F.I.T. Blog

Add Power to Your Pedal Stroke

People are out on their bikes all over our neighborhood. Plus with a triathlon team down the road and some of the Ironman routes surrounding us, it’s a hotbed for bikers.
Sometimes I want to just flag them down and tell them, “here, do these 3 things and I will make the rest of your ride not only more efficient and powerful, but more fun!”

1) Stepdowns

    1. Using the hamstrings to pull through the revolution of the pedal becomes extremely important and you become more and more serious about biking
      You have shoes that clip in so you can actually pull and increase the amount of overall power you can create, allowing you to climb hills you haven’t before and output crazy power numbers on time trials
    2. It helps to limit the potential for overtraining. Biking is a quad dominant sport and will ALWAYS remain that way. But if you can activate the hamstrings, you maintain better anterior/posterior muscle balance and keep the athleticism we all want.

2) Internal Torque Farmers Walks

The big difference here is that you are walking actively with the body but not trying to keep the chest way up or extend the low back, nor drive the hips through.
Instead, focus on hollowing the body out, which will bring the shoulders slightly forward (okay for this) and get the obliques, butt and inside hamstrings fired up.
The internal torque theory is from Strongfit and Julien Pineau which you can read more about here, but ultimately, we are helping you remain active in your upper body while on the bike, either in aero or just riding with a forward lean.
It’s easy to get lazy and here you can maintain good position and a powerful drive from your legs and hips.

3) Front Foot Elevated Split Squats

Contrary to our often used REAR foot elevated split squat, this version is critical to maintain full range of motion and strength when biking.
Biking is one of the few repetitive motion sports where you are locked into a position. If you are clipped in, then that’s where you stay.
So doing things in training to develop a full continuum of strength in the legs will help tremendously to continually push your power numbers higher AND prevent you getting off your bike and staying stuck in your hunched over, balled up position.
The key here is to make sure that when you descend, you only go as low with your back knee as you can create tension with your front leg. You should feel like you are coiling up a spring on the front leg and the moment before you start rising, that coil is locked, loaded and ready to spring you back up! BOING!

Use these in your cross training but also before or after a bike ride and see if you can get your body firing on all cylinders for your Spring rides!

Coach Jared