Flexibility and climbing.

This past Thursday, I climbed three short hills, two of them quite steep, yet they were all rather short. Moving back on my seat a little bit I uncovered some extra power in the pedaling motion. The muscles used for that however were definitely not in shape for a sustained climbing effort in that way. I have been working in the hotel exercise rooms but this is hip flexor and lower abdominal areas I need to pay attention to. Picking up the leg has quite a bit of power on the pedals upward stroke, adding quite a bit of extra speed if I can endure that motion for a while. I knew I was lacking something during my bike fitting. I was checked for my range of motions. My hip flexor has huge range, however a straight leg lift does not go very far and that has direct effect on my foot going over the top of the pedal motion with power as well. I am almost at the point of needing slightly shorter crank arms, or, starting some stretching to regain more range in the legs. How far am I from what I should be? Well, do a toe touch. Bend forward and keep the legs straight. How far can you go down? Exactly. Sitting down, putting a leg out front to the side, I can reach mid shin. That is woefully short of the goal of just grazing the toe. Moving back on the saddle on the hill allowed me to really pick up on the pedal without goiing into that range limitation. I felt immediate surge in power for the climb from many more muscles doing their work and I had no endurance for that style of ride. I will now add some decent stretching to the routine, and not just for the purpose of warming up. More range of motion equals more usable power.

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