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Leg muscles used in pedal stroke?
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Outside riding I seem to have a well rounded pedal stroke, but when I ride on my Kickr it feels like my quads are doing most of the work. I feel very little in my G-max. I feel the majority in my Vastus Medialils and Rectus Femoris. Same bike, same shoes. Bike is relatively level. I know things can be different on a trainer, but what I am I messing up on, if anything?

After last nights session, which was heavy climbing, my quads and calves are pretty sore.

Link to muscle pedal stroke:

https://www.trainingpeaks.com/...d-how-to-train-them/

_________________________________
The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design.
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Re: Leg muscles used in pedal stroke? [Economist] [ In reply to ]
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raise the front end of the bike up 2--3 inches. see if this better replicates your muscle engagement patterns from the road.

Anne Barnes
FIST/SICI/FIST DOWN DEEP
X/Y Coordinator
abbikefit@gmail.com
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Re: Leg muscles used in pedal stroke? [Economist] [ In reply to ]
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Economist wrote:
I know things can be different on a trainer

Lack of inertia. Probably the only way to fix it is to get a trainer that's closer to road levels.
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Re: Leg muscles used in pedal stroke? [rruff] [ In reply to ]
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rruff wrote:
Economist wrote:
I know things can be different on a trainer

Lack of inertia. Probably the only way to fix it is to get a trainer that's closer to road levels.

I think this means your trainer needs a bigger flywheel.
Low inertia feels different to high inertia. Think producing 300 watts on the flat to 300 watts on a hill.
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Re: Leg muscles used in pedal stroke? [Economist] [ In reply to ]
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I think that is one of the biggest advantages on the trainer. Forces you to pedal in a more rounded motion but definitely due to not having the momentum/inertia you do on road and highlights your weaknesses. I don't enjoy the trainer but I endure it knowing that it is only going to do good.
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Re: Leg muscles used in pedal stroke? [Shambolic] [ In reply to ]
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Shambolic wrote:
I think that is one of the biggest advantages on the trainer. Forces you to pedal in a more rounded motion but definitely due to not having the momentum/inertia you do on road and highlights your weaknesses. I don't enjoy the trainer but I endure it knowing that it is only going to do good.


My feeling is that we can adapt to anything. I don't know that adapting to a low-inertia trainer makes sense. What might be thought of as a weakness in terms of power output might be a strength in terms of resting for the proper ratio on each pedal stroke.

Riding with proper cycling shoes clipped in certainly feels superior, but riding, especially sprinting in vans or a similar shoe on platform pedals can do a lot for your pedal stroke. Pedaling in squares or rather ellipses if we're going by sensation and making it look like a smooth circle to others is what I find to put out the best sustainable output. That upstroke has an elastic feel to it when things are really clicking, there's no power generation involved it's just popping back up. Very similar to the leg swinging back forward when running; we direct it's path with a sort of internal visualization of the path the body should take, but the movement should feel like a reflex of sorts.

I believe that elasticity is lost on a low-inertia trainer.

Anyway, leg muscles used in pedal stroke? All of them in some way or another. I think we get in trouble when we try to isolate the specific muscles. The body is one gigantic muscle and you should be using all of it as you ride. Better to think of the proper sensation to experience. In that regard, my current understanding is this:
  • we have to have spinal rotation to generate good power
  • there should be a sensation that the body is being pulled up at all the joints, like a marionette doll
  • the tension should be stabilized from the core such that you feel so smooth it could make you think the same amount of power is being generated at all parts of the pedal stroke if you didn't know better
  • all of the muscles should have some sort of cyclical tension/relax phase to them
  • on the upstroke it feels as though energy is moving up the lateral portion of the leg starting from the outer area of the ball of the foot up the calf crossing the knee to the quad then crossing to the glute up the back to right behind the ear
  • on the downstroke the energy returns down the spine from the ear out to the center of the quad around 12 o'clock
  • as the pedal goes down the energy spirals towards the inside of the leg, with even the adductor magnus adding a slight twist and more down/back force between 3 and 5ish-o'clock
  • eventually the energy leaves towards the inside ball of the foot
  • the shoulders and arms will mirror the legs to a large extent in that the line of energy or tension spirals up and down, with a good example that you can see being alberto contador climbing out of the saddle. the sensation is similar while seated, but much more subtle so it's difficult to see in others if you haven't already felt it yourself
  • probably the key checkpoint is to feel that everything is lifting in a way to make it feel as if you're floating, because when that happens the body is generally moving the best it can.
  • the sensation of the energy coming up to and then returning from the area near the ear is one worth chasing if you haven't felt it before. it feels rather like your foot is almost stepping on an imaginary ground at the ear level in the sense there is no compression of the body between the ear and the foot. not sure how else to describe that right now.

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Re: Leg muscles used in pedal stroke? [ABarnes] [ In reply to ]
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Do they teach that as part of the FIST approach?
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Re: Leg muscles used in pedal stroke? [Sojourner] [ In reply to ]
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Wow a lot of text but I don't get your point? My logic is it is like riding a 1% hill or a slight headwind. Often I am doing strength work on climbs or even by over gearing. I am sure you have seen Ryf videos doing strength work in the same way on climbs. I only do trainer sessions for specific controlled workouts or if the weather is shite. Trainer workouts is that percent harder for me in comfort to pedal and my cycling only benefits from it. There are athletes like Sanders and Potts who do most of their training on a trainer. As I say I don't enjoy it but I can feel the advantages of training on a trainer. We all run hills and put paddles on in swim sessions where muscles are under load and in cycling you are under load for 360 degrees rotation so I wouldn't personally be doing all my training on one but it is no different. Much like we don't always ride hill strength sessions but we all should do them. If you do enjoy them and it is your thing you are certainly doing no harm as it is only that slight percent harder. Cadel Evans used to have cranks that make you engage for 360 degrees otherwise a clutch engaged I think Power Cranks make a similar unit and he won a TDF. I see there are a long list of athletes that use them and I know Sam Gyde I think fastest AG bike at Kona several years does.

https://www.powercranks.com/
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Re: Leg muscles used in pedal stroke? [Shambolic] [ In reply to ]
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Oh God Powercranks have made an appearance. Grab the popcorn.

_________________________________
The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design.
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Re: Leg muscles used in pedal stroke? [Sojourner] [ In reply to ]
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Sojourner wrote:

  • we have to have spinal rotation to generate good power
  • there should be a sensation that the body is being pulled up at all the joints, like a marionette doll
  • the tension should be stabilized from the core such that you feel so smooth it could make you think the same amount of power is being generated at all parts of the pedal stroke if you didn't know better
  • all of the muscles should have some sort of cyclical tension/relax phase to them
  • on the upstroke it feels as though energy is moving up the lateral portion of the leg starting from the outer area of the ball of the foot up the calf crossing the knee to the quad then crossing to the glute up the back to right behind the ear
  • on the downstroke the energy returns down the spine from the ear out to the center of the quad around 12 o'clock
  • as the pedal goes down the energy spirals towards the inside of the leg, with even the adductor magnus adding a slight twist and more down/back force between 3 and 5ish-o'clock
  • eventually the energy leaves towards the inside ball of the foot
  • the shoulders and arms will mirror the legs to a large extent in that the line of energy or tension spirals up and down, with a good example that you can see being alberto contador climbing out of the saddle. the sensation is similar while seated, but much more subtle so it's difficult to see in others if you haven't already felt it yourself
  • probably the key checkpoint is to feel that everything is lifting in a way to make it feel as if you're floating, because when that happens the body is generally moving the best it can.
  • the sensation of the energy coming up to and then returning from the area near the ear is one worth chasing if you haven't felt it before. it feels rather like your foot is almost stepping on an imaginary ground at the ear level in the sense there is no compression of the body between the ear and the foot. not sure how else to describe that right now.

holy crap. its a bike. the pedals go in circles. smash pedal for more force/speed/power. why do triathletes over-complicate and hyper-analyze everything?
Last edited by: tfleeger: Oct 11, 18 4:53
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Re: Leg muscles used in pedal stroke? [bluntandy] [ In reply to ]
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bluntandy wrote:
rruff wrote:
Economist wrote:
I know things can be different on a trainer

Lack of inertia. Probably the only way to fix it is to get a trainer that's closer to road levels.

I think this means your trainer needs a bigger flywheel.
Low inertia feels different to high inertia. Think producing 300 watts on the flat to 300 watts on a hill.

I have a 2017 Kickr. Just moved up from KK dumb with Quarq. I think my flywheel doubled.

But the lack on inertia does make sense. I’ve done a high % of my training indoors due to having a baby and research requirements. Also discovered Zwift. I have twice as many trainer rides this year than last two combined. I could barely last 45 minutes now an hour zips by.

The lack of inertia could also explain my difficulties translating indoor training to outdoor racing. It’s been so frustrating, especially in MTB races.

_________________________________
The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design.
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Re: Leg muscles used in pedal stroke? [Shambolic] [ In reply to ]
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Shambolic wrote:
I think that is one of the biggest advantages on the trainer. Forces you to pedal in a more rounded motion but definitely due to not having the momentum/inertia you do on road and highlights your weaknesses.

It's a bug, not a feature.

It forces you to develop muscles and timing that are not optimal on the road.
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Re: Leg muscles used in pedal stroke? [Andrew Coggan] [ In reply to ]
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(spits out coffee as she sees Andrew Coggan has responded to her post)

there are some things in FIST that are whispered into our ears by the dogs and horses when dan isn't looking.


One's hubs are never absolutely level when riding ITRW. Forward movement of the bike with the human body on it is not static; frame flex, spoke tensioning, bike angle in relation to the riding surface etc. The human is in constant joint centering mode in maintaining balance and motor function. Like jello, on springs. (extra points if you can name that movie quote). Take all of that away by locking the bike in space and the body rebels, or compensates.

I have found that 'overraising' the front end helps immensely with relieving pains on a trainer that are never there ITRW. For myself this is true - could ride 6 hours no problem but 25mins on a trainer and everything caught on fire (hands, ass, knees). My suggestion to change to entire angle of the rider/bike is to offload the quad dominance.

The best way to fix your pedal stroke is to ride a fixed gear, or ride rollers (wouldn't recommend riding a tri bike on rollers).

Of course, it could be that the OP has a terrible pedal stroke ITRW, but it rears its ugly head on the trainer. that may be more sensible than my cray cray thoughts.

Anne Barnes
FIST/SICI/FIST DOWN DEEP
X/Y Coordinator
abbikefit@gmail.com
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Re: Leg muscles used in pedal stroke? [Economist] [ In reply to ]
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Economist wrote:
Oh God Powercranks have made an appearance. Grab the popcorn.

Honestly. I'm gone for 10 years or whatever and one of the first posts back someone is telling me I should look into them.
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Re: Leg muscles used in pedal stroke? [tfleeger] [ In reply to ]
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tfleeger wrote:
Sojourner wrote:

  • we have to have spinal rotation to generate good power
  • there should be a sensation that the body is being pulled up at all the joints, like a marionette doll
  • the tension should be stabilized from the core such that you feel so smooth it could make you think the same amount of power is being generated at all parts of the pedal stroke if you didn't know better
  • all of the muscles should have some sort of cyclical tension/relax phase to them
  • on the upstroke it feels as though energy is moving up the lateral portion of the leg starting from the outer area of the ball of the foot up the calf crossing the knee to the quad then crossing to the glute up the back to right behind the ear
  • on the downstroke the energy returns down the spine from the ear out to the center of the quad around 12 o'clock
  • as the pedal goes down the energy spirals towards the inside of the leg, with even the adductor magnus adding a slight twist and more down/back force between 3 and 5ish-o'clock
  • eventually the energy leaves towards the inside ball of the foot
  • the shoulders and arms will mirror the legs to a large extent in that the line of energy or tension spirals up and down, with a good example that you can see being alberto contador climbing out of the saddle. the sensation is similar while seated, but much more subtle so it's difficult to see in others if you haven't already felt it yourself
  • probably the key checkpoint is to feel that everything is lifting in a way to make it feel as if you're floating, because when that happens the body is generally moving the best it can.
  • the sensation of the energy coming up to and then returning from the area near the ear is one worth chasing if you haven't felt it before. it feels rather like your foot is almost stepping on an imaginary ground at the ear level in the sense there is no compression of the body between the ear and the foot. not sure how else to describe that right now.


holy crap. its a bike. the pedals go in circles. smash pedal for more force/speed/power. why do triathletes over-complicate and hyper-analyze everything?

i've never done a triathlon. anyway, i don't think the point of this thread was to investigate how a bike operates. at least for me the question was more to do with how our bodies function. and the human body is one of the single most complex pieces of machinery on earth so it shouldn't be any surprise it wants to hyper-analyze itself. longing to know thyself isn't a character flaw. anyway, i can smash the pedals better than most so it doesn't seem to have held me back.
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Re: Leg muscles used in pedal stroke? [rruff] [ In reply to ]
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rruff wrote:
Shambolic wrote:
I think that is one of the biggest advantages on the trainer. Forces you to pedal in a more rounded motion but definitely due to not having the momentum/inertia you do on road and highlights your weaknesses.


It's a bug, not a feature.

It forces you to develop muscles and timing that are not optimal on the road.
Can you send that memo to Lionel Sanders...
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Re: Leg muscles used in pedal stroke? [Economist] [ In reply to ]
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Wouldn't the trainer lessen the need for your core to be used with a rigid trainer thus focusing more of a need for leg muscles to compensate? Certainly the opposite is true in the spring after spending an entire off-season on he trainer. I know if I jump on he bike in the spring and hit it as had as I have on the trainer the next day I can barely walk. Everything from hip flexors to core feel beat down.
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Re: Leg muscles used in pedal stroke? [kkerns] [ In reply to ]
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kkerns wrote:
Wouldn't the trainer lessen the need for your core to be used with a rigid trainer thus focusing more of a need for leg muscles to compensate? Certainly the opposite is true in the spring after spending an entire off-season on he trainer. I know if I jump on he bike in the spring and hit it as had as I have on the trainer the next day I can barely walk. Everything from hip flexors to core feel beat down.

This is what I was looking. Others gave good stuff too. I want to make sure I’m properly training myself.

_________________________________
The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design.
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Re: Leg muscles used in pedal stroke? [Economist] [ In reply to ]
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get a computrainer. - Spin Scan

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Re: Leg muscles used in pedal stroke? [hideano] [ In reply to ]
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hideano wrote:
get a computrainer. - Spin Scan

Having had a Computrainer, Kirt Kinetics, few other cheaper trainers as well as the Inside Ride Rollers, I highly recommend the latter if you’re in the market for dropping some cash.
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