Form and Foundations Drills

We recently posted an article by Robin Robertson on how to include a mini periodization plan in your schedule. It even works well when you have drop-in riders and not a specific 8- or 12-week program. During the first week, Robin suggests you focus on Form and Foundations drills. Of course, you can do these anytime; it doesn’t necessarily have to be a part of a periodized program. These are great drills for all new students, and excellent reminders for longtime students as well, since everyone benefits from reminders about skill improvement. These are also useful for new instructors.

What to do During your “Form & Foundations” Week


  1. Would you use all the above drills in 1 class..basically, use it as your profile for the day?? Or do you suggest that they be introduced separately in different classes..? I’m sorry if it seems obvious but I want to be sure…I am thinking this would be a great profile for a 1hr class…

  2. great stuff! thank you for the post!

  3. I would add one point of form to the first drill: head and neck alignment, which should be aligned with the torso. I sometimes have class members let their head hang down for a few seconds, then bring their head back, so that they are looking up at me (this takes their head too far back), then have them bring it in proper alignment by focusing their eyes about six feet in front of them on the floor.

  4. Author

    Oh Goodness, I had edited the original article without the part about taking the leg away…you’re right, I do not think it’s a good idea in indoor cycling classes, especially with fixed gear bikes. Completely my fault, I uploaded the wrong version thinking it had already been edited and only scanned it over. Doh! I’ve fixed it, thanks for pointing that out.

    One legged dominance drills (with both feet attached) are effective even if you simply just focus on the right leg or the left leg. The other leg just goes along for the ride. They won’t train your pedal stroke AS MUCH as doing it on your road bike without a flywheel or fixed gear, but for most of our students, increasing their pedaling awareness still goes a long way.

    Do cyclists do single leg drills? Yes, and it IS an effective way to train the pedal stroke. When riding their bike on a trainer, many cyclists will put a stool or milk crate next to their bike to rest their foot. For this reason, one-legged drills is not really going against the “keep it real” principle, it’s that it’s not advised in a class setting on a fixed gear bike because of the risk and the potential change in body position. Taking the leg out, especially for the student who isn’t an experienced cyclist, will often cause riders to alter their hip position, changing their biomechanics. This could happen whether they’re resting the foot on the frame or holding it to the side.

    Getting hit by the moving pedal of a fixed gear bike is just too risky. Doing it on a road bike in your home is one thing; although it would not feel good, it won’t hurt as much as a fixed gear drive-train that doesn’t stop easily. If your leg gets hit by the moving pedal, ouch, but not OUCH like it would be with a heavy flywheel and fixed gear adding momentum to the moving pedal. Even if you’ve got a bike with a lighter flywheel like a Keiser, it still is fixed gear and not advised.

    Also, on your own, you are the only one to blame. But an instructor leading students through a risky exercise is not advised.

    That will teach me to 1) double check the version of an article I upload and 2) do more than a cursory scan after I’ve done that! 😉

  5. I too question single leg drills (although I have found them useful). The dilema here is should we do them or not? If we do single leg drills, it’s easy enough to rest the inactive foot on the frame of the bike out of th way of the pedal.
    All in all, a very helpful article, I’ll be using the ideas here in my classes.

  6. Good article, but I just want to question about single leg cycling, as in taking the foot away and holding it out from the bike. Isn’t this a bit of a no no? To quote Keep It Real – ‘ So what do you do with the other leg? Hold it out to the side? Imagine how quickly you will fatigue in that leg, taking away your concentration from the other leg that you’re supposedly focusing on (but that really needs no focus because it’s being pulled through the hard part anyway).’

    All the other drills seem great though, quick, easy to explain and for the participants to comprehend. Thanks!!

  7. I love the language used to simplify teaching technique! Great article, thank you!

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