Whether you’re interested in improving your speed, increasing your endurance or preventing injuries, strength training should be an essential part of your routine. Here are a few key exercise to incorporate into your regimen.
One of the best workouts to increasing muscle strength in your quads and hamstrings are squats. The great thing about squats is they can be easily done at home or at the gym, with or without weights. If you’re just starting out, try them with little weights or holding a medicine ball, keeping your back straight and chest up as you squat. Gradually add more weight to continue to build muscle strength.
Planks are one of the easiest but most effective workouts with a ton of variations. Core strength is important to cyclists as it helps with handling your bike, especially on inclines, as well as endurance. Planks also help with building shoulder and arm strength which is an added bonus! To challenge yourself, try placing one foot on top of the other which will help target strength in the lower back as well.
While burpees get a bad rep as one of the most hated exercise, they’re also one of the most efficient workouts you can do. Since burpees are a full body workout, they help build muscle and strength throughout as well as improving coordination. They are a quick workout that requires no equipment so they can easily be done from home as well.
Targeting the hamstrings, deadlifts are a great leg workout to improve leg strength needed for long rides. Deadlifts can be done without weights, but are more effective with dumbbells or a single barbell. Try incorporating in some single-leg deadlifts as well for more of a challenge and to really target each hamstring specifically.
Box jumps are a great way to build explosive strength because they require a lot of power in a short amount of time, which will help with inclines and portions of your ride that require extra effort. Box jumps also help with coordination as well as balance which is imperative to cycling. By changing the height of the box, you can easily vary the intensity and customize the jump to your specific needs.