How to eliminate upper body movement and pedaling rounded



avcrystalcore

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Jun 12, 2018
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Hello, I am a newbie and would like to learn.
I started practicing road cycling about 6 months ago from scratch and I am in love. Friends of the ride have told me that when trying to pick up a decent speed I move a lot my upper body and also stop pedaling 360 form.
Can anyone recommend indoors (trainer) or outdoors workouts/drills to correct this?
 

BrianNystrom

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Aug 13, 2013
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Upper body movement generally comes from not being relaxed on the bike. This means a comfortable grip on the bars, allowing your body weight on your hands to stabilize the bike. Your arms should be relaxed with your elbows slightly bent. If you're constantly pulling at the bars while cruising along at a comfortable pace, you're just wasting energy. The main situations where you really need to grip and pull are when you're sprinting or climbing out of the saddle. Otherwise, your hands and arms should be helping to support your upper body, not yanking the bars around.

As for smoothness or "souplesse", it comes to a large degree from time in the saddle. Doing one-legged pedaling drills will help you to learn to pedal in circles, but even without that, your pedal stroke should get smoother with more riding. Concentrate on being smooth and not hammering on the pedals. It sometimes helps to focus on pushing forward at the top of the stroke and pulling back at the bottom. Recent research has shown that pulling upward on the backstroke generally doesn't happen unless you're out of the saddle, but every once in a while I make an effort to shift some of the pedaling work from my quad to my hamstrings, at least for a short time.

Keep at it and have fun! That's the most important thing.
 
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avcrystalcore

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Jun 12, 2018
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Thanks a lot for the piece of advice. I will try to relax myself on the bike and put as many miles as possible....
Thanks again.
 

Alex Simmons

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Mar 12, 2006
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Get a decent bike fit and ride more. Hard to be relaxed if the bike doesn't fit you properly, so that's the first thing to get sorted.

Forget single leg stuff, that'll help you get better at single legged pedalling (which is fine if that's your goal) but won't help your two legged cycling. Use as many legs as you have available.
 

ballyhara

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Feb 3, 2018
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To avoid stopping your 360 movement, try to do one leg exercises while changing speed, that will give your legs the memory of round movement. Upper body needs more help, because it depends on having a stronger core, so you will have to add some sit ups/planks to your regular cardio, try to do some steady bike and watch yourself in a mirror so you can catch what you're doing wrong, and try to fix it eventually.
 

Alex Simmons

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Mar 12, 2006
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Pedalling is not a "round" movement. Yes the cranks go round but that's about it. Why do these old mythical pedal drills and misunderstanding about biomechanics still persist?
 

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