For improved performance, health benefits and injury prevention, you should always include strength training off the bike as part of your cycling routine. Here, we detail 11 home exercises that will help you be a cycle faster.
Cycling Home Workout Exercises
Lifting weights at home is a key part of your off-bike training regime. It will help you cycle faster and helps retain muscle volume as you age. This means you can continue to ride quickly throughout your life. Adding strength also helps protects against injury. Meanwhile, it also only takes a few hours each week.
During the off-season, try and lift weights two or three days each week and aim for strength gains. To retain the strength you’re building while riding in the spring and summer, lift once or twice per week during this time. Don’t worry about pushing the intensity too much, however.
For those of us that prefer to use the weights at gym and don’t own any of our own workout equipment, fear not – you can use everyday items such as laundry detergent bottles, food tins, cutlery tied together or socks filled with pebbles.
Take a look at our tips for getting the most out of your home weight-lifting and off-bike exercise routine.
Time it Right
Lift weights only after easy rides when you are properly warmed up, but not tired. You should also include gentle stretching into this routine as well. Depending on the time of the year, your warm-up rides should last about 20 minutes in winter and 10 to 15 minutes in summer for the whole routine.
Get a Leg up on Training
During spring and summer, riding usually provides enough work for your legs. If you want to push yourself harder, try squats on the bike, or try using a slightly larger than normal gear on climbs or when riding into the wind.
Be sure to warm up carefully before doing this and don’t try it if you have knee problems. In winter, simple exercises, such as lunges and step-ups can keep your quadriceps strong alongside running. All of these exercises will make you cycle faster in the long run.
Don’t Ignore Your Core
Start with hold times of 30-60 seconds per round of core exercises and progress to 60-90 second hold times as you go through offseason training
Lie on your back with your legs bent and feet flat on floor. Lift hips up to ceiling whilst engaging your glutes. Return to the floor.
Start on both your hands and knees. Extend your right arm up in front of you at the same time as lifting the left leg out behind you. Return to floor and change to the other side.
Lie on your back with your hands directly above your chest and knees above your hips. Extend your right arm to perpendicular to the floor at the same time as extending the left leg (without touching to the floor). Pull both limbs back into centre of the body and switch to the other side.
Lying flat face down on the floor, with the elbows beneath the shoulders, lift your body weight up onto both your forearms and either knees or toes. Lifting one leg can add a degree of difficulty to each set and further target the lower back.
Renegade rows are a full body workout that target similar muscles as the plank, with the addition of the upper back and arms. Rows will help build great endurance within your upper body.
In a strong plank or half plank position with dumbbells or home workout alternative weights in each hand. Row right arm into the body, keeping the elbow close to the side of the body and maintaining square hips.
Return to floor and repeat on left side. To add a level of difficulty, add a push up between reps.
Kettle Bell Swings
When speaking about power endurance, kettle bell swings are the first exercise that comes to mind. Proper technique is important, so start with lighter weight and progress from there.
Keep your core strong, back straight and thrust from your hips and lower body, propelling your arms and weight to swing forward. Kettle bell swings will target your quads, hamstrings and hips. Perform swings with an explosive movement and hold onto the kettle bell or your household alternative weight tightly!
Single Leg Deadlifts
These deadlifts target the hamstrings and hips. Incorporating single leg exercises into your regime helps correct muscle imbalances. This is because each leg is forced to support the load independently. Using either kettlebells, dumbbells or your household items in your right hand. With a straight or slightly flexed back, with your left knee slightly bent and your core engaged tilt forward from your pelvis, lifting the right leg behind the body until parallel with floor. Return to start position and then repeat 10 times. Switch to the other leg and repeat exercises. Ensure each rep is performed with a slow, steady movement.
Squats should be a staple of your off-season training regime. Front squats work the hips, quadriceps and hamstrings and are great for your maximum strength and muscle endurance phases. Hold barbells, kettle bells or any other weight loaded in front of the body. Squat down to a 90-degree angle on the knees, sitting the hips backwards and maintaining a strong core. Then drive back up to start position and repeat 10 – 15 reps.