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Right Leg/Left Leg Balance

Old 06-12-16, 06:39 AM
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jwalther
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Right Leg/Left Leg Balance

Trying to figure out how much of a problem I have, and what if anything to do about it. . .I'm a 52 year old fast riding roadie, though not a racer. I recently purchased a set of Garmin Vector S2 pedals, and have a few rides under my belt with them. I'm right leg dominant, so I expected my balance # to be skewed toward that side but not to the extent it is. I'm pretty consistently 55-45. Is that way out of whack? I would have expected something closer to 50-50. It takes a very intentional effort for me to balance my effort. Any thoughts? Should I care, or just ignore it and keep riding?
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Old 06-12-16, 06:44 AM
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Originally Posted by jwalther View Post
Trying to figure out how much of a problem I have, and what if anything to do about it. . .I'm a 52 year old fast riding roadie, though not a racer. I recently purchased a set of Garmin Vector S2 pedals, and have a few rides under my belt with them. I'm right leg dominant, so I expected my balance # to be skewed toward that side but not to the extent it is. I'm pretty consistently 55-45. Is that way out of whack? I would have expected something closer to 50-50. It takes a very intentional effort for me to balance my effort. Any thoughts? Should I care, or just ignore it and keep riding?
As a recreational rider, just keep riding and ignore it. I think that's common...even in pros (at least retired pros that I've seen individual pedal stroke numbers on) they all put out a bit more power in one than the other.
You could throw in some single leg intervals if you're really concerned, concentrating on the stroke during the single leg intervals.

A lot of personal trainers that I've known recommend single body part training to correct muscular imbalances (for example single arm bench presses or single arm rows, single leg squats, etc) -- but I'm a big proponent for training the imbalance as a whole. Full body squats, barbell bench press, and letting the body fix its own imbalance.

I would also add the note that I'd double check cleat configuration, at a minimum, and if that's on point, I wouldn't worry...I would just ride.

Also adding that I'd be surprised after 52 years of life, injuries, recoveries, etc etc, if your numbers were 50:50.
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Old 06-12-16, 06:49 AM
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It's normal to have asymmetric power and it's also normal for the ratio to vary with power. You might find the ratio different when riding harder vs taking it easy. Fortunately, few people are limited by leg strength on the bike, so the weaker leg isn't holding you back. Forcing the one leg to take its fair share of the load won't make you faster.
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Old 06-12-16, 06:59 AM
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I'd get a compression check done on that left leg; Maybe it needs rings or a valve job.

But seriously, is there a documented calibration procedure for the pedals?
I'm thinking there could be a difference in the sensors.
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Old 06-12-16, 07:40 AM
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Might be a difference in leg or foot length.
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Old 06-12-16, 05:17 PM
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L/R imbalance is common. I'm personally in the 53-54 L/47-46 R range. I wouldn't worry about it unless it continues to get more imbalanced. I personally think trying to do single leg drills is a waste of time. After all, most people are stronger with their dominant arm, but you don't see most people trying to correct that imbalance.
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Old 06-13-16, 05:19 AM
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My left brain is stronger than my right brain.
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Old 06-13-16, 05:39 AM
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Thanks for the response all. I need to check the calibration every pre-ride and see if that changes the numbers.
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Old 06-13-16, 07:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Looigi View Post
My left brain is stronger than my right brain.
How much of it do you use? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKIp6CTliL4
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Old 06-13-16, 01:48 PM
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I'm generally around 55/45 L/R but it changes depending on how much power I'm putting out, at hard efforts the imbalance almost vanishes.

I'm usually at 50/50 ground contact time balance when I run.
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Old 06-13-16, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
Sadly, only a little scrap.

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Old 06-15-16, 10:25 AM
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I broke an Achilles tendon many years ago. When rehabbing that leg, I started doing one-legged pedaling intervals on my rollers and I've done them ever since. That helps a lot.
F.E. 50 cadence 2 minutes each leg, 2 minutes legs together 90+ cadence, 85 cadence 2 minutes each leg, 2 minutes legs together 90+, repeat until you can't keep the chain tight all the way around. If you can't do 2 minutes, start with what you can do and work up. One-legged leg press is good, too. Or just one-legged knee bends on a chair, sets of 20 or whatever.
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