In this video, we talk about how to re-balance a dominant leg.
There are a few things that you can do, but the first thing that’s really easy is to increase your cadence. Now, when you’re riding on a flat road or where the tire went, you want to increase your cadence to around about 100 rpm and really work on your pedalling technique. Doing that will help smooth out your pedalling, and it’ll help ensure that you’re using both of your legs with the same degree of intensity.
Now, another way to do it is to go out and get yourself a fixed-geared bike, so that’s a bike that’s got one gear on it and it’s fixed, like a track bike. What happens is that when you’re riding along, there’s no free-wheel so as you’re pedalling as your bike is moving, so you don’t get any rest. But the great thing about that is that it does help improve the rebalancing of your muscles. Now, we’re still hearing about pro riders using this technique–that is using a fixed-wheel bike to develop their pedalling technique and rebalance their legs.
Now, I generally use this technique pre-season or at the beginning of the season when you’re doing a lot of endurance riding. Now, another thing that I recommend to cyclists is that they do some cross-training, and I actually recommend walking as a good form of cross-training. Now, it’s obviously not going to replicate cycling specifically, but it will help rebalance your legs up. It’s going to help with your endurance, and it’s also going to help with your core strength.
Now, what I recommend is that you do some endurance walking; I recommend you do some interval walking. What I mean by that is that if you walk for a period of time, say twenty minutes or thirty minutes, then go and walk at a slightly faster pace for maybe five minutes. Then go at an even faster pace for maybe two minutes, then go back to your slower speed again. This is just going to improve the circulation in your legs and it’s also going to improve the muscle tone of your legs.
Now, another good thing about walking is that it does tend to increase bone density as well so you’re helping prevent osteoporosis as well as improving circulation throughout your body. Now, one other exercise that I do actually encourage cyclists to do is swimming because what swimming does is it helps develop the muscles in all four of your limbs–it doesn’t just develop the muscles of your arms and legs but it develops the muscles in your lower back and upper back as well–so it does help rebalance out those leg muscles again.
What happens when cyclists ride their bike all the time without doing any cross-training–and this can be particularly problematic if they get injured–what happens when they get injured is they have really tight quadriceps but their hamstrings are really weak because they haven’t been using their hamstrings for a long time. So what happens after a cyclist has been riding their bike for years and years and years, is they tend to develop really tight quadriceps and really weak hamstrings.
Now, this is not good if you want to be a good cyclist because when you’re riding your bike, what happens is that your hamstrings are used to control the pedals so if your hamstrings are weak and you start having problems with your legs–you get cramps or you have problems with your knees or any of those things–it’s going to be very hard for you to continue cycling and that’s going to limit your ability as a cyclist.
So swimming is one of the best ways that I know of to strengthen all four of your limbs, particularly your lower back and upper back but also the muscles in your arms and legs as well. Now, one other thing about swimming that I like about it is it does tone up all of the muscles in my body including my abdomen so I have much better abdominal tone now than I did before I started doing swimming regularly.
And another thing that swimming does help with is it helps boost my metabolism because when you swim, even though it doesn’t burn quite as many calories as cycling does, it still burns enough calories that it helps increase your metabolism which results in you losing weight more easily.
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