By Rick Schultz
Here are several quick ways to check which is your dominant leg.
Looking through the recent Question of the Week had me thinking of a quick way to determine which of your legs is dominant.
During bike fitting, I need to know this as a possible reason for pains in their lower body due to irregular pedaling (caused by muscle imbalance).
Figuring it out requires some detective work since, for example, let’s assume someone has right leg dominance.
Sometimes their right leg hurts due to the right leg doing 60% or more of the work while the weaker, non-dominant left leg does less than 40%.
But sometimes their left leg hurts in this situation, due to the left leg trying to stay up with their right leg.
This is where an experienced bike fitter or physical therapist can help solve this problem.
Here are some simple tests:
A. Push back
- Have the person getting tested stand facing you.
- Lightly push on their forehead.
- Continue pushing until they take a step back.
- The leg they step back with will be their dominant (and stronger) leg
B. Skateboard or Surfing
- Which leg is behind when you skateboard or surf. That should be the dominant leg.
C. At a stop sign
- Which leg do you support yourself with when you unclip and put your foot down. That will be the dominant leg.
Hopefully one of these methods will help you figure it out if you don’t know already.
Coach Rick Schultz is an avid cyclist who trains, races and coaches in Southern California. Rick is an engineer by trade, and in addition to being a coach, he’s a bike fitter and prolific product reviewer. He’s the author of Stretching & Core Strengthening for the Cyclist in the RBR eBookstore. Check his product reviews website, www.biketestreviews.com, and his coaching site, www.bikefitnesscoaching.com. Click to read Rick’s full bio.