Cyclists and Indoor training Like any sport, if you want to get to a certain level everything requires grit, determination and commitment! Cycling also requires a lot of time. There can be weeks where you are spending literally hours in the saddle. But this is still not enough to take your cycling to the next level whether it be distance or pace. If you ask a pro cyclists they will say that what they do indoors is just as important as what they do outside. The indoor training can get you in the best cycling shape for the season.
Here we focus on the main areas that need to be trained indoors, out of the saddle. A strong core is often found in the sprinters! Even basic crunches will do the job but there is a big difference between a proper crunch and a cheating one. If you have time it is worth taking part in a Pilate’s class where you will focus on linear movement where everything is driven through the core. You don’t necessarily need a specific ab machine. Again, medicine balls, TRX suspension cables, stability balls, dumbbells, all of these can vary the basic exercises and challenge your core. Hamstrings also need to be prepared for your rides. Strong, lean hamstrings will get you up the hills and cycle the longer distances. A cyclist will want to work with higher reps to increase muscular endurance.
Again, if you have access to fixed weights the seated or laying leg curl is excellent to isolate this muscle group. Otherwise you can also incorporate using the hamstrings into more of a functional training session using TRX, barbells and kettlebells. The shoulder girdle that needs to be active whilst riding is essential. In fact the shoulder girdle makes up part of your core strength. Back exercises such as the lat pulldown, deadlifts using a bar, seated rows on a fixed machine, a tower, TRX are all great options. As long as you know that you need to target this area you can easily research training programmes or, if you are a member of a gym you can ask the instructor to advise on the best equipment to use. Glutes/ buttocks area. Cyclists do not want to add bulk to their size. If look at the pro’s their frames and build are quite slight.
When strengthening the glutes dynamic moves using dumbbell’s is hugely beneficial as you will tend to strengthen the muscles without gaining size. Dumbbell lunges would be a great exercise to target this area. Quadriceps/front of thigh also need to be conditioned. Agility training is fantastic for this area. Try using a ladder or taking part in a suitable circuit class that will get you right into training the front of thighs. With all these suggestions we recommend at last two indoor training sessions a week as a minimum! Give it a try and see how you get on!
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