Tips for Shapping Up the Legs Through Cycling

By | June 13, 2011

As your diet plan is helping you to achieve your desired weight in which you looks good. Now you start out to tone up your lower body by starting jogging. With jogging, the scenery changes too slowly and eventually you start getting bored. You knees start aching, buying new shoes after every 4-6 months gets too costly. As a change you opt for a new form of toning your body which is “Cycling”. You go out and purchased a good reasonable cycle and a helmet and hit the roads.

Your goal is to tighten up those thighs and tone your calves. It can’t be too hard, you can tell yourself. Every cyclist you may have seen has incredible legs. If they can do it so can you.

You’ll got frustrated and tired of cycling after 3 weeks. As you don’t get the results of that you are expecting after spending lot of hours you have spent on cycling your patience decreases and you ask yourself that where the calves are that you’ve seen of cyclists. Why your thighs are gaining tone only at the knees?

The Dilemma: You’re putting lots of efforts in cycling but you are getting very less results.

Solution: Implement these well known cycling techniques.

1- Use Correct seat height

This is  a common mistake of many novice cyclists. But correct seat height is the key to uniform of toning of upper and lower legs. Your seat should be high enough that it almost fully extends your legs with each padel, but not so that the leg is fully extended. There should remain a  slight bend in your leg at the pedals lowest point. Overextending you leg while pedaling can strain the backside of the knee (The Plantaris Muscle).

To get proper seat height:

Loosen your seat pole adjustment and stand over your bike.

With the pedal at its lowest point, put the ball of your foot on the pedal.

Push off the pedal, extending your leg, but leave a slight bend at the knee.

Now raise the seat to meet your bottom and re-tighten the seat pole screw.

2- Position of the ball of foot on pedal

If your desire is to shape up your calves, then appropriate foot–placement is the way to do it. Aside from providing good balance, placing the balls of your feet on the pedals works each calf muscle, unlike placing the your mid-foot or heel on the pedal which only works your calves lateral head – the outer calf.

Placing the balls of your feet on the pedals when cycling works all three main areas of the calf:

the inner calf – the Gastrocnemius Medial Head
the outer calf – the Gastrocnemius Lateral Head
the internal mid-calf – the Soleus

Ball placement also tones the quadriceps, the upper thigh muscle, as well as the hamstring.

3- Keep pedaling

The general idea of cycling for fitness is to keep your legs in motion.  Coast occasionally but mostly on down hills.  If you reach a hilly area, don’t get off the bike and walk.  Shift gears to a lower setting.  You’ll be amazed at how easy hills are to climb when using your gears efficiently.

4- Stay hydrated

Water is your single most important nutrient.  When working out, water transports nutrients (energy) throughout the body.

Water aides in the excretion of waste products from the cells.  It suppresses the appetite; helps the body metabolize and break down fat deposits; prevents cramping; and keeps joints healthy.  Synovial fluid, which lubricates the joints, is composed of water.

5- Eat a good meal soon after cycling

Research has shown that the enzyme, glycogen synthase, which turns food carbohydrates into glycogen for energy stores, is most active immediately after exercise.  This means that if you ingest carbohydrates within thirty minutes to an hour after exercising, you greatly increase your energy reserves, as opposed to eating several hours after a workout.

Make sure your post-cycling meal is rich in nutrients.  A mere soda and chips won’t do. You’ve just burned countless vitamins and sweated out stockpiles of minerals, breaking down muscles during your bike ride.  Now it’s time to pay the bill. Give your body what it needs to build those muscles back up stronger: a healthy meal.  Take a vitamin supplement with the meal if necessary.

 


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1 Comment

Jessie on June 25, 2011 at 2:46 pm.

This makes everything so completely painless.

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