5 Strength Exercises For Cyclists (With Videos)

In this guide we are going to show you a simple routine with 5 useful strength exercises for cyclists that you can do at home a couple of times a week in 30-40 minute sessions.

  1. Squats
  2. Lunges
  3. Single-leg deadlift
  4. Planks 
  5. Russian twist 

Thanks to these 5 exercises not only will you improve your strength and performance on the bike but also your overall physical condition as they’ll help you build a solid muscle mass that prevents injuries. Besides, they’ll increase your resting metabolic rate, making your body consume more calories. Better engine, more gas.

At the end of the post you’ll find some tips to help you develop this routine:

  1. Squats

    It’s a classic leg-strengthening exercise. You can do it with or without weight, depending on your capabilities. For the weight you can use dumbbells, kettlebell balls, milk boxes, water containers, etc. If you are going to use weight don’t forget to warm up before in order to increase blood flow to your muscles and avoid injuries.

    The technique in this exercise is very important so pay attention to the video below and, if possible, do it in front of someone or in front of a mirror to make sure you are doing it right.



  2. Lunges

    Another popular leg-strengthening workout. Like squats you can also do it with or without weight and there are several variations: forward, backward, lateral, combined with upper body movement, etc.

    Before you start adding weight, make sure to practice without any load until you master the body movements and learn how to keep the right body position to avoid imbalances on the knees, ankles and hips. Check out this video to learn how to do it correctly.



  3. Single-leg deadlift

    This exercise is great to test your balance. Although it can be done using two legs, the advantage of doing it with one at a time is that we can work each leg independently and thus correct possible muscular imbalances.

    As in the previous exercises, it’s best to start without weight to ensure the correct technique and then introduce weight using one of the elements mentioned in the squats section. Here is a video showing how to properly execute the single-leg deadlift.


     

  4. Planks

    Planks might be the most hated exercise but, at the same time, it's the easiest and the most beneficial one. Planks are essential to strengthen our core, abdominal area, back and shoulders. We can exercise different muscles depending on the type of plank.

    As always, it is better to start step by step with a front anaerobic plank focusing in maintaining the correct position - as you can see in the video - and then add variations such as lifting the legs one by one, side planks, planks with alternating arm and leg raise, etc.



  5. Russian twist

    Like the four previous exercises, Russian twists can be done at home without any equipment or by adding weight to increase the difficulty. This exercise works the central part of our body and it requires some core strength. If you can't maintain the position, it's best to start without any weight and put your feet on the ground.

    It is a comprehensive exercise that strengthens the abdominals, hips and lower back, useful while cycling but also when we get off the bike. Take a look at this video to see how to do the Russian twists.

 

Once you’re familiar with these five exercises, you should bear in mind the following:

  • It is important to do them correctly, without excessive weight and paying attention to the technique that you can see in the videos.

  • Start out slowly to avoid injuries. In the first sessions do less repetitions and use less weight to prepare the muscles.

  • If you’ve never done this type of exercise, start without weight, doing 3-4 sets of 8-10 repetitions, with 1 minute rest periods. When you are confident and strong enough, increase the number of repetitions and sets. You’ll add weight with time.

  • What weight to use? Rule of thumb: if you can't complete the reps and sets, decrease the weight or do the exercises without it. Once you’re able to complete them easily, add or increase the weight.

  • This is a simple at-home workout routine with very few elements. It's pretty short and can be done all year round. You can add new exercises or variations of the 5 listed above. 
  • Doing this routine 2-3 times a week would be ideal, as consistency is key if you want to start seeing results. You’re also going to need 48 hours between sessions for recovery.

  • One of the biggest concerns for cyclists is weight gain. With these exercises you won't build muscle mass as they're not strength exercises for bodybuilders. They have been designed to strengthen our muscles and our general physical condition.
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