One thing that we take for granted is how much balance plays a role in our performance on the bike. You can be the fittest guy out there but if your balance sucks then you’ll struggle to apply it and not spend half your time picking yourself up off the ground after crashing.
Like anywhere else, balance on the bike starts with the feet. Having the right support and foot position is the first thing to consider and this is where a wobble board can tell us a lot about what we need on our bikes.
While there are some obvious differences between a wobble board and a bike, the basic principles behind balancing on them are the same.
With both of them you have a narrow balance point between your feet and you have to keep even pressure through the feet to keep things balanced. Too much pressure on one foot and you tip over.
However, you can change the pressure between the feet intentionally to get the bike/ balance board to tip over the balance point without letting it tip too far, which is what we do to turn and corner our bikes.
And while I’m not saying that you should start using one as a big part of your training program, we can learn a lot from looking at the best foot position to balance on a balance board and how using a mid-foot vs. ball-of-the-foot position affects things.
In this video I look at these things and show you why you’ve never noticed it before but it is still holding you back on the trail:
BTW, this is the same balance principle shared with skiers, surfers and skateboarders where you are using the feet to balance on something moving underneath you while you stay stationary over it – in other words, when you ride something that is carrying you instead of you running and jumping.
Don’t let your foot position hold you back on the bike. Only when your feet are supported and balanced can the rest of you move properly, which is the start of letting your true potential come out on the trail.
Until next time…