As with any sport, proper form is one important component in achieving optimal performance, which certainly holds true for cycling. Maintaining proper form on the bike leads to less overall energy expenditure and greater forward progress on the road. Follow these key components to proper cycling and see how you fly by your fellow roadies!
Key components of good cycling form:
1. Pelvic stability. Keep pelvis level and stable, avoid pelvic rocking from side to side. Instability can be due to saddle too high or tight leg muscles
2. Forward leg alignment. Keep hip, knee, ankle in line with each other, all facing forward. Poor alignment can be due to tight leg muscles, not paying attention to position
3. Full pedal stroke. Avoid stomping down on pedal, keep power generated throughout the entire pedal stroke. Press down from 12-5 o’clock, lift heel up and back like scrapping mud from shoe from 5-9 o’clock, slide toes forward in shoe from 9-12 o’clock (clock is when looking at the pedal and crank arm from the side)
4. Keep core engaged. Tighten abs to lock in core power
5. Relaxed arms and hands. Keep a slight bend in elbows when hands on bars. This absorbs shock before it goes through the spine
6. Neutral spine position. Avoid rounding the back which can cause strain and fatigue muscles.
1. Single leg: best done on indoor trainer. Take one foot off pedal and place it on stool or on the trainer somewhere out of the way. Spin other leg around, keeping smooth cadence, avoiding dead spots. Can be done on the road. Just focus on doing all the pedaling with one leg while the other is passive. Do 30 second intervals with 30-60 sec rest. Depending on your fitness level, do 4-10 intervals. If you have a high fitness level, do 60 sec intervals.
2. Spinning. Spin pedals as fast as you can on easiest gear. Avoid bouncing in the saddle. As your neuromuscular pattern develops, you will be able to go in easier gear and not bounce. Do 30 sec intervals with 60 sec rest. Depending on your fitness level, do 4-10 intervals. If you have a high fitness level, do 60 sec intervals.