The pedal stroke is a motor skill set, one that most people have never given any thought to. The Pedal stroke 101 class is about identifying the large muscle groups that can power the bike, and restrict their use to only where they have good mechanical advantage.
There are three stages to the Pedal stroke 101 class:
- Stage 1) hip flexors
- Stage 2) glutes
- Stage 3) quads
As I’ve said before, pedal stroke 101 is about using large muscle groups, but hip flexors are NOT a large muscle group, so why start there? It all comes down to which muscles move which joints:
The glutes extend the leg from the hip, so the pivot and the direction of travel of the pedal are the same, so the glutes work as a solo muscle group from 1:30 to 4:30.
The quads extend the lower leg from the knee, so the direction of travel of the foot doesn’t match the travel of the pedal and requires the activation of the hip flexor.
The hip flexors don’t add any significant power to the pedal stroke, they direct the force generated by the quads over the top.
Pedal stroke 101:
Falling vs. pushing: