Two cycling drills to improve your pedalling technique

Sessions to improve your aerobic and anaerobic fitness are undoubtedly important but incorporating cycling drills into your training can also have big benefits when it comes to improving performance! Below we introduce you to two of our favourites – spin-ups and single leg drills.


Spin-ups are great for getting the legs accustomed to higher cadences, and improving stability and efficiency whilst doing this. The more efficient you become at a higher leg speed the easier and more comfortable it will feel. As leg speed is crucial for hitting and maintaining higher power outputs improving this can be very beneficial for performance.

Here is an example of a session focused on spin-ups:

Once you have completed your warm-up you need to shift to a relatively easy gear and ensure your turbo is on free ride. You then need to gradually increase your cadence starting at 80RPM, getting higher and higher until it is so fast that you begin to bounce on the saddle. Then you should return to 80RPM. It should take 30 seconds or so for each spin-up. Focus on retaining contact with the pedal through the bottom of the pedal stroke and aim to keep stable on the saddle with good core engagement. After 30s of 80RPM you should begin your next spin-up. You should aim to complete 2 sets of 10 spin-ups with 2 minutes of recovery between sets. These 2 sets should take around 20 minutes to complete. There are no specified power outputs required during the sets as the focus is on cadence. Once both sets are complete you should do a 10-minute cool-down bringing your HR down through zones 3 through to 2 and gradually to 1.

If completing this session regularly it is useful to assess where max RPM is for each of the sessions and hopefully you will see this improve over time. As we mentioned above higher cadences should also begin to feel more natural and less forced as you become more accustomed to this.

Single leg drills 

Single leg drills are fantastic for improving technique and efficiency on the bike. In particular the top of the pedal stroke will become more effective (even whilst riding with both legs). Single leg drills can also help prevent one of your legs over-compensating for the other thus improving any asymmetries you may have in your pedal stroke.

Here is an example of a session focused on single leg drills:

Once you have completed your warmup you a ready to move into the single leg drills. When completing the drills keep both legs clipped in but relax one leg and try your best not to put any force through the pedal with this leg. Pedal through on low resistance with your other leg, focusing on bringing the leg through the top of the pedal stroke efficiently. This will fatigue the hip flexors quickly initially. Once this happens and your leg cannot cleanly move through the top of the pedal stroke, change legs. Once you have done both legs, spin your legs out for 5 minutes before beginning the next set. You should aim to complete around 5 sets. These 5 sets should take around 30 minutes to complete. Again, there are no specified power outputs required during the sets. Once all 5 sets are complete you should do a 10-minute cool-down to bring your HR down through zone 3 through to 2 and finally to 1.


Some people advocate unclipping one leg when completing one leg drills. However, we do not believe this is the most effective method. By unclipping one leg you may become off-centre on the saddle which can have an adverse effect on your posture and will not be representative of your normal riding position.

Final Thoughts

So, we’ve introduced you to two of our favourite cycling drills, now we would love to hear about yours! Simply comment on our IG or FB 😊


As always if you’ve got any questions, please just reach out!

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