Cycling strength training can be beneficial to your performance by increasing your ability to sprint and climb hills. It is especially important to work on your lower body strength when performing cycling strength training, but there are a number of upper body workouts you can perform as well. Here are 3 cycling strength training exercises that you can do indoors during your off-season.
Exercise #1: Squats
Squats are beneficial cycling strength training workouts because they work muscles of the entire upper leg.
You perform a squat by standing straight with a weight bar across your shoulders behind your neck. Bending only your knees, lower your hips until your thighs are parallel with the floor. Then, straighten your knees and return to a standing position.
To determine a good weight to use when squatting, start off by adding one-half your body weight to the bar and attempt 12 reps. If this weight is too difficult or too easy, adjust this weight up or down by 10 to15% and try again. Continue until you find the weight that gives you the exact workout you’re comfortable with.
Exercise #2: Leg Press
Another great exercise to increase leg strength, leg presses are an alternative to squats (if squats put too much strain on your body). The leg press uses the same movements of squats, except that you do it while lying on a machine, pushing up a stack of weights with your legs. This keeps the strain off of your back.
When doing leg presses, perform 3 sets. Start with 12 reps, then do 10, and finally 8. Rest for 3 minutes between each set. By spreading your legs apart during different sets, you can work different muscles during each set.
To determine what weight to use, start by leg pressing your body weight for 12 reps. Depending on the difficulty of that workout, adjust the weigh up or down by 10 to 15% and continue.
Exercise #3: Leg Extensions
Like leg presses, this exercise is done using an exercise machine, keeping strain off your body. By performing this exercise, you can increase how quickly you are able to peddle.
This exercise allows you to lift a series of weights by bending your legs forward. You sit on a bench with your legs beneath a bar, keeping your legs to shoulder level. When you lift your legs forward, the bar lifts the weights. When doing leg presses for cycling strength training, do 3 sets of 10 reps a piece.
Start with 20% of your body weight and adjust up or down according to the difficulty of the exercise.
These are just 3 cycling strength training exercises to get you started. There are many more strength training exercises that can benefit a cyclist. Experiment and find the perfect exercises that are right for you.