MUSCLES INVOLVED DURING THE PEDAL STROKE
By Sebastian Rebollo
Master in physical Activity
Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist
In this article we are going to identify the leg muscles that we must target in our lower body resistance training. This doesn’t mean that these are the only important muscles to train, but your legs, hips, and buttocks do generate the majority of your cycling power. To stabilize the lower half of your body, you need to have a strong abdomen, back, and upper body. All sections of your body must work together to stabilize the bike and deliver maximum power to the pedals, but for the purpose of this article we are going to focus on the legs.
Having said this, it is time to start. Let’s see the image below to have a better understanding of the importance of certain muscles during a pedal stroke, which are the muscles that are going to be the main focus in our lower body resistance training.
As we can see, we need do differentiate the actions of the muscles on the 2 phases of the pedal stroke, “Push – Power Phase” and “Pull – Upstroke Phase”.
The Power Phase is the most important. This is the exact moment when we need to apply the force to keep moving forward, and the primary muscles involved are the hip extensors (gluteus maximus) and leg extensors (vastus medialis and rectus femoris) followed by the hamstrings, the soleus and gastrocnemius medialis.
Keeping this in mind, we must consider the importance of maintaining a good balance between the quadriceps, hips and the hamstrings to prevent injuries and improve performance.
Some of the exercises we must include in our lower body resistance training are:
Single leg Deadlifts
Sit ups, Lounges
I hope this article is useful for you, for more exercises and routines keep checking in!
Disclaimer: No training program can or will protect you from injury. All athletic sports carry with them an element of danger. In the case of a fall, collision or other accident, you may be injured or killed, regardless of the type of athletic training you may have participated in. A training program itself could even result in an injury in certain situations. The only way to certainly avoid being injured while training or participating in a sporting activity, is to not participate in any sports or training activity.