In this episode of the BikeJames Podcast I answer some rider questions that I’ve gotten over the last few weeks. They include:

Q: Is it alright to turn your feet out on the pedals?

Q: What are your new strength standards for MTB?

Q: How can I use intervals to train myself to keep pushing past the top of a climb?

BikeJames Podcast Episode #134 Rider Q&A

If you have a question for me send it to and I’ll be happy to help. Nothing is more frustrating than not knowing what to do to help you with your problem and I try to help as many riders as I can avoid that frustration. 

Until next time…

Ride Strong,

James Wilson

MTB Strength Training Systems


Q: Can you turn your feet out on the pedals?

  • Noticed that during squats you can turn the feet out some so how about during lunges and pedals?
  • Groin feels better when turning foot out on pedals.
  • With squats you can turn the feet out because you are trying to get the two legs to work together and the leg/ knee angle is different than with single leg exercises.
  • The goal is to get the most efficient transfer of force into the ground/ pedal
  • That transfer is best with the knee/ foot pointed forward.
  • Turning the foot out may reduce the pain it doesn’t fix the real problem
  • Pain will come back or show up somewhere else
  • Fix the problem with Frog Stretch and Isometrics
  • Foot also needs to be straight to corner correctly

Q: What are your new strength standards for MTB?

  • Old standards where movement based exercises
  • Now I want to test your Tension Skills in MTB specific positions rather than your skill with MTB similar movements
  • New standards are Isometric Positions:
    • High Plank (60-90 seconds) – Low Push Up (30-60 seconds)
    • Squat (60-90 seconds) – Lunge (30-60 seconds)
    • Pedal Stance Low Deadlift (60-90 seconds) – Single Leg Deadlift (30-60 seconds)

Q: How can I use intervals to train myself to keep pushing past the top of a climb

  • How to use cardio to “train your brain” versus just building mental toughness
  • To train yourself to act a certain way in certain situations is different than building general mental toughness
  • To train your brain you need to recreate the same scenario as best you can.
  • To train mental toughness you just need to create a hard situation to suffer through.
  • Most cardio is more “mental toughness training” because it is free of any real context
  • This type of training is very hard on the body and has a higher injury potential
  • Training the brain is more effective but requires more thought, both about the type of workouts you are doing and during the workout itself
  • You have to visualize and “see” the scenario to really train the brain
  • The best thing is to ride your bike and work on the scenarios you need to get better at

1 thoughts on “Rider Q&A Podcast – Feet Turned Out On Pedals, Strength Standards & Situational Training

  1. David Frame says:

    I just listened to your 9/7/2020 podcast, feet turned out on pedals, etc. Your comments on your groin injury was interesting. I’m at times getting cramps in my inner thigh after riding. Both at the top near the groin and at the bottom just above the knee. I’m getting a chance to do more single track riding and I know that is contributing to it. I think it is my Gracilis or Adductor Magnus. I think several things are happening…From my running days I know that as a muscle gets tired the body finds other muscles to help. I’m doing more cornering and spending more time in the attack (hip hinge) position as I get better at riding. I’m sure that as my glutes tire other muscles are being recruited. From looking at pictures of anatomy it looks like the gracilis and adductors are used when leaning the bike to adjust the torso/hip/leg angle which would make sense with more single track riding in the attack position. I’ll be looking for both strengthening and stretching routines for these. I enjoy your podcasts because they always have something that I can relate to my riding.

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