Uneven quads


hi lee! i wish you had a clone in japan so i can take lessons here 😉 i have this small question about uneven quad muscle use; my left quad muscle is bigger/stronger than the one on the right.

sprint, standup and coast > i find myself resting on my back foot (left leg). interestingly, my right foot is the forward foot but my power stroke consequently becomes my left foot.

split squats in order?

thank you!

Niño



Right foot forward through a right turn. I prefer to lead with my left foot, but the more I practice this the more normal it feels — and the more I find myself switching lead feet on trail.

Hey Niño!

Most riders lead with their left leg and drive their power stroke with their right leg. This is considered “normal” and right-leg dominant.

You sounds like you are “goofy,” and that you are left-leg dominant. This is nothing to worry about:

• None of us are perfectly balanced side to side. Our dominant sides are always bigger, stronger and smarter. Heck, I swear my left leg is dumb sometimes. And my left arm? Puny. The shattered shoulder joint does not help.

• Ideally, all Riders (capital R) will learn to lead and power with either foot. Not only does this lead to better lateral balance, it also makes you a much more rounded, adaptable rider. Start practicing today. If you have a pump track, alternate directions and lead legs. If you’re turning left, lead with your left leg.

• When you do your off-bike mobility/stability/strength work, focus on single-sided exercises — and focus on your dumb side.

I have been studying with master trainer Erin Carson at RallySport Health and Fitness in Boulder, CO. Thanks to Erin’s tutelage, my current favorite exercises include:

• Multiplanar lunge warmup
• Cable lunge to press
• Cable hinge to row
• Reverse lunge

Most single-leg exercises will help you, as long as you’re consistent and use safe technique. You’re a mountain biker: Don’t hurt yourself in the gym!


Cable hinge to row, or whatever it’s called. One of the most productive exercises a mountain biker can do. Photo by The Wife.

Have fun out there!

Lee


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6 replies
  1. Ondrej says:

    Sadly must agree – started exercising before Christmass last year to get back in shape and on bike after few mid-serious injuries last year and was absolutely shocked, how are my muscles unevenly strong (talking about left/right halves of body).

    Now, about 8 weeks and every-day exercises i feel close beginning of balanced power in my both “halves” of my body (i am right-leg dominant and doing for example turkish get-ups on left side was ubelievable psychicaly painful for me during first weeks ;)).

    Reply
  2. Jakub says:

    “Most riders lead with their left leg and drive their power stroke with their right leg.”

    Wow, that’s interesting, I usually felt a bit strange among my buddies who lead with their (stronger) right leg 😉 Do you think it’s OK to gate start with my (stronger) right leg and lead with the left leg while riding?

    Reply
  3. leelikesbikes says:

    >> Do you think it’s OK to gate start with my (stronger) right leg and lead with the left leg while riding?

    Hey Jakub, I think that’s most common. That’s what I do.

    Of course, some BMXers start with their weak leg so the second stroke is stronger. Do whatever works for you.

    Reply

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