Currently Browsing: Ask the Expert

Ask the Expert (Follow-Up): Healing the Pedal Stroke—Ankling

It is always great to see the response of our cycling instructor and coach community. A number of questions arose after I published the last Ask the Expert article on “Healing the Pedal Stroke.” The focus was solely on the practice of pushing down or dropping the heel below horizontal during the pedal stroke. In addition to my response to questions and feedback, I created a video using footage from the 2013 USA Cycling Pro Challenge to demonstrate the technique. Hey, pictures are worth a thousand words, right?

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Ask The Expert: Healing the Pedal Stroke

The Question: Should you push the heels down when pedaling?

The Short Answer: NO

Let’s talk about why…

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Hovers and Isolations in Spinning Classes

What exactly does an isolation look like on the bike? Is it similar to a hover? In this article, we discuss the difference between the two and why neither are effective or beneficial techniques to employ in indoor cycling classes. Just don’t do them!

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Ask the Expert: Does Indoor Cycling Help Bone Health?

I received this question: “One of my riders asked me if indoor cycling is weight bearing enough to be beneficial for someone dealing with osteopenia. Any thoughts or insights or studies that I could pass along?” For the answer, I went to someone with far more knowledge than me. This is an important issue for all of us and our students, so make sure you are informed.

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Ask the Expert: How to Work with an Obese or Very Unfit Rider?

This email I received brings up an immensely important issue—how to work with obese and/or very unfit students. There are many things you can do to make these students more comfortable and increase the chances they will return, but it takes some hand-holding. Are you willing to do what it takes?

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Ask the Expert: What’s the Benefit of Holding the Arms Out to the Side?

I was asked about riding with one arm held out to the side to ostensibly work the core. This, and all versions of one-arm riding, is one of those techniques I call #FakeMoves. Yup, that’s a new hashtag I want you all to start using when the technique is nothing but fluff and has no benefit!

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Ask the Expert: How to Teach Longer Indoor Cycling Classes

Most indoor cycling classes are 45–60 minutes long. Longer rides can serve as great training sessions and an accomplishment for riders to be proud of. You can teach them on their own or use longer classes as part of a progressive program to prepare participants for outdoor rides or multi-hour charity events. However, when you exceed a one-hour workout, you should alter how you design and deliver your class.

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Ask the Expert: Should You Touch a Rider’s Resistance?

I was asked if there is ever a reason for the instructor to turn someone’s resistance knob for them. While as a general rule I would say it’s not advised, I actually have three scenarios where I believe it can be helpful.

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Ask The Expert: What is a Surge vs an Attack?

Laura asks the difference between a surge and an attack. This is an important distinction that all instructors should know. Included are some cues to help you describe them to your riders.

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Ask the Expert: Is Zone 3 a “No-Man’s Land”?

In a recent post of an aerobic-intensity profile called Ebb and Flow, I received a question about the Zone 3 level of intensity of the profile. This zone has been called a “no-man’s land” or a “dead zone” by some cycling coaches. Is this true, and if so, should we be worried about it?

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