Cycling is a sport of continuous improvement. Most avid cyclists know that a well-rounded workout routine is needed to improve overall strength. But how do you train to gain speed and agility on your bike?
Try adding these exercises to your gym routine to build strength and muscles in all the right places for explosive speed!
Creating power through exercises
Cyclists are well known for their powerful legs. Cycling alone will not build power and speed. To get faster, you will need to spend some time in the gym. Building a strong core and using strength training will improve your cycling.
When creating a workout plan, be sure to include strength, core, and cardio. Before you workout, stretch and warm-up; jumping straight into a workout can cause injury or overstretching the muscles. You run the risk of prolonged recovery time.
Try adding these workouts to your next gym session to better your explosive pedal power!
1. Squats, Squats, Squats!
One of the best workouts for any cyclist is the humble squat. Your quads and hamstrings get a workout, increasing flexibility and movement in your hips and knees! Squats target all the areas that are needed for strong pedal stroke power.
How to squat:
- Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. Place a booty band on your mid-thighs (these will help you concentrate on your squat form!)
- Slowly lower your hips, like you are squatting down to sit.
- Your knees should be bent, and your hips pushed back. Keep your feet flat on the floor.
- Lock your fingers together and hold them in front of you with your arms straight.
- Hold when you get to the lowest point you can go, keep your back straight, and rise again.
- Repeat 15 times, rest for 10 seconds, and repeat for another two sets.
2. Single leg deadlifts
Single leg deadlifts are one of those exercises that benefit everyone. The act of independently working out each leg can help correct imbalances in the legs.
How to do a single leg deadlift like your lift depends on it!
- Standing with your feet hip-width apart, place a light booty band on your thighs.
- Holding a kettlebell or two dumbells, lean forward in your hips and shift your weight onto your left leg.
- Hinge forward, allowing the weight in your hands to guide you along. Your right leg can extend out behind you.
- Keep your standing leg slightly bent, touch the kettlebell to the ground, or as far as you can go.
- Hinging back to standing, repeat with your right leg.
- Repeat for 3 sets of 10 reps on each leg.
3. Take the plunge, do some lunges
Lunges work with all the right muscles in your lower body. Your hips, quads, and hamstrings are all targeted. These are best done in a room or outside where you can lunge walk forward. Try these with booty bands for a deeper workout!
How to lunge like a pro:
- Standing with your legs shoulder-width apart. If using a resistance band, place one like these at Victorem on your thighs.
- Step with your left leg forward, allow your back knee to bend, and touch the ground lightly.
- Rise into a standing position step with your right leg forward.
- Take ten steps forward with each leg, rest for 45 seconds, turn around and take ten steps forward with each leg. Rest for another 45 seconds, and repeat for a final set of 10 steps.
4. Russian twists
Any cyclist will know that good posture and flexibility are key to better pedal power and faster lap times. Russian twists work your obliques and core.
How to twist like a Russian:
- Sitting on a mat, raise your feet off the ground.
- Cross your feet at the ankles.
- Holding a weight in both hands, twist your body to touch the weight to the floor next to your left hip.
- Twist to the right and touch the weight to the ground.
- Your feet should remain in the air and not touch the ground!
- Repeat for 3 sets of 15 reps
5. In & out Jump Squats
Feel the burn with these intense squats; these work the outer thighs and glutes! Use a booty band for maximum focus.
One, two, jump squat, let’s go!
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- With a booty band placed mid-thigh lower into a comfortable, light squat.
- Jump your feet in and out.
- Continue for 10 jumps per set, repeat for 4 sets
- Enjoy the burn!
6. When in doubt, do a plank
Planks seem simple, right? They are anything but simple, working your upper body – abs, shoulders, core, and your lower back. Work your way up to longer planks.
The simple plank:
- On a mat, lie flat on your stomach.
- Ready your feet and raise onto your forearms and toes.
- Engage your core and straighten your back. Lock your fingers together for balance.
- Challenge yourself: Alternate lifting your legs one at a time.
- Aim to hold your plank for 3 minutes.
7. Dirty 30 Cycling Exercise
When increasing speed and endurance, interval training is an excellent way to improve your stamina and test yourself with HIIT cardio action.
How to get dirty in 30!
- Lightly ride for ten minutes to warm up
- Kick it up a notch and ride at maximum capacity for 30 seconds
- Slow down and easy pedal for 60 seconds
- Ride at full power for 30 seconds and slow down for 60
- Repeat for 3 more sets of 30 max – 60 easy
- Cool off with a 3-minute easy pedal
- Repeat from the beginning for 2 more sets
- Make sure that you cool down for at least 5 minutes and stretch before you end your training session.
Speed isn’t overnight
Remember increasing your speed on a bike is not an overnight process. It takes time, effort, and solid dedication to bettering your sport. HIIT and endurance training are fantastic ways to build your explosive cycling power. Strength and core exercises will help you kick it up a gear and perform at every race.