It may sound strange, but getting off the bike can help make you stronger, fitter and faster, as well as decrease your risk of injury. It’s a chance to develop muscles that get neglected while on the bike and address any weaknesses. Check out the suggestions below that will have you ready for your spring cycling.
1. Cross-country skiing
Cross Country Skiing is the perfect cross-training sport for cyling. It uses the muscles in ranges of motion that are very similar to cycling, while giving your mind and muscles a much-needed break from pedaling. You’ll enhance strength in your hips, quads and abdomen – the key sources of power you use to drive the pedals, as well as give your heart and lungs a good workout.It's also great fun.
2. Work on your core
If you've ever left spin class or a long ride with a sore back, a weak core is to blame. Cycling's tripod position, in which the saddle, pedals and handlebar support your weight, relies on core strength but doesn't build it. Try performing long sets of exercises like the plank and side plank—holding for up to three minutes.
Emelie Forsberg demonstrates the plank
Swimming is also a great way to improve your upper body strength and balance and can improve flexibility as well as offering some additional cardiovascular fitness. It forces you to use your upper body at a relatively low impact. Try to vary the strokes between front crawl, backstroke and breaststroke.
We recommend you swim indoors during winter! ©zooom.at/Markus Berger
4. Weight training
Doing the same activity everyday can lead to imbalances in the body, and this can lead to injury. And your time on the bike needs more than just quad strength—your core, low back, triceps, and even your neck take a lot of strain from long bouts of pedaling. Weight training will increase both your cycling strength and efficiency. Try lunges, dumbbell squats, single-leg deadlift, swiss ball hamstring curls and bent over row with high reps and moderate resistance that develop muscular endurance.
4. Yoga and Pilates
You’re more than likely tight, stiff or imbalanced from too-many months of cycling without other physical activity. Yoga and Pilates can do wonderful things for cyclists because they lengthen and strengthen a whole host of muscles. They also teach you how to activate and strengthen your core muscles.
Will Trubridge practises yoga for his freediving
Need more inspiration for your training? Head over to Movescount and download a training plan.