If you are a competitor, wanting to win your next race, there are specific exercises you need to do in order to be able to cycle better, faster and blow your competition away. Spending hours on your bike may not be enough anymore, especially if you have been biking for a long time. You may need to ramp things up a bit. For maximum results, combine both strength training and cardio. Try these 5 exercises to get in better shape for cycling.
1.Core: Many trainers still believe that floor ab work is best, as opposed to modern-day abs machines. It looks like those old-fashioned crunches on the floor still give the best results. Lie on the floor, or a mat, with your hands behind your head. Curl your torso forward toward your knees, making sure to bring your shoulders 6 inches off the ground; don’t sit up entirely. Hold this move for a few seconds, pressing your lower back to the floor. Return to the start position. You should do at least 200 crunches every day.
2.Hamstrings: You can do these in a gym. Leg work is one of the most important areas of the body to get in shape when you’re looking to improve your cycling performance. Leg Curls – find a leg curl machine, and adjust the machine to your desired weight resistance. Lie face down and place your legs beneath the padded lever. Hold the handles at the side of the machine; as you breathe out, curl up your legs as far as they can go, without letting go of the lever. Hold this position for one minute, then lower your legs down as you inhale. Do three sets of 20.
3.Glutes: These can be done in a gym, or at home if you have a set of weights. Reverse lunge – get a set of dumbbells that are between 10 and 15% of your body weight. Stand with your feet hip-width apart; step back using your left leg into a reverse lunge position. Keep your back straight and shoulders level throughout the move. Come back to the starting position and repeat. Do three sets of 20 for each leg.
4.Deadlift: Use a barbell, with weights totaling about 45 pounds for this move; bend at your knees and hips; grab the bar. Arch your lower back slightly, but don’t bend your arms. Stand up slowly with the bar, without letting your lower back round. Hold this position for one second, and then lower the bar slowly. Do three sets of 20.
5.Quads: For the best quads, try the agility ladder – wrap resistance bands around your ankles, and shuffle side-to-side through the ladder for at least 20 minutes. If your gym has a Jacobs Ladder, climb up and down for 100 reps. This is great for both cardio and strength training.
When you’re training for strength, never work the same muscles two days in a row; your muscles need time to recuperate. It may sound strange, but to get in the best shape for biking, you need to get off the bike, and hit the weights and floor mats. This will give you the strength and stamina you need to last longer on the bike. For endurance races and everyday use, create a workout schedule and stick to it; you’ll notice the difference within a couple of weeks.