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Pedaling your way to personal best bike split

Have you been inspired to do a Triathlon this year?
Do you want to improve your efficiency on the bike and get your best bike split?
Are you having to take time off the bike due to recurrent injuries?

In this blog I look into peddle efficiency which is so key to all the riders aiming to get the best bike split. I also discuss the role gym training and movement screening can play. There are  also a few tips for you to try out to help you improve.

Pedalling Efficiency

Seemingly effortless pedalling technique is a hallmark of a well-trained cyclist Its developed over countless miles and millions of pedal revolutions. And it can lead to improvements in endurance and power output, while reducing the chance of injury.

Unfortunately, there’s no shortcut to improving your pedalling efficiency, but there are a number of things you can take a look at to see if you can get more from your pedal stroke including; Movement Screening, A tailored bike fit, Cadence and Technique.

So why is pedalling efficiency so important?
Pedalling efficienciently ensures that you get the absolute most power from each revolution.
Getting it right means you’ll be producing more power for the same or less energy output. As well as improving your efficiency, a smooth pedalling technique can also reduce the chance of injury to joints and muscles.

How can I improve?

A Wattbike is a great tool to identify pedalling imbalances and inefficiencies because of the sheer amount of data it provides. Here are 3 tips that will help you maximise your time on the bike;

  1. Single leg riding: Ideally, you should be able to pedal with one leg without that ‘clunking’ when your leg stops being able to rotate smoothly.
  2. Cadence: Change up or down your cadence to highlight weaknesses: If you up the cadence look for bouncing in the saddle as a sign of inefficiency. Or, if you lower the cadence try to prevent a push and stop pattern, if you’re constantly finding yourself re-engaging on the pedals then there is a lack of smooth peddling.
  3. Push / Pull: Lots of people talk about pulling as the foot recovers around, but in fact you should only be gently getting your foot out of the way of the pedal so that you negate negative torque, putting pressure against your own stroke with the other leg and minimising your power. Too much pulling also creates hip flexor over use which can lead to muscle imbalances.

Movement Screening and Gym Training

How will movement screening and gym training improve my cycling?
Working out in the gym won’t automatically result in better pedalling efficiency. However, a movement screening, like those done here at Summit, can highlight weak links in your movement patterns. Allowing a tailored strength and stability plan to be put in place just for you.

  • Training the torso to be stable can be a vital component to cycling efficiently, with a stable “core” providing a strong foundation from which you can apply pressure on the pedals.
  • Too much movement in the torso means less stabilisation, and strengthening the weak links that cause this helps to minimise any unwanted movement. If you look at most pros they are visually rock solid in their upper half, and as a result, can generate more force at the same leg speed.
  • A more stable torso also means that your position on the bike will be consistent; It’s that consistency that leads to greater muscle memory with regards to the pedal action.
  • As an added bonus the more stable and efficient you are on the bike, the less chance you will have of picking up any unnecessary injuries. Ironing out any of those weak links means more time on the bike and less time with the physio.

Movement control is something we do with everyone of our clients and were seeing great results from it. If you would like to learn more about movement control and movement screening come and see one of our clinicians, who will be happy to discuss this with you and point out how it could play a role in your training.

Thanks for reading I hope you found this blog beneficial,

David

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