Cyclists are a special breed. Much like rowers, cyclists can stay in a single position and on the same object the entirety of their performance and somehow maintain stellar physiques. But those physiques don’t come easily and they aren’t only cultivated on the bike. Legit cyclists work on their craft in the gym as well, strengthening any weak points they may have. The 5 biggest areas to work on don’t need endless hours of work every day, they just need some specialized work. Here are 5 moves to do to improve each part of your body to help you climb those steep mountains.
Glute Ham Raise – Hamstrings
Cyclists create strong muscles by working against gravity with their own bodyweight. This exercise plays well into that. Strong hamstrings are crucial for the climb so try this move by placing your ankles either under a weighted bar or having a partner hold you down, raise up, then lower your body slowly and as far down as possible before you catch yourself. Bodyweight + Gravity = The most painful duo.
Stiff Legged Deadlifts – Back
Most cyclists who don’t have a strong back will deal with back pain because of the positioning being held throughout a ride. Work on strengthening your back by doing high reps of stiff legged deads. Many people forget that while this move works their hamstrings, it is perfect on back day as your utilizing your lower back and your erectors to not only bring the bar up but also to lower it. Go with slower motions on the lowering to get a full workout.
Leg Press – Glutes
For those times you have to lift out of your saddle and push uphill, strong glutes are a must. Squats are excellent, but the leg press can allow a cyclist to exercise while in the position they maintain for rides. Single leg would work best here, allowing the weight to move your knee completely parallel to your core in the seat, and then executing the move so that your knee never straightens but keeps a slight bend.
Smith Machine Chair Squat – Quads
Cyclists know quad burning pain, and this move is no joke either. This move for reps will tax your quads and forces you to put your weight directly on the front of your legs. Keep your legs closer, going too wide will change up the location a bit, and don’t be afraid to really sit in it. Breaking just below parallel will hit home the best.
Ab Rollout – Abdominals
Many athletes think of the entire body and skip right over the abs, which is a huge mistake. Cyclists may think to overlook abs, concentrating on everything listed above instead, but the fact is that when you’re fatigued and running on fumes, sometimes your core is the only thing holding you on your bike. This rollout move will put you in the same position as when you’re on your bike, and will force you to fully rely on your abdominals to do the work. Try to use your shoulders or legs and you’ll cramp up or fail. Keep your back straight and tighten as you roll out and in to avoid any back pain.