Training & Nutrition - Single Leg Drill
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01-12-06, 02:40 PM
Long time cyclist and I just started single leg pedaling drills. I find that I can maintiain a much higher cadence with my left leg. Is this normal? Should I focus training on my "dead" right leg.
01-12-06, 03:24 PM
I've always done my one-legged pedaling with the purpose of 'smoothing' out the pedal stroke for each leg. Using one leg really 'amplifies' inefficiences. I try to use a gear - usually low 70s - that allows me to start singlelegging at, and keep a cadence of, the mid-80s rpm. Once I start getting choppy and the stroke starts breakin down, I take a break, go 2-legged and then switch over to the other leg. Continue til the start of each rep is already choppy. No sense ingraining more bad muscle behaviour...
My left leg is a bit choppier than my right, but not enough for me to warrent more/'special' effort on that side. Having a dominant, more efficient side seems 'natural'; but this is a totally subjective, unsupported belief. I've not ever found any real research covering differences in legs. They may exist, I just haven't read any.
If I had a big difference (to my mind), I'd prolly consider using a different gear for the less trained leg, start and end the 'session' on that leg. That would give me one additional 'rep' with that leg.
Now that you bring it up, I'm gonna 'measure/time' how long it takes for each leg to get choppy - I might end up with a surprise.
I've never tried to use this as 'strength building'; but I guess there's nothing that should say pushing a big gear, one-legged, is any worse than pushing weights in the gym.
I still think the big bene is efficiency training for each leg...
01-13-06, 02:59 AM
The important part about this drill is getting down the mental coordination. You learn the neuro-muscular timing and control to activate the inactive muscles that can be recruited into adding power to your stroke. Make a note of the motions required. I always imagine riding a pedal-less bike with a 3" string attached to my big-toe and the pedal-hole in the crank. THen I have to "lead" the crank around in circles.
Yah, this is not a muscle or strength-building exercise. No need to do more than 20-30 seconds at a time per leg to learn the motions. Then swap legs, then do both and use the new motions you've practiced.
Then when you're on a regular ride and noticed you're not spinning smoothly, concentrate on re-creating that circular motion. You'll find yourself speeding up automatically. :)
01-13-06, 09:39 AM
Thank you. Good info.
01-13-06, 02:03 PM
left leg is better?
What kind of transmission does your car have?
$5 says it's a manual.... hehe (and if it is, that that should explain why your left leg is stronger... Mine is, and my car has a manual)
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