THE STRENGTH TO RIDE
Training to ride the best? Focusing on your riding technique might not be enough! You need to build strength to be able to push through the tough laps with full power.
Here are the best exercises to build up your strength to ride hard!
Leg strengthening exercises for cycling
Extend your left leg behind and bring it forward to your right leg. Bend this knee so you are in a lunge position and bring forward your arms to balance. Now jump up and switch legs in the air, landing on the other leg forward.
You would need to stand against a wall. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart. Straighten your back by pulling your shoulders back. Take your right leg and arms in the front while sending your hips back to a squat. Without lifting your heel, get as low into the squat as possible while maintaining your balance. stand back up slowly, exhaling as you rise. Repeat on the other side.
Gym exercises for cyclists
Seated on a leg press machine, place your feet about hip-width apart on the platform. With all your force, push the sled while straightening your legs. Unlock the sled and bend at the hips and knees to lower the sled until your legs are in a 90-degree position. Push back to start and repeat.
Sit on the floor with knees bent, and heels touching the floor. Hold a dumbbell in both hands near your chest with relaxed shoulders. Lean straight back from the hips, keeping your back straight, and only engage the abs. Your arms should be close to the body, heels touching the floor. Twist from the waist to the left, then center, and then right. Return to the starting position. Continue alternating sides.
This strengthens your obliques which helps in minimizing the rotation of your trunk as your legs pedal up and down. You are less susceptible to aches and fatigues.
Weight training for cycling
Single leg deadlifts
This is a must-include exercise in any fitness regime. Deadlifts are great for cyclists as they target the hip and hamstring muscles. They help maintain correct posture and build strength so each leg supports load independently. Start with a little weight and aim to get the technique right. Do each rep slowly with a slightly bent knee, slightly arched back, and tightened core.
Facedown on the mat with arms extended out straight overhead. Straighten your legs and keep them about hip-width apart. Slowly lift your feet, chest, and hands putting pressure on your glutes. Take the right arm and left leg higher. Then switch and continue to alternate.
This exercise is best for cyclists as it targets the entire back which is affected due to continuous sitting and weakening effects therefrom.
Begin by taking the high plank position. Your wrists should be placed under your shoulders with hands-on two dumbbells. Place feet shoulder-width apart. Bend elbows to perform a push-up. Keep your hips level and back straight and pull the right dumbbell towards your right ribs. Return back to the floor and then pull the left dumbbell up to the left ribs. Return to complete one rep. Repeat.
Upper back strength and a strong core are what you require to maintain the best posture to ride the bike. This exercise helps improve your ability to transfer power as you want. This is required especially when you make climbs and want to push the pedals with force.