Cycling is a fantastic way to stay in shape and boost your cardiovascular health, but it’s important to remember that it primarily works the lower body. To be a well-rounded cyclist, it’s crucial to incorporate strength training exercises that target the upper body, core, and glutes. In this blog post, we’ll be discussing the top 10 strength exercises that every cyclist should include in their training regimen.
Push-ups are an ideal way to strengthen the upper body, particularly the chest, triceps and shoulders. These muscles are vital for keeping proper posture and controlling the handlebars while cycling. To do a push-up, begin in a plank pose with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Bend your body towards the ground, engaging your core and maintaining a straight back. Push yourself up to the starting position and repeat as desired.
Pull-ups are another essential exercise for building upper body strength, targeting the back muscles. Strong back muscles are important for maintaining proper posture while cycling and for handling the handlebars. To perform a pull-up, grasp a pull-up bar with an overhand grip and hang from the bar. Pull your body up towards the bar until your chin is above the bar. Descend slowly to the beginning position and repeat for the required amount of repetitions.
Planks are an excellent way to build the core muscles which play a key role in keeping correct posture and balance while biking. To do a plank, begin in a push-up position with your elbows on the floor and your body in a straight line. Remain in this posture for as long as you wish, making sure to activate your core muscles and keep your spine erect.
Deadlifts are a great exercise for building lower body strength, specifically targeting the glutes and hamstrings. Strong glutes and hamstrings are essential for powering through hills and maintaining proper pedaling technique while cycling. To execute a deadlift, position your feet shoulder-width apart and reach down to grasp a barbell or dumbbell with an overhand grip. Maintain your spine erect as you lift the weight up, keeping your abdominal muscles engaged and knees slightly bent. Bring the load back down to the starting spot and repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
Lunges are an excellent way to increase lower body strength, focusing on the quadriceps and glutes. Having strong quads and glutes is essential for conquering hills while cycling and keeping a good pedaling technique. To perform a lunge, take one stride forward with one foot and flex both legs to a 90-degree angle. Return to the initial position and repeat for the number of reps you’d like before switching legs.
Squats are an excellent way to develop lower body strength, particularly for the quadriceps, glutes, and hamstrings. Having strong quads, glutes, and hamstrings is key for powering up hills when cycling and sustaining good pedaling technique. To do a squat, start with feet hip-width apart and bend your knees until you form a 90-degree angle. Push back up to the beginning position and repeat as many times as you need.
7. Rowing Machine
Rowing machines are great for building upper body strength, specifically targeting the back and shoulders. Strong back and shoulders are important for maintaining proper posture and handling the handlebars while cycling. To operate a rowing machine, sit on the seat and grab the handlebars. Pull the handlebars towards your chest, keeping your back straight and your core engaged. Return the handlebars to their original spot and repeat as many times as desired.
8. Medicine Ball Twists
Medicine ball twists are an excellent exercise for building core strength and toning the obliques. Having strong obliques is key for maintaining good posture and balance while biking. To do a medicine ball twist, sit on the ground with your knees bent and Carry a weighted ball close to your chest. Turn your torso to one side, keeping your feet on the floor and engaging your core. Come back to center and repeat for the desired number of reps before switching sides.
9. Russian Twists
Russian twists are a great exercise for building core strength, specifically targeting the obliques. Strong obliques are essential for maintaining proper posture and stability while cycling. To perform a Russian twist, sit on the ground with your knees bent and hold a medicine ball or weight in front of your chest. Rotate your body to one side, keeping your feet planted and engaging your abdominal muscles. Return to the middle and repeat as many times as you like before switching sides.
10. Box Jumps
Box jumps are a great exercise for building lower body strength, specifically targeting the quads, glutes, and calves. Strong quads, glutes, and calves are essential for powering through hills and maintaining proper pedaling technique while cycling. To perform a box jump, stand in front of a box or step and jump up onto the box, landing with both feet. Return to the starting point and repeat the exercise as many times as desired.
Incorporating these top 10 strength exercises into your training regimen will not only improve your cycling performance but also help prevent injury. Remember to start with light weights and increase the weight and reps as you progress. It’s also important to consult with a professional trainer or physical therapist before starting any new exercise program. Happy training!
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