strength and conditioning for cycling

Winter Strength & Conditioning for cyclists

Winter is an ideal time to concentrate on strength and conditioning work.  With the weather worsening time in the saddle will naturally reduce so the off-season presents real opportunities to build your pedalling muscles along with conditioning the core giving you a solid platform for pedalling.

This routine will make you stronger for the start of the season and they can help alleviate common injuries such as lower back and knee pain.

There many exercises that can be done but I’ve focused on some key movements meaning you should be able to squeeze this workout at least once a week.

Squat

If you’re only going to do one movement, do this one. The squat is power exercise for cyclists and perhaps the cornerstone of your strength regime and doing them.

-Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and out at thirty degrees.

-With your arms out to the front to aid balance, lower by bending your knees so that your thighs are at least parallel to the floor but ensure you maintain a natural arch in your lower back.

-Pause at the bottom and then return to the start position by straightening your legs but not locking your knees and then repeat.

– Aim for 3×8 or 2 x12 reps with 60sec rest between sets.

Difficulty can be increased by pausing at the bottom of the movement or by holding a dumbbell in the goblet position in front of your chest.

Split Squat

If you’re only going to do one movement, do this one. The squat is power exercise for cyclists and perhaps the cornerstone of your strength regime and doing them.

-Take a good stride forward and find a stable balance point.

-Lower yourself by dropping your rear knee towards the floor and bending your front leg to ninety degrees.

-Focus on not allowing your front knee beyond your toes of your front foot, keeping your trunk upright and minimising any sideways movement.

-Return to the start position by straightening your legs and repeat.

Aim for 3 x 12 reps on each leg

This exercise targets many of the most important pedalling muscles and also works the core muscles, which are vital for maintaining good form on the bike. Since they work one leg at a time they are very cycling specific targeting quadriceps, hips and hamstrings.

The Plank

This exercise is one of the best all-round movements that a bike rider can do. The core is targeted specifically and a strong core helps create the best platform for pedalling.

James Walsgrove

My cycling career started in 2005 when I purchased my first road bike and I was immediately hooked. Since then I have completed numerous cycling challenges including Ironman, Lands’ End to John O Groats, Mt Ventoux (all 3 ascents), London to Paris, the BBAR challenge which included a 12hour TimeTrial and more recently the Mallorca 312.

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