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  • Writer's pictureHelen

Strength exercises for cyclists

Training as a cyclist involves hours spent on the bike, whether that’s out on the road, mountain biking or static bike training. Cycling involves a lot of repetitive movement patterns, which can lead to the strengthening of certain muscles and the over use of others. Therefore, strength training can complement cycling by helping to maintain muscular balance, good posture and reduce the risk of injury from excessive strain on certain structures. 

Whether you are a competitive cyclist training for an event, riding with a local club or new to cycling, these strength exercises will help to enhance your ability by improving your strength, power and endurance.

1. Squats - This compound movement works to strengthen the larger muscle groups in the lower body, which are all used when cycling.

2. Lunges - The pushing motion involved as you rise from the lunge, replicates the same movement as when you push down on the pedal. The lunge works all of the muscles used in cycling: glutes, hamstrings and quads and calves.

3. Kettlebell swings - This explosive movement helps to build endurance and strengthen the posterior leg muscles to develop a strong pedal stroke. This helps when cycling up hills.

4. Deadlifts (with a bar or hand weights) - this exercise strengthens the lower back, glutes, hamstrings and quads. Strengthening the lower back is important to help maintain a good posture when cycling, as these muscles can become weaker and stretched when spending hours cycling in a forward lean position.

5. Burpees - A full body exercise that increases your heart rate and cardiovascular fitness, which is required for cycling. It is an explosive movement that also helps with building a powerful pedal stroke. 

6. Squat jumps or box jumps - This is another explosive exercise that helps to build leg power - perfect for sprinters.

7. Clam - This exercise strengthens the glutes, in particular glute medius, which needs to engage when cycling to keep the knee and leg aligned.  If this muscle is weak, cyclists often begin to develop knee pain.

8. Glute Bridges - This exercise builds endurance and involves the glutes, quads and hamstrings. This exercise also helps to strengthen the core, which helps give stability during long distance rides.

9. Russian twists - this abdominal exercise engages and strengthens the oblique muscles, which helps to keep the core stable. If the obliques are weak then the torso can move excessively from side to side and twist as you pedal, which can cause you to use more energy than needed and become fatigued quickly.

10. Planks - This is another exercise option that helps to build core strength, which will increase core stability when cycling.

11. Tricep extensions - It is helpful to strengthen your triceps, as a lot of time is spent leaning forward on the handle bars whilst cycling and these muscles can begin to ache alot if they are weak.

We hope these exercises are helpful and will complement your cycling training to improve your performance. If you have any questions or would like further information, please feel free to contact us and our team will be happy to help you as much as we can!

Best wishes,

Choice Physio

Tel: 01279 882518 


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