One Legged Training



ebola

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Jul 22, 2003
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( i'm a recreational cyclist, still quite new to it, not competitive or anything.. )

I read something on one of the threads here about training using 1 leg, apparently this is a good way to develop the 'pull' phase ? I'm relatively new to clipless pedals & do find the 'pull' part hard work & not yet sustainable.
Is practicing this likely to be of any value ?

My colleagues noted how seriously I'm reading these forums. A couple of weeks ago they jokingly suggested they put up bogus info to make me look stupid.. I had to check.. visions of me cycling in with 1 leg dangling have got a good laugh in my corner of the office .. ( where do you put the other leg ? )
 

kparrish

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Aug 3, 2003
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I do this on a trainer - you can prop one foot up while you pedal with the other. It will be a bit frustrating at first and you won't be able to keep it going very long in the beginning. This technique is covered in "The Lance Armstrong Performance Program" - a pretty good book if you're just getting started.

This training technique is very difficult for me as a beginner, but from what I've been told by several coaches it will be worth the effort.

P.S.: Get your colleagues out for a ride one of these days and see who gets the last laugh. :p
 

n crowley

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Originally posted by ebola
( i'm a recreational cyclist, still quite new to it, not competitive or anything.. )

I read something on one of the threads here about training using 1 leg, apparently this is a good way to develop the 'pull' phase ? I'm relatively new to clipless pedals & do find the 'pull' part hard work & not yet sustainable.
Is practicing this likely to be of any value ?

My colleagues noted how seriously I'm reading these forums. A couple of weeks ago they jokingly suggested they put up bogus info to make me look stupid.. I had to check.. visions of me cycling in with 1 leg dangling have got a good laugh in my corner of the office .. ( where do you put the other leg ? )




You are correct, clipless one legged pedaling is difficult, you
do not have the same control over the pedal. Jacques Anquetil
(who you probably never heard of), but he was and still is the
number one TT rider, could never have used clipless pedals,
there would have been too much rolling of the pedal and loss
of power. Anquetil never pulled on the pedal , he used a far
more power forced sliding movement, impossible with clipless
pedals.
 

patch70

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Jun 19, 2003
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There is a school of thought that working hard on your up-stroke is counter-productive. The vast majority of your power comes from your downstroke and by concentrating on your up-stroke, you actually end up delivering less power with the down-stroke. This has been verified with electromyographic (EMG) studies. Other EMG studies have also shown that the cyclist who put out the most power do not pull up on the up-stroke but rather use it for a momentary recovery phase. In this school of thought, the belief is that the main reason for having cleats is to keep your foot in the same position and assist with proprioceptive training of your muscles/joints/cerebellum.

Certainly others completely dispute this school of thought and I am not certain who is right???
 

n crowley

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Originally posted by patch70
There is a school of thought that working hard on your up-stroke is counter-productive. The vast majority of your power comes from your downstroke and by concentrating on your up-stroke, you actually end up delivering less power with the down-stroke. This has been verified with electromyographic (EMG) studies. Other EMG studies have also shown that the cyclist who put out the most power do not pull up on the up-stroke but rather use it for a momentary recovery phase. In this school of thought, the belief is that the main reason for having cleats is to keep your foot in the same position and assist with proprioceptive training of your muscles/joints/cerebellum.

Certainly others completely dispute this school of thought and I am not certain who is right???





You are correct, but not only did Anquetil generate all his
power in that downward application of power movement , with
his technique he was able to start his power application at
11 o'clock when the occasion demanded , completely eliminating
the dead spot area.
 

kparrish

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Aug 3, 2003
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Hmm, that's interesting to know. What about the concept of pedaling "circles" and not "squares"?
 

patch70

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Jun 19, 2003
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Hmmm, my cranks always seem to go in circles. I'd return them to your LBS if they go in squares.
 

n crowley

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Originally posted by patch70
Hmmm, my cranks always seem to go in circles. I'd return them to your LBS if they go in squares.




Anquetil used neither circles or squares, mentally he used
lines, the resistance pulling line of the arms which was
almost parallel to the power application line to the pedals,
this was where the secret of his mysterious extra pedal power
lay. The rotating pedals and cranks did the rest. Instead of
pulling up on the pedals, he just unweighted them as the
idling leg returned back to the top.
 

Nicko71

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Aug 25, 2003
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Originally posted by n crowley

I find this thread interesting because I feel I only really am concious of an upward pull when I am working hard in the seat, sprinting up hills, or climbing hills. When I am just spinning - usually on the flat - I feel much more like my stroke is really - well just a spin!!

Should you feel a concious upward pull while you are cruising or 'spinning'?:confused:
 

ebola

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Jul 22, 2003
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Interesting.. so what is being said is actively concentrating on pulling is not necassery ?

- I definitely feel some benefit from using SPDs ( 5 % ish, not sure ), I suppose this is just any slight lift (while spinning?) on the other side contributing some force however small ?

Could anyone more knowledgeable explain exactly how they help ( keeping the foot in the right place ? extending the angle range at which the push works ? )
 

2LAP

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Feb 22, 2002
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Originally posted by n crowley
You are correct, clipless one legged pedaling is difficult, you
do not have the same control over the pedal.

Sorry, but I thought it was impossible given that with flat pedals (i.e. no toe clips or cleats) your feet come off the pedals when you lift them up! Its only possible with toe clips and clipless pedals, not very difficult at all if you put your resting leg on a box to the side of your bike!!!

Originally posted by n crowley
Jacques Anquetil (who you probably never heard of), but he was and still is the number one TT rider,

Thought he was dead? How come he is still the number 1 TTer, did he ride the last worlds? David Miller might have something to say about that in Hamilton in a month or two!

Originally posted by n crowley
there would have been too much rolling of the pedal and loss
of power.

Did he have rubber cranks that allowed his pedals to move in a non circular motion?

For more information on pedalling and Crowley's technique check out these other posts...

http://www.cyclingforums.com/t30727-15-1.html

http://www.cyclingforums.com/t31308-15-1.html
 

zakeen

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Aug 14, 2003
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II think riding with one leg does major improvement in technic! I do heaps of it and see a huge improvement in my hill climing while sitting down!

Yes most of your power is while pushing down, but you can still add more power to that while pulling up! best way to test the difference is go to a hard hill, ride up it sitting down without pulling and then try ridding and pulling! You will see a huge difference in speed! But you must train these untrain muscels to cope with it!
 

ric_stern/RST

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Nov 11, 2002
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Hurstpierpoint
www.cyclecoach.com
Originally posted by zakeen
II think riding with one leg does major improvement in technic! I do heaps of it and see a huge improvement in my hill climing while sitting down!

Yes most of your power is while pushing down, but you can still add more power to that while pulling up! best way to test the difference is go to a hard hill, ride up it sitting down without pulling and then try ridding and pulling! You will see a huge difference in speed! But you must train these untrain muscels to cope with it!

The research that has been carried out shows that better cyclists (elites versus divisional level) generate more power by producing greater force on the downstroke of the pedal and not on the upstroke. The less fit (and these were still good cyclists) produced more on the upstroke of the pedal cycle.

see: Physiological and biomechanical factors associated with elite endurance cycling performance. Coyle EF et al., 1991, Med Sci

Ric
 

zakeen

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Originally posted by ricstern
The research that has been carried out shows that better cyclists (elites versus divisional level) generate more power by producing greater force on the downstroke of the pedal and not on the upstroke. The less fit (and these were still good cyclists) produced more on the upstroke of the pedal cycle.

see: Physiological and biomechanical factors associated with elite endurance cycling performance. Coyle EF et al., 1991, Med Sci

Ric

Good work!!!!

All that tells us that you have better power output on the down stroke! I think we all knew that!

Lets say its has a ratio of 4:2.

4 - units of output down stroke!
2 - units of output up stroke!

you pedel 4 units down, 0 units up(because you think its a waste of time!)

I pedal 4 units down and 2(not as effective) units up.

Who has greater output??

I do!! It is not as efective as the downstroke! But extra power is extra power!

You still stand correct about more power is from down stroke but were not talking which one produces more power!
 

ric_stern/RST

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Originally posted by zakeen
Good work!!!!

All that tells us that you have better power output on the down stroke! I think we all knew that!

Lets say its has a ratio of 4:2.

4 - units of output down stroke!
2 - units of output up stroke!

you pedel 4 units down, 0 units up(because you think its a waste of time!)

I pedal 4 units down and 2(not as effective) units up.

Who has greater output??

I do!! It is not as efective as the downstroke! But extra power is extra power!

You still stand correct about more power is from down stroke but were not talking which one produces more power!


In the study mentioned, the lower ability cyclists were found to produce small propulsive forces on the upstroke, whereas the elite riders didn't. Thus, the ability to pull up was negatively correlated with performance.

The difference was even more pronounced when they looked at one legged cycling.

Thus, i don't believe that one legged cycle training does you anygood (unless you only have one leg, or are practising for one legged bike races!)

Ric

The ratio between peak down stroke and peak upstoke in the elite riders was (approx) 77 Nm to <~0.25 Nm, whereas in the non-elite group the ratio was 63 Nm to ~ 2 Nm
 

patch70

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Jun 19, 2003
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>Lets say its has a ratio of 4:2.
4 - units of output down stroke!
2 - units of output up stroke!

It's more like:
10 units of power on the down stroke.
2 units of potential power on the up stroke.

However, the cerebellum is not that great at coordinating the two and you end up with a choice of:
10 units down with o units up
versus
7 - 8 units down with 2 units up

You actually recruit less muscle fibres in the leg doing the downstroke when concentrating on the upstroke in the opposite leg compared to when you are resting the upstroke leg.
 

zakeen

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I cant beleive you guys think that its not worth pedalling up! Try riding with clipins and let me know how fast you ride!!!!!!
 

VeloFlash

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Feb 26, 2003
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Originally posted by zakeen
I cant beleive you guys think that its not worth pedalling up! Try riding with clipins and let me know how fast you ride!!!!!!

I was having a discussion with Martin Vinnicombe, a cycling coach and former World track kilo champion, about pedal technique for a start of a track TT/pursuit.

He said to totally concentrate on your downstroke and forget about your upstroke. Bringing in concentrating on the upstroke is an inefficient application of power as for the maximum (wasted) effort you get about a 15% return versus 100% on the downstroke.

The upstroke only should come into play in the first couple of rotations and then it is total concentration on power application to the downstroke.

IMHO, from experience I find one legged cycling drills a waste of precious cycling time. You gain more neurological adaption by concentrating on technique by cycling with both legs, as the designs of Messrs. Shimano and Campagnola intended.