Surprising Increase In Pedal Cadence On The Bike, When I Engaged My Hip Extensors

Spin training diagram

Location of applied pressure in the shoe, as you focus on one set of muscles after another. Green – hip flexors; yellow – hip extensors; turquoise – quads; white – gluts (though it’s more complicated than that). Just apply pressure inside your shoe to each area in turn. Image created by FitOldDog

During a Joe Friel training routine, I experienced an odd impact of hip extensor engagement on cadence on the bike.

FitOldDog's carrots

I do love growing and cooking vegetables. For dinner tonight. Photo by FitOldDog.

I modified Joe’s routine by adding the white area. It was a 1-hour session on the trainer. Working through different muscle groups to improve spin quality.

My approach was to spend one minute floating around the shoe. Then one minute applying pressure to each of the areas shown in the diagram. This gave a 5-minute loop. I continued this rotation for one hour, including a 5 minute rest interval at 30 minutes.

This resulted in some interesting muscle burn. You get to know your weak points (Thanks Joe!).

Here’s the big surprise. When I engaged my hip extensors, cadence jumped from 88-90 to 100-102. It was almost irresistible. The rpm just jumped up, and seemed to want to go even higher.

Why is this, I wonder? Because this muscle group is unused to being worked, and thus lacks normal control? Didn’t feel like it.

Give it a try, and let me know what you find.

Oh! Yes! Eating well is another essential component of Ironman training.

As a plant-based, vegan triathlete (5 months in), my harvest of carrots from our vegetable garden is a welcome treat.

OK! Off for a Joe Friel special in the weight room.

Happy Trails.


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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.