How Bike ‘Sway’ Contributes To Enhanced Leg And Core Strength While Sitting And Standing
April 10, 2012
The EVO Indoor Cycling Bike is very unique from the rest of the indoor bikes on the market in that it engages the whole body while cycling in and out of the seat while riding just as a real outdoor bike experience would be on the open road. Some cyclists would say that the less sway the better, however, the act of throwing every ounce of leverage, weight, and power into the pedals and movement side to side is the visible result of trying that hard to move forward when riding outdoors. If you could stay absolutely still, and input the same amount of force to the pedal, then more of that energy would go to moving forward, but it’s physiologically it is very difficult. It’s a matter of balance and leverage. Further, there is a mechanical advantage to be had in terms of body mechanics by swaying the bike and it lets the cyclist apply a bit more force than if the bike remained straight. The swaying motion from side to side will allow the cyclist to use more of his arm strength than would otherwise be the case. Being able to use your full body weight in a sprint has its advantages, and that’s one reason they shift the bike back and forth under them to ‘throw’ their body weight down on alternate legs side to side creates momentum and speed. They quite simply must sway the bike back and forth because of the mechanical reality of the situation. It’s not even really a conscious act and if a rider didn’t do this, the bike would fall out from under them. Sometimes you will actually see someone move a traditional indoor cycling bike off the ground from side to side and hop around the floor in class. These riders are applying extreme power to each pedal. Since the pedals are not centered laterally, applying a large force to the right pedal for instance will apply a rotational force that pushes the top of the bike to the right and the bottom of the bike to the left. Without this counterbalancing motion, they would quite literally kick the wheel to the side out from under them. By ‘swaying’ the bike in the opposite direction, they increase the amount of force on the legs and core that can be applied to the pedals without crashing. It is an intuitive motion that happens completely automatically to any rider from novice to advanced. For a quick mental picture, imagine somebody swaying in the same direction as the pedal being pushed. For instance, somebody leaning the bike to the right while they apply a large force to the right pedal. The rotational force would rotate the bicycle clockwise, lifting the wheel off the ground. Not something you want to happen, especially at sprinting speeds and especially in a classroom setting. For a great example how this technique comes into play in real road cycling watch any Tour De France finish line approach. It’s incredibly intense and you can see how hard everyone sprints and works the whole body in order to get through the finish first. Legs, lungs, muscle endurance, and core play a massive role in the use of the Evo Bike!
In a classroom setting with a range of beginner to advanced riders the ‘sway’ can work in your favor in order to engage the core muscles that you don’t often feel on a traditional indoor cycling bike. The EVO is equipped with just the right ‘sway’ of only 10 degrees from one side to other providing a fun, core-blasting, muscle toning workout. The EVO RAMP™ Frame (Rolling Articulating Mounted Pivot) ‘sways’ with body movement so that riders can engage their core muscles in order to get more out of a traditional cardiovascular cycling workout.
Engaging Your Legs And Core
This 10 degree ‘sway’ motion from side to side has been engineered to enhance your workout by engaging your core and upper body as you pedal. Plyometric exercises may also be referred to as explosive exercises. With the use of the RAMP sway system an individual can take up the RPM’s (Revolutions Per Minute) either high at 100-120 rpm’s or low at 60-80rpms in order to work the core in and out of the saddle. Plyometric movements, in which the leg muscles are loaded and then contracted in rapid sequence, use the strength, elasticity and core of muscle and surrounding tissues to jump higher, run faster, cycle harder, or hit harder, depending on your desired training goal. Plyometrics plays a huge role on the EVO Indoor Cycling Bike and can be used to increase the speed or force of muscular contractions. The Evo Bike and the RAMP ‘sway’ system is a perfect training tool in providing explosiveness of the legs and core muscles around your abdominal, obliques, shoulders, arms, and legs in order to help contribute power and strength to variety of other sports activities. The use of the ‘sway’ on the Evo Bike uses every principle of plyometrics training and has been shown across the board to be beneficial in a variety of athletes. Benefits range from low impact injury prevention and rehabilitation, building lean muscle, and core strength among athletes and novice riders alike.
The Evo Fitness Bike’s RAMP™ Frame Swaying Bike featured here at Powerhouse Fitness isn’t trying to simulate turning a bike; for that, you need the g-forces that can only be generated with momentum. Rather, the RAMP™ Frame Swaying simulates the natural motion of the body while pushing the pedals and balancing on a bike, as well as the upper body motion needed for standing sprints. With the integration of the ‘sway’ and or ‘lean’ of the bike an individual is forced to automatically engage his or her core in order to control the handlebars and sway. The Evo Bike will teach an individual how to eventually use their core muscles and be smoother while swaying side to side. In order to keep just a little balance on the 10 degree sway an individual must turn on their core and as a result will receive a total body workout from the shoulders and arms all the way down to the feet!
In this video clip you can see how Lance Armstrong among other riders that use this lean and sway in order to propel the bike to maximize distance traveled on the road during a climb or sprint during the annual Tour De France.