough so I don't get a metalic taste in my mouth. Use lots until you get that taste - you will know, and then back off 1 tablet per hour.
    #3 I like cytomax and accelerade (same as Endurox R4), but I think you could find something with more electrolytes. I think the protein in accelerade is beneficial.
    #4 there are lots of new gels which tout the electrolyte content, I use Carbboom, but may switch.
    #5 Enervit Cheerpak it is a double dose feel good juice. This stuff rules. You may find it at a roadie shop or now at performancebike.com. It is expensive, $4/pouch so I only use it when I race.

    Unfortunately I still cramp and think basically it is training. The above helps, but the solution is to be better trained. I used to cramp 1/2 through Sport class races, now I cramp near the end of Expert races.
    M

  9. #9
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    I been working on streghting the inner muscle

    Quote Originally Posted by *rt*
    the inner thigh (including the gracilis, adductor, sartorius, and vastus medialis) muscles are all used in cycling - particularly in climbing. if you are focusing on your quads or your quads and hamstring muscles then you are ignoring some major muscles that are essential to giving you a smooth efficient pedal stroke and strong climbing (especially out of the saddle). if you do not work to strengthen these muscles you will end up with a muscular imbalance and as the weaker muscles fatigue they will cramp. not to mention, the larger muscle groups (your quads and hamstrings) will have to take over and pick up the slack (so to speak) thus fatiguing these muscles faster and reducing your efficiency.

    and, as an aside, your bicep are important for cycling as well, particularly mtb'ing.




    gatorade isn't the best in terms of electrolyte replacement. you might also want to try Cytomax or Accelerade or Revenge.

    i've tried the E-caps. in fact i took 2 before my race yesterday. i'm not sure if they helped since i cramped toward the end of the race. however, who is to say that if i hadn't taken them i wouldn't have cramped much earlier?!

    my coach has also suggested that i try dissolving salt tablets in one of my water bottles for during the race. he also recommends calcium and magnesium supplements or a good multivitamin that includes these minerals.

    i've never heard of Magonate but i know people who use tonic water and tums. i haven't tried either.

    rt

    [edit] ps - thanks for the link to the site on cramps. lot of interesting stuff there.
    by doing long 400+yards of the saddle pedaling with a slow cadance. Before all I could do was like 25 yards now I'm much stronger so I guess you can definetly train it, since is a muscle. By the way we are a bunch of ginea pigs lol

  10. #10
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    new gatorade endurance formula

    Gatorade has a new "Endurance" formula drink, which appears to be regular gatorade with additional electrolytes (including Mg). Looks like you can only get it at Gatorade.com -- at least for now.

  11. #11
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    Cramping is all about the fatigue.............

    Quote Originally Posted by ashwinearl
    Hi all,

    I've got a chronic cramping problem.

    Inner thigh muscles of both legs. On Hot days. I 'thought' I was drinking a lot and had gatorade with me. I always have problems in the heat, and have suffered from heat exhaustion a few years ago, since then I've had issues with racing in the heat.

    As it is the inner thigh and not quads, seems to be electrolyte related as opposed to training related.

    at http://www.roadbikerider.com/cramps.htm there are quite a few ideas.

    Just wondering what some of you have had success with.


    Certainly a loss of electrolytes through perspiration (particularly salt loss in my case) will contribute to the onset of cramping of fatigued muscles. The silver bullet cure is to make the muscles stronger. I tried the ecaps and found them to be useless. I have found that using a sports drink in lieu of plain water seems to help alleviate the cramping syndrome. People that suffer serious electrolyte depletion cramp all over, not just in the muscles that are working hard. I believe that a sensible diet and the use of a sports drink while exercising is sufficient for maintaining electrolyte levels. There is certainly considerable literature promoting all sorts of "cures", everything from V8 juice to ecaps, but all of that stuff is a distraction from the fundamental cause..............your muscles are fatigued.

  12. #12
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    Interior thigh cramps

    I just stumbled across this thread and it seems rather old but I thought I would throw my two bits in anyway. I read through all the posts and some of the posters hit on the "general answer" so to speak but really never nailed it. This reply is geared mainly to the North American crowd because of our diet. Those inner thigh cramps (this same thing can also happen to the lower back) are almost certainly due to a magnesium deficiency and that's it. Here in North America we don't have to worry about potassium being the culprit because of our typical diets (it doesn't really matter how poorly you eat you're going to get your potassium). These cramps will always surface after hot days and especially if you've been exercising a fair bit. It actually has almost nothing to do the actual leg muscles believe it or not. Any strenuous exercise will bring it on and it most often will strike in the middle of the night when you are peacefully lying in bed. Take the magnesium and all will be well. Be careful at the pharmacy to choose an adequate supplement.

    Cheers,

    Jeff

  13. #13
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    Yes in regards to the hip adductor and abductor machine(s). I use them all winter in my weight training program and call it the yes/no machine lol. I can lift a ridiculously large amount relative to my body weight so it must be something I am using a lot in cycling. My coach also told me to target these muscles a couple years ago because it helps with pedal stroke and bike handling.

  14. #14
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    Pickle juice- works for me!

    File under: FWIW. I'm still running experiments, but my preliminary findings for pickle brine- yes, pickle brine- are very promising.

    Same problem here- inner thigh cramps that are unbelievably intense. As in, I'm reduced to a writhing mass of sweating biomass. It was so bad one time I nearly passed out.

    Tried lots of electrolyte supplements, no help. Somewhere, I read about pickle juice being helpful. Desperate, I've tried it several times. Here's some of the results:

    Long (for me) road ride. All was well until I ran out of pickle juice, and a few miles later, I was cramping- bad. As in, totally incapacitated. I called my wife who brought me a the dill pickle jar, and I downed a gulp. In about 5 minutes, the cramps had subsided.

    Another long road ride: I sipped juice the whole way and had no cramps, even though I was exhausted for the last 15 miles or so. As they often do after a long ride, when I got off the bike, my thighs had the unconfortable sensation of an electric current running thru them. I ate several dill pickles, and the sensation passed.

    On May 16, I'll be participating in a particularly strenuous race. I've preridden it 3 times, with the following results:
    • 1st pre-ride: No pickle juice, severe cramps.
    • 2nd pre-ride, 1/4 c. pickle juice, mild cramps.
    • 3rd pre-ride, 1/3 c. pickle juice, no cramps, finished strong!
    We'll see what happens on race day.
    I dreamed I ate a 10 lb marshmallow. When I awoke, my pillow was gone.

  15. #15
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    Wierd

    I missed the date, and thought I was losing it, seeing RT and Ashwinearl posting again. Blast from the past! Just need Glen on there....
    Free will is an illusion, people will always choose the perceived path of greatest pleasure.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by slamby
    I just stumbled across this thread and it seems rather old but I thought I would throw my two bits in anyway. I read through all the posts and some of the posters hit on the "general answer" so to speak but really never nailed it. This reply is geared mainly to the North American crowd because of our diet. Those inner thigh cramps (this same thing can also happen to the lower back) are almost certainly due to a magnesium deficiency and that's it. Here in North America we don't have to worry about potassium being the culprit because of our typical diets (it doesn't really matter how poorly you eat you're going to get your potassium). These cramps will always surface after hot days and especially if you've been exercising a fair bit. It actually has almost nothing to do the actual leg muscles believe it or not. Any strenuous exercise will bring it on and it most often will strike in the middle of the night when you are peacefully lying in bed. Take the magnesium and all will be well. Be careful at the pharmacy to choose an adequate supplement.

    Cheers,

    Jeff
    I take plenty of Magnesium and I still cramp. I can feel it coming on about the middle point of an expert race. 1st race this year I could feel the twinge but it never happened - I won race. The second race (2nd place), it happened half way through on the steeper climbs. The second race was quite warm and very dry. When I went out of the saddle, it went away completely which leads me to believe it could be a position thing and/or strength issue in the inner thigh muscles. The inner muscles are used in cycling as a stabilizer - not for motoring....especially in mountain biking. What do you think? I am wondering if an inner thigh workout would be in order. I already stretch all the muscle groups well enough...I am very limber. I DO NOT go to any gym so that is not an option. I may need to find something to work out my inner thighs........

  17. #17
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    Mustard works for me

    So yeah, same results as pickle juice. I carry several packets of mustard in my jersey pockets. Most of the time if I can sense them coming on I'll just take a packet out of my jersey pocket, tear it open with my mouth and down it. Really easy to do during a race.

    Also will marinate chicken breast in mustard for several meals during a race week if it's an important race.

  18. #18
    mnt bike laws of physics
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    Mustard and pickle juice. Are you trying to send me back to Cat 3?

    If I ate mustard anywhere near a race must less during it, i would friggin puke....try some salt in your water and forget the vinagar, garlic, and mustard seeds.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crosstown Stew
    So yeah, same results as pickle juice. I carry several packets of mustard in my jersey pockets. Most of the time if I can sense them coming on I'll just take a packet out of my jersey pocket, tear it open with my mouth and down it. Really easy to do during a race.

    Also will marinate chicken breast in mustard for several meals during a race week if it's an important race.
    Hard to down mustard, but the pickle juice works: http://www.goldenpicklejuice.com/

  20. #20
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    ^^ Brutal man. Just sayin what works for me. It's not ideal but neither are cramps.

  21. #21
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    I didn't mean to defend, just being a smartass...sorry for that.

    I wonder what (if anything) the vinegar in the pickle juice or mustard does to stop cramping. It seems like such an acidic thing to be ingesting while your body is needing alkalinity instead. I mean performing at that level is stressful on the body and acid just adds to that.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by yogiprophet
    I take plenty of Magnesium and I still cramp.
    ...
    When I went out of the saddle, it went away completely which leads me to believe it could be a position thing and/or strength issue in the inner thigh muscles.
    It might be worth trying a saddle with a narrower nose so that your inner thighs don't rub on the saddle as much. If you're trying hard then that constant rubbing against the saddle can be enough of a trigger to start your muscles cramping. I can remember that happening to me in the past. The inner thigh cramps went away after changing the saddle.

    Something like a Selle San Marco Concor Light saddle has a narrow nose.

    http://www.wiggle.co.uk/selle-san-ma...g-team-saddle/

    .

  23. #23
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    No worries yogi, no need to apologize. Has anyone suggested the possibility maybe adjusting your cleats? Yogi you mention it could be a fit issue. I could see how if my cleats were too far back on my sole, or if the cleats were too much toed in, it could put a strain on my inner thighs.

  24. #24
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    Cramps

    Hi guys,
    I am a fairly serious spinner. Ie stationary bike in a room with lots of others and music. Varying resistance and cadence.
    I suffer terribly with cramps much as you have described.
    Useful tips. Thanks
    Thought I would share my additional tip.
    I use the powerplate. Ie vibrating plate at the gym. This has helped somewhat. It seems to help stretch and relieve some of the cramps.
    Not completely though.
    Will try some of the other suggestions above.
    Regards

    Tito

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    Electric Massage Relieved Inner Thigh Cramp

    I get severe inner thigh cramping during the night.

    Last time it occurred after my first ride following a several week long layoff. The ride included a lot of hills.

    I managed to get some relief from the excruciating pain by applying a handheld "Thumper" (TM) massager set to maximum pressure.

    Thanks to all who shared their remedies. I've put magnesium on my supplements list.

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