The effectiveness of Pedaling is the latest topic being discussed among cyclists. Many power meters are available now to measure the power of both right and left legs. Should we worry about it during training?
In the opinion of many coaches, it is an important factor during cycling. In this sport, we do not concentrate on efficiency and technique, which is undesirable if you think of it. Going at a speed of 90rpm, the pedal count is 5400 per hour. If we ride for four hours, it comes to 21600 full revolutions of pedals. Little increase in pedaling efficiency and enhancing the muscle power by a small fraction will yield huge dividends.
Amazing Tips from the Pros
Pedaling the right way is significant for all cyclists to win the race, and stroking effectively and efficiently is all the more important. With no doubts, this technique shouldn’t be given a second thought. Various tips that most cycling pros render to our readers include:
- Maintain a plan for cycling training: The plan should include essentials for getting a fitter, muscular body; being able to ride faster and smarter and move further in the cycling race.
- Maintain the body’s balance while pedaling: It is vital to understand the importance of body balance; this is only possible if you are riding your bicycle symmetrically. You must check your pedaling motion.
- Avoid tracking of your knees: If you want to be a pro cyclist, then you must have strong glutes; this is imperative. It will help you avoid issues that are related to knee tracking.
- Have top nutrition: Food is paramount amongst all other tips; the better you eat and drink, the better you shall be able to perform in the race as it will provide you better strength and stamina.
Coaches practice themselves and prescribe many exercises to the cyclists for delivering highest efficiency. Some of them are enumerated below:
1. One Leg Exercise of Pedaling
This is done in the presence of the trainer for safety purpose. Without resting the butt on the seat, remove first foot to be removed from the pedal and with the second leg, pedal for about 60 seconds in a lower gear. One will observe that it is difficult to maintain positive power to turn the crank smoothly through the pedal.
The aim is that one should pedal with single leg by not using a chain and achieve smooth pedaling. It should be repeated two to four times for about 60 seconds during each round.
2. Twist Ups
Start with a lower gear on some slope or in a tailwind, slowly increase your tempo and in the final 15 to 20 seconds twist as quickly as possible without bouncing the butt and touching the seat. It should be repeated two to four times in a 60 sec round.
3. Strength and Stamina
This is my favorite workout. Select an uphill that has 6 to 10-minute long cycling segment and 4to 5 percent incline. Fix the chain in the wider ring and ride at a speed of 40 to 60 rpm, concentrating on pulling over in the later half of pedaling stroke. A person suffering from knee disorder should not take up this exercise. It should be repeated two to four times in a 5to 10 min round.
4. Pedaling While Not Resting On Seat
Without resting on the seat one can increase efficiency. In standing position on the pedal gives the capability to enhance power and torque output by using additional muscles, though extra energy is burnt in this method. By repetition, this can be mastered.
While not resting on the seat, try to concentrate to achieve the best rhythm by the down leg away from the bike and by using the opposite arm, pull the pushing downward leg up. While bike under you should be under perfect control, the body should always remain neutral. This must be repeated 3 to 4 times after every 5to10min round.
5. Motor speed
This is professional’s favorite training schedule, but one has to be skilled and be familiar with local laws of the road. Motor speeding is running the bike as a motorcycle at a high pace than what you are familiar with and concentrate on pedaling. It is recommended to keep a speed of 100 to 120 rpm depending on the condition of the territory.
At very high speeds reaching or crossing racing velocity, this training session requires excellent muscle schedule and strength to keep up with the high pace of pedaling.
Best Strokes for Pedaling
1. The Perfect Stroke for Pedaling
In simple words pedaling is a complicated thing but a lot of energy can be saved by mastering it. By the proper method of angling, riders can roll out the power of equal amount generated at five heartbeats a minute lower. Such strokes are for the entrance of plain terrain.
2. Ankle, Knee and Hip Alignment
Throughout the completion of the stroke of the pedal the alignment of the ankle, knee and hip should remain in one line. Shaking off the knee is not desirable; just keep position down and straight up in your mind. You may need biomechanical or orthopedic treatment if you feel pain in the knee when cross movement of the knee is restricted.
3. First zone
Maximum muscle action during pedal stroking is from 12pm to 5pm and is named as power stage. Many riders think that hamstrings are used during upstroke only, but the fact is experienced cyclist use hamstring during down stroke for it stretches the hip.
The answer to access the bigger muscles at the back of the leg is by dropping heel while coming over to the stroke top. At 12 pm keep the toes down by 20 degrees, but while coming at the top, start dropping the heel and bring it parallel to the surface or even 10degrees below the parallel position at around 3pm.
The inexperienced rider commits a big mistake by not bringing the heel down enough in this first zone.
4. Second Zone
By utilizing the muscles of power stage at a lesser angle, this stage acts like backstroke transition position. Entering second zone concentrate on keeping calf muscles pointing the toe. The approaching end of the stroke, toe must point down by 20degrees.
This technique of ankle transfers is a part of the energy generated in the first zone, from the larger muscle to circular crank. This technique, in other words, can be narrated as like “Removing mud from the bottom of the shoe”.
5. Third Zone
Although you may be getting a feeling as if the foot is pulled through by backstroke but in actual it is not. Most of the best riders lose power during up-stoke. The pedal actually pushes the leg upwards and the aim at this stage should be to lose lesser power and get over the foot from coming in your way.
To increase ones up- stroke efficiency, good advice is to try biking on the mountain, which gives you honest feedback. In case you focus on down-stroke only, you lose grip and may fall from the bike at the abrupt section.
As a precaution, it is advised not to go for one-leg pedal exercise for riders biking for recreation as they may hurt more persons than helping them. On the other side, it is recommended to adopt hamstring and lifts for high strength and also exercising while squatting do be done under the guidance of a trainer.
We look forward to hearing from you! Please share your ideas with our readers and us!