Thanks to www.outsideonline.com for sharing this study I was not aware of. But when you think about it, it kind of makes sense.
We focus on maintaining hip mobility and fighting the postural lurch towards hunched back and craned neck with all of our cyclists. This is just one more reason to make sure all cyclists are cross training.
"Since cycling is a non-weight-bearing exercise, racing a grand tour is a little like living in space: Riders are working incredibly hard, but their bones are under very minimal stress. In the mid-1990s, a German team of researchers tested the bone densities of weight lifters, boxers, and Tour de France riders and compared them with age-matched controls. They found that the weight lifters and boxers had overall higher bone densities than the controls, while the cyclists’ spines were 10 percent less dense, their hips 14 percent less dense, and their Ward’s triangle, at the neck of the femur, was 17 percent less dense.
During training, riders lift weights and run to build bone mineral density. But during the Tour, they are only riding, while sweating out enormous amounts of fluids that contain bone-building minerals like potassium and calcium."