Where is the ideal place to put the pedal under my foot? Should it be more under the ball of my foot or in the middle of my arch?
Thanks for the great question.
Let’s make this simple.
Chase a deer. Flee from a mountain lion.
Are you running and jumping on your arches? Hell no. You’re exploding and absorbing from the balls of your feet. This is how the human animal is designed to move. Hip, knee and ankle: triple extension.
If you’re plodding along with a crappy pedal stroke, taking your ankle out of the chain might make you feel less crappy, but it will make you less of an athlete. Your pedaling smoothness (which relates to speed and power) will suffer, and you will lose a significant portion of your body suspension.
Can you make up for the loss with a brutish style and/or full-suspension bike? Sure you can, but I think we should maximize our athletic potential. Removing a joint from your leg doesn’t seem like a good way to do that.
Landing a jump while turning and pumping a backside? Balls of feet, please.
“But X Person says mid-foot pedaling is best!”
Some people say your pedal should be under the arch of your foot. They say you can push harder when your ankle/calf is removed from the chain, and that your whole foot should be supported.
I asked Dr. Dane DeLozier, PT, DPT, ATC, NASM-PES, what he thinks of this. His reply, informed by years of education and medical experience: “That is bullshit.”
Do what you like, but I’ll always side with the body. Use it the way it’s designed to be used.
If you have a medical issue, get qualified help.
Macky Franklin is a real-deal pro enduro racer (and a client of the www. online MTB school). He jibs a crazy line … on the balls of his feet.
Know more. Have more fun!
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