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questions about exercycles, and some info on pilates performer

Posted by alan k on 12/26/99 at 00:00 (014130)

I would like to know peoples' experience with exercycles, (and biking) since some people post mentioning their cyclying.

That seems amazing to me. How can you press on your feet like that?
I'm interested in that kind of exercize.

Is there a best way to cycle, best way to hold your feet, warning signs to look out for? I would be interested to hear positive and negative expereinces with cycling.

Also, I may have tarsal tunnel syndrome so that may make it worse or better for me than pf sufferers.

Thanks for any advice,
alan k

p.s. egghead.com has pilates premier for $300 with free shipping. Premier is the performer with nice wood trim, and usually sells for about $60 more than performer. This seems to be a great price, even for performer let alone premier. See pilates related posts for info on what this is and how it might help.


Re: questions about exercycles, and some info on pilates performer

AlisonG on 12/27/99 at 00:00 (014142)

Dear Alan,
Throughout my long quest for a cure, I have been to podiatrists,orthopedists, and am now about to try a physical therapist. All of them,including the physical therapist I questioned, said biking was fine. Of course, having been used to running eight miles a day I was desperate for some form of exercise. However, when I tried biking, it hurt. The orthopedist told me to bike in a low gear and pedal fast(over 100rpms) for cardiovascular workouts. He also told me to try and place my heals on the pedals so the plantar fascia is not for to bend and be strained. The physical therapist suggested that I tape my feet before biking. I am going to try that. So far I have been okay. If I stay on too long or workout to hard it hurts but I am learning my limits. Also, I asked my doctors if it made a difference whethter I used an upright stationary bike or one where you lean back and pedal. He said it made no difference and that I just had to be careful that I wasn't sitting too far back or too close.
That was my experience. Good luck. Let me know how it works out. Enjoy the new year. ----Alison

Re: questions about exercycles, and some info on pilates performer

Robin B. on 12/27/99 at 00:00 (014144)

I have and use a stationary bike -- although it is far from my preferred form of exercising, which is walking.

What has worked for me is to use athletic shoes that have moderate cushioning and arch support (I use a Reebok leather women's walking shoe) -- but almost no flexibility in the sole. Pedaling works fine for me if I can keep my foot flat and rigid -- unflexed. Then, I place my foot so the pedal hits right about at the arch or a wee bit in back of it, and I am able to pedal without pain. When I used to wear shoes that flexed, I ended up hurting my feet. For me anyway, it's been a matter of stabilizing my foot solidly inside a shoe and then pedaling in such a way that my foot (and fascia) don't have to stretch hardly at all in the pedaling cycle.

I'm not sure about recumbent bikes. Mine is an upright. Last year I had a lot of PT for a knee ligament injury, and the therapist told me a recumbent bike would definitely not be good for the knee ligament and probably would be more difficult to manage the placement of my feet also. So I stick with an upright. Like Alison said, I try to increase my speed for cardiovascular workout purposes, rather than increasing anything that seems like pressure upon my feet. I keep the tension low so I am now pushing down too hard with my feet, and I try to get a workout through speed rather than resistance. Better than nothing I guess.

It all works pretty well. Only problem is -- I don't care much for it. Give me a good old walk any day.


Re: questions about exercycles, and some info on pilates performer

John V on 12/28/99 at 00:00 (014163)

I'm real positive on biking--since I can no longer run or play basketball, I had to find something I can do to get some exercise. I ride nearly every day, putting in 50 to 100 miles per week. This takes some doing--I live in Alaska (27 below this morning), so even just going to work is kind of an expedition. But you gotta do something to keep the blood circulating and the pounds off, right? The key for me has been to wear biking shoes--they've got a completely inflexible sole, usually with a metal or carbon fiber plate running the full length of the shoe. The shoes are designed to increase pedalling efficiency by eliminating foot flex. As long as I'm wearing the right foot gear I can (and have) ridden 100 miles in a day. So . . . I'm a convert and recommend biking to the PF afflicted. At least give it a try.

Re: questions about exercycles, and some info on pilates performer

alan k on 12/29/99 at 00:00 (014192)

Thanks for your post!

It was really helpful but also depressing because I bought a recumbent bike for many dollars because I had it in my mind from somewhere that the recumbent bike was better.

I hope it's okay for someone without a pre-existing ligament condition. Ugh, how frustrating! (it was very, very expensive)

Is you PT flawlessly sentient? I hope it is just an opinion, though of course I also hope that you have a the most knowledgable Pt around for you sake. If you have a chance and don't mind maybe you could ask her if the recumbent bike is bad for most people or only with a condition. (yet the other poster here has knee problems, maye from her bike)

I can't deal with this mistake I may have made-- but give it to me straight if you can...


alan k


Re: questions about exercycles, and some info on pilates performer

AlisonG on 12/27/99 at 00:00 (014142)

Dear Alan,
Throughout my long quest for a cure, I have been to podiatrists,orthopedists, and am now about to try a physical therapist. All of them,including the physical therapist I questioned, said biking was fine. Of course, having been used to running eight miles a day I was desperate for some form of exercise. However, when I tried biking, it hurt. The orthopedist told me to bike in a low gear and pedal fast(over 100rpms) for cardiovascular workouts. He also told me to try and place my heals on the pedals so the plantar fascia is not for to bend and be strained. The physical therapist suggested that I tape my feet before biking. I am going to try that. So far I have been okay. If I stay on too long or workout to hard it hurts but I am learning my limits. Also, I asked my doctors if it made a difference whethter I used an upright stationary bike or one where you lean back and pedal. He said it made no difference and that I just had to be careful that I wasn't sitting too far back or too close.
That was my experience. Good luck. Let me know how it works out. Enjoy the new year. ----Alison

Re: questions about exercycles, and some info on pilates performer

Robin B. on 12/27/99 at 00:00 (014144)

I have and use a stationary bike -- although it is far from my preferred form of exercising, which is walking.

What has worked for me is to use athletic shoes that have moderate cushioning and arch support (I use a Reebok leather women's walking shoe) -- but almost no flexibility in the sole. Pedaling works fine for me if I can keep my foot flat and rigid -- unflexed. Then, I place my foot so the pedal hits right about at the arch or a wee bit in back of it, and I am able to pedal without pain. When I used to wear shoes that flexed, I ended up hurting my feet. For me anyway, it's been a matter of stabilizing my foot solidly inside a shoe and then pedaling in such a way that my foot (and fascia) don't have to stretch hardly at all in the pedaling cycle.

I'm not sure about recumbent bikes. Mine is an upright. Last year I had a lot of PT for a knee ligament injury, and the therapist told me a recumbent bike would definitely not be good for the knee ligament and probably would be more difficult to manage the placement of my feet also. So I stick with an upright. Like Alison said, I try to increase my speed for cardiovascular workout purposes, rather than increasing anything that seems like pressure upon my feet. I keep the tension low so I am now pushing down too hard with my feet, and I try to get a workout through speed rather than resistance. Better than nothing I guess.

It all works pretty well. Only problem is -- I don't care much for it. Give me a good old walk any day.


Re: questions about exercycles, and some info on pilates performer

John V on 12/28/99 at 00:00 (014163)

I'm real positive on biking--since I can no longer run or play basketball, I had to find something I can do to get some exercise. I ride nearly every day, putting in 50 to 100 miles per week. This takes some doing--I live in Alaska (27 below this morning), so even just going to work is kind of an expedition. But you gotta do something to keep the blood circulating and the pounds off, right? The key for me has been to wear biking shoes--they've got a completely inflexible sole, usually with a metal or carbon fiber plate running the full length of the shoe. The shoes are designed to increase pedalling efficiency by eliminating foot flex. As long as I'm wearing the right foot gear I can (and have) ridden 100 miles in a day. So . . . I'm a convert and recommend biking to the PF afflicted. At least give it a try.

Re: questions about exercycles, and some info on pilates performer

alan k on 12/29/99 at 00:00 (014192)

Thanks for your post!

It was really helpful but also depressing because I bought a recumbent bike for many dollars because I had it in my mind from somewhere that the recumbent bike was better.

I hope it's okay for someone without a pre-existing ligament condition. Ugh, how frustrating! (it was very, very expensive)

Is you PT flawlessly sentient? I hope it is just an opinion, though of course I also hope that you have a the most knowledgable Pt around for you sake. If you have a chance and don't mind maybe you could ask her if the recumbent bike is bad for most people or only with a condition. (yet the other poster here has knee problems, maye from her bike)

I can't deal with this mistake I may have made-- but give it to me straight if you can...


alan k