The human body is never perfectly symmetrical and most people will have one stronger leg over the other. Just like our arms, we often have a dominant leg. Of course, that means you might be losing power, or even risking injury if one leg is being favoured over the other.
Nowadays, many power meters offer the option of being able to see your pedal balance as you ride, which is extremely helpful. Although the percentages will fluctuate as you ride, you definitely want them as close to 50/50 as possible. That being said, there is an exercise that can help with your pedal balance, as well as helping achieve a better, fuller, more fluid pedal stroke.
If your pedal balance is off, you might think that doing one-legged pedalling exercises is key to build the weaker leg. Except by doing that you may pedal off-kilter, and use slightly different muscles.
This exercise is ideal in the early season once you start riding outside more, but it’s also something you can incorporate into your weekly training to keep sharp.
Low cadence and focus on feet
1. Find a climb that is a few minutes in length. Although you could do this on the flats, or even a false flat, or even your trainer, a hill is ideal.
2. Put it into the biggest (hardest) gear you have on your bike, or whatever gear that is large enough such that it will force you to spin at 50 rpm. You need to remain seated the entire time.
3. The goal of the exercise is not to have a high heart rate, but to focus on your pedal stroke. Ride up the hill with the low but comfortable cadence, focusing on the push and pull on both feet. Focus on keeping your core firm, and directing all the power to your pedals.
4. Feel the sensations in both your feet and try and match them. You can start with two minutes and build up to five, and do a few sets to begin. You should notice after the exercise that you’ll pedalling is much smoother.