I’ve been looking through some of my old magazines and came across this biking tip from the Men’s Health August 2009 issue about the Anatomy of the Perfect Pedal Stroke, archiving it here for reference.
1. Push Forward – As you near the top of the stroke (at 11 o’clock) kick your foot forward to initiate an early push for the next revolution.
2. Push Down – Keep this part of the stroke simple: Push the pedal down. Most riders naturally keep their heel just above their toes. Adding ankle flexion and extension actually wastes energy and can lead into injuries.
3. Pull Back – Once the foot approaches the bottom of the stroke, at about the 5 o’clock position, pull your foot backward with your hamstring, as if you’re scraping mud off the bottom of the shoe.
4. Lighten Up – Pulling your foot up is pointless; the downstroke of the other pedal is stronger. Just unweight your foot between the 8 o’clock and the 10 o’clock points so it’s not holding the other foot back.
Source: MH Magazine, August 2009