The 10 Essential Strength Training Exercises for Cyclists
As a cyclist, you know that you need to focus on both endurance and strength training to increase your performance. While endurance training is key for improving your cycling ability and overall fitness, strength or weight training is also essential – especially if you want to improve your power-to-weight ratio and ride harder and faster for longer periods of time. In addition to improving your cycling performance, strength training can also help protect you from injuries. So, if you’re looking to take your cycling game up a notch, make sure you add these ten essential strength training for cyclists exercises into your routine!
1. Squats: squats are an excellent exercise for strengthening the lower body specifically your quads, hamstrings, and glutes – all of which are critical muscles for proper cycling leg strength. To do a squat, stand with your feet shoulder width apart, then slowly lower yourself down until your thighs are parallel to the ground. This is your starting position. Be sure to keep your back straight and your core engaged throughout the entire movement.
2. Lunges: lunges are another great exercise for targeting the quads, hamstrings, and glutes increasing the power of your pedal stroke. To do a lateral lunge, stand with one foot in front of the other, then slowly lower yourself down until both knees are at 90 degrees. Make sure to keep your back straight and engage core muscles as you lunge.
3. Deadlift: deadlifts are an excellent exercise for strengthening your hamstrings, glutes, and back muscles. To do a deadlift, lift a barbell or weighted object off the ground by thrusting your hips forward then squeezing your glutes to stand up straight. Slowly lower the weight down again by hinging at the hip while keeping your core engaged.
4. Crunches: crunches are probably the most well-known abs exercise out there, but their benefits go way beyond core strength (which will improve your cycling performance). To do a crunch, lie face-up on the floor with your legs bent or straight and pull your ribcage down toward your waist.
5. Shoulder Press: shoulder presses are an excellent exercise for strengthening your shoulders and triceps – both of which are important muscles for cycling. To do a shoulder press, hold a barbell or weighted object over your head with your arms extended and palms facing forward. Lower it to the back of your neck, then push it up again. To help you get the most out of this exercise, be sure to engage your core throughout.
6. Dip: dips are another great upper body exercise for strengthening your triceps and shoulders, among other muscles. To do a dip, place your hands behind you on a bench or chair that’s about hip height with your fingers pointing forward. Then, lower yourself down until your elbows are 90 degrees or parallel to the ground before pressing back up again.
7. Romanian Deadlift: Romanian deadlifts are an excellent exercise for strengthening your hamstrings and glutes – both of which are important muscles for cycling. To do a Romanian deadlift, hold a barbell or weighted object in front of you with your arms straight and hands placed shoulder-width apart. Slowly bend your knees, bringing the weight down towards the ground as you keep your back straight and core tight. Make sure only to go as low as possible while maintaining proper form – there’s no need to overdo it.
8. Pull-ups: pull-ups are an excellent exercise for strengthening the muscles of the upper body, your back, biceps, and core muscles – all of which play a crucial role in cycling. To do a pull-up, hold onto the bar with an overhand grip that’s just beyond shoulder-width apart and hang from it so that your arms are fully extended. Then, pull yourself toward the bar until your chin is over it before lowering back down again.
9. Tricep Extensions: tricep extensions are an exercise that hits all three heads of your triceps (similar to how push-ups give you great results for strengthening your whole chest). To do a tricep extension, grab a dumbbell with one hand and rest the weight on your knee. Then, bend your elbow at 90 degrees in front of you so that it forms a right angle before straightening it out again.
10. Push-ups: push-ups are another classic exercise that builds strength throughout your chest for cycling – not just in your pectorals. To do a push-up, place your hands on the ground slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and extend your legs so that you’re supporting yourself with just your toes. Then, lower your chest until it almost touches the ground before pushing back up again – engage your core throughout to avoid arching your back.
Breaking a sweat and working hard is great, but you can’t neglect your strength training regimen. The ten exercises listed in this post are the perfect place to start for any cyclist looking to improve their performance by building muscle and coordination and their entire body. If you want an individualized strength training for cyclists plan that includes these specific exercises, we’re here for you! Drop us a line at [email protected] or chat with one of our coaches on Facebook Messenger today about setting up your own personalized cycling workout routine based on what muscles need strengthening most (and which ones might be holding back other areas).