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You know the feeling: you just got done with an awesome cycling class — you worked your butt off — but after sitting in the saddle for too long, you're sore down there. When you feel sore from sitting at a cycling class, it's actually your pubic bone, according to physical therapist Tyler Denn-Thiele, DPT, CSCS. The adductors, or inner thigh muscles, might also be sore from squeezing your legs together, he added.
The cycling instructors we spoke to said that it can feel like your vagina is sore. Physical therapist Karen Litzy, DPT, clarified that the vagina is internal, though most people think it's what you see on the outside, and that soreness is really located in the perineal area or vulvar area. "The perineal area is the area between the pubic symphysis and the coccyx," she explained (coccyx meaning tailbone). "It is a diamond-shaped area between the legs that in women includes the vaginal area."
"Sometimes after a first experience, cycling riders may feel a soreness 'downtown' for the next day or two," Swerve Fitness cycling instructor Dyan Tsiumis told POPSUGAR. Bree Branker, NASM-certified CPT and former Flywheel instructor, said that since she stopped teaching cycling in 2017, she doesn't ride daily anymore so she continues to experience this soreness every time she hops on the saddle after awhile. "It's completely normal," she told us. We tapped Dyan, Bree, and one other instructor for their tips on how to help prevent or alleviate the discomfort — check them out ahead.