There are four areas of exercise in regard to road cycling strength training. Road cycling starts with the leg muscles for speed, moves into the back and abdominal muscles for maintaining a good posture, and uses the strength of the heart and lungs for the long haul. Whether you are a sprint racer on the paved track, a racer climbing paved mountain roads or just a straight-ahead road racer, the same muscles need to be in shape.
These following areas will help you increase your speed and distance on the road. Let’s now explore the four areas:
The entire leg needs to be strong. Upper legs are important for moving those pedals for long distances at fast speeds. Therefore, the best muscles to start with are the quads. Performing sets of squats and lunges will help build the upper leg. You can use both free weights or a resistance machine. Next place would be the lower leg and the primary muscle are the calves. Weighted toe raises can build a lean, strong calve.
Tip: Performing the exercise in sets of three is a good start. Keep in mind higher weight and higher amount of repetitions will help keep the muscles lean, which is good for road cycling.
The heart and lungs play a huge part in having that burst of needed energy or in maintaining the long-haul energy. Primarily, the best way to build endurance is to get on the bike and go. However, for proper conditioning, you must build both aerobically and anaerobically. The muscle exercises will help build you anaerobically giving you that burst of energy for a pick-up in pedal speed. And aerobic energy will be used for the long distance. Utilizing bike interval training will build both as well. Differing intervals of distance and speed can build and challenge the heart and lungs.
Tip: A healthy diet not only helps keep the body lean, but also helps the heart.
3. Weight Training
The posture and sitting position play a big part in keeping the body comfortable during a long distance cycle or quick sprint lap. The abdominal muscles in conjunction with the lower back muscles are the core of good posture. Sets of crunches, leg raises and weighted side bends can work this core. Performing pull downs can help build the rest of the back muscles. Shoulder exercises can also help maintain a strong sitting posture. Shrugs and various dumbbell raises can build strong shoulders. Ultimately, the cyclists needs strong, yet lean muscle for successful road cycling.
Tip: Make sure to have enough protein in the diet. Helps with muscle development and recovery.
Any time you do strength training and endurance conditioning, there is a need to stretch the muscles out. Stretching will help the muscles be more flexible and maintain go circulation throughout the body. Static stretches of the hamstrings, quads and calves are good for pre- and post-workout. Toe touches, both sitting and standing, are great for the back.
Tip: Stretching enhances the benefits to strength training.
Road cycling takes dedication and discipline, so in turn it takes these two things to follow a useful strength training program. Each month of exercise will lead to a fitter body and mind ready for the road.