Cyclist strength training: making it count on the bike

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Introduction to strength training with Jo McRae: making it count on the bike

How to translate off-the-bike conditioning to in-the-saddle performance gains


Pedalling squares

People say that a rider is ‘pedalling squares’ when they are unable to maintain a smooth circular action due to fatigue, but I like to use the same idea in a different way for an on the bike strength drill designed to bring awareness to the muscles involved in each phase of the pedal stroke.

‘Pedalling squares’ is a sure sign of fatigue. Concentrate on developing a smoothly rounded pedal stroke

If you start by imagining the pedal stroke is not a circle but a square, with a top and a bottom, and a front and back. Each phase of the pedal stroke or side of the square uses one main muscle group more than another, and focussing your mind on each part in isolation can ensure you are engaging all the appropriate muscle groups at the relevant time. Then, having established each part in isolation your can bring them all together for a smoother ‘circle’.

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