Riding in Circles

09Jul09

Sorry for being so slow with the updates. I have been keeping myself busy with work and training. Life is a lot busier here than it is in Belgium. Training has been the most exciting thing for me. I have been in the pool almost every day for a 1hr or so, which, has consisted of a lot of aqua jogging, freestyle and lately some walking and squats. My skin constantly smells of chlorine now. It has been such a buzz to have the endorphins running again.

On top of the pool I have been doing core stability sessions every day and isometric exercises on my left leg to maintain what strength I can.

The most exciting thing I have been doing is the single leg cycling. Thanks to a man called Raoul Luescher’s (http://www.luescherteknik.com.au ) I have gotten back on the bike. The biggest problem I have faced so far in rehab has been the lack of movement and flexibility in my ankle joint, which has meant I can’t pedal with my left leg. I had thought of getting on a bike and doing some one-leg stuff but I had stayed away from it because of how bad it can be for your back, hips and hamstrings. Then Raoul came along with SLAM. Basically SLAM involves putting weights on the left crank arm. My left leg rests on a chair in a neutral position and away I go with my right leg. The weight continues the momentum of the crank and allows me to pedal at normal cadences for extended periods of time while keeping my hips neutral and with no need to recruit new muscles groups to help with the pedalling action.

Setting my old bike up for SLAM

Setting my old bike up for SLAM

Back on the bike with 11.25kg attached to the left crank

Back on the bike with 11.25kg attached to the left crank

The first benefit is that I can start training my left leg before I am allowed to ride again. Secondly I am training my aerobic system again. And finally the research shows cross over benefits for the left leg thanks to neural activation and muscle recruitment to deal with metabolites. Note I am not a physiologist so I can’t guarantee the exact science of how it helps the left leg but the research certainly shows it does.

SL371400

SL371401

Close up of the weight and cranks

Close up of the weight and cranks

The best bit is when I can ride with my left leg again I can use the pedal system to help the left leg catch up to the right leg.

Raoul's new cycling shoes. Check out his website for what else he makes. These weighted under 190g.

Raoul's new cycling shoes. Check out his website for what else he makes. These weighted under 190g.

Raoul's version of the wind trainer. It carries momentum to give the most accurate road feel I have had on a trainer

Raoul's version of the wind trainer. It carries momentum to give the most accurate road feel I have had on a trainer

Anyway I am off to the specialist today so there will be so more news later today.

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