The first is establishing a solid foot to pedal position (the “the sweet spot”) where your foot functions around its anatomical neutral position.
The second is preventing any torsion or twisting in your feet, knees and hips while bicycling. In order to do this you must have linearity of movement (linear mechanics).
If either of these two principles is compromised your level of performance will dramatically suffer.
Several years ago at an American workshop for cyclists in Bellevue, Washington, I noticed one particular athlete having a great deal of pain in his knees, especially when he would bicycle uphill. Initially he would spend several minutes before commencing his bicycling trying to find “the sweet spot” between his feet and the pedal, where he felt most stable.
As he started to bicycle, I observed that his feet and knees would twist inwardly. His foot twist increased in severity as he progressively used lower gears. This occurred because the lower gears require using more force to move the pedal, which in turn, caused his foot to twist more.
Basically, this athlete was having problems with his knees because his feet were twisting as he pushed against the pedals, which resulted in torsional mechanics.
The other thing I noticed was that the cyclist was having a hard time staying centered on his seat. When he pushed down on the left pedal, his left hip would drop and he would slide to the left. When he pushed down on the right pedal, his left hip became more level and with it, he would shift back towards the center of his seat. (Needless to say, blistering of his gluts was an ongoing problem for this athlete).
I linked this leftward sliding to the asymmetry of the cyclist’s pronation pattern (a pattern of foot twist). That is, when he cycled his left foot twisted more than his right foot, which resulted in his sliding to the left.
Linear Mechanics Enhances Performance Of Professional Cyclists
With the cyclist’s permission, I used a specific type of proprioceptive signal to rectify his postural mechanics, which decreased his foot twist and automatically took him from torsional to linear mechanics. What one could see was that his knees and hips became straighter and more level as he cycled and that his sliding off the seat all but disappeared.
The athlete then repeated his 10 mile run, going up and down hills without knee pain! At the end of the run he reported that he had greater power on the inclines, more endurance and less fatigue. He was surprised and thrilled that his knees didn’t hurt and astounded that he didn’t slide off his seat (a problem he was dealing with his entire cycling career).
Whether you are a professional cyclist or a weekend warrior, you can benefit from linear mechanics and improve your performance. This is done by decreasing your foot twist.
The most common cause of foot twist is two inherited abnormal foot structures: Rothbarts Foot and PreClinical Clubfoot Deformity. To find out if you may have one of these abnormal foot structures that prevent you from reaching your optimal level of performance, take the Rothbarts Foot Questionnaire.
If you’re searching for sports performance enhancement, reading the Curing Chronic Pain website will give you more information about the abnormal foot structures I discovered that can hinder you from achieving your full potential and help you to determine whether an Initial Phone Consultation with Professor/Dr. Rothbart might be helpful.
For a more complete explanation of the Rothbarts Foot and PreClinical Clubfoot Deformity, read:
Abnormal Foot Structures That Cause Chronic Pain
As you learn more about my innovative therapy, you may find that addressing and effectively treating your foot structure may be the missing link to ending your long time battle with unrelenting muscle and joint pain.
If you have questions about what’s involved in being treated with Rothbart Proprioceptive Therapy by long distance, see our FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) Page.
Professor/Dr. Brian A. Rothbart
Chronic Pain Elimination Specialist
Discovered the Rothbarts Foot and PreClinical Clubfoot Deformity
Developer of Rothbart Proprioceptive Therapy
Inventor and Designer of Rothbart Proprioceptive Insoles
Founder of the International Academy RPT