Cyclists are known for their commitment to riding their bikes and ticking the boxes on Training Peaks for all those tough interval sessions and long rides. However, strength training is one part of the training we’re not known for being very consistent. We know we’re speaking for many riders when we say we’d rather ride outside in the sun than drag ourselves to the gym. Strength training is vital for developing a stronger cycling base and improving your on-bike performance. We’ve made it easy for you to get stronger and avoid injury with this no-equipment, do-at-home, quick session to incorporate into your daily or weekly routine.
One of the major muscle groups used when cycling is the glutes, so having strong ones is imperative to being a better cyclist. Because they are extensively used, the glutes tend to be very tight in riders.
Glute bridges are fantastic for activating and strengthening the glutes and core muscles. The movement also helps stretch your muscles around the hips and lower back, which tend to be tighter and sore in cyclists.
How to: Start by lying on your back with your legs bent at 90 degrees and feet firmly on the floor. Push your hips as high as possible by activating/squeezing your glutes and contracting your hamstrings. Keep your feet and shoulders on the ground. Hold for 3-5 seconds, then slowly drop your hips back to the floor. Don’t rush this. Repeat 3x10 reps
Single leg glute raises- Straighten one leg and lift it into the air, completing the movement 1 leg at a time.
Weighted glute raises- Increase the difficulty by placing a weight onto your hips. We like to use a weighted bar or a dumbbell, but any weight will work.
Deadlifts are known for being difficult, and people tend to stay away from them. However, this hip-hinge movement is simple and beneficial for developing lower-body muscle strength and stability. Single-leg deadlifts can be done with or without weight and activate hamstrings, glutes, and key stabilisers you’ll use when riding.
Start in a standing position with your feet hip-width apart. Lean forward, shifting your weight onto one leg while your other extends off the floor behind you. Lift your extended leg back, “hinging” your body forward into a T position. You should bend your standing leg slightly during this movement. Your arms will stay hanging straight down. Return to a neutral standing position and repeat the action on each leg.
Aim for 3 sets of 20 (10 per leg).
Add weight- You can increase the difficulty of the single-leg deadlift by adding dumbbells or weights in each hand.
Balance- Doing this movement on a Bosu ball will increase the balance and stability benefits. This is great to do once you have mastered the technique and is very beneficial for triathletes/duathletes.
Also known as a walking plank, this exercise is a plank variation. Commandos are a fantastic exercise that assist with stability and core strength. These can be done almost anywhere and require no equipment. Commandos work your entire posterior chain, upper body, core and quads; finding an exercise that beats it is hard.
A commando is, in essence, a high-to-low plank movement repeated multiple times whilst holding your body above the ground. Start in a low plank position with your elbows shoulder-width apart and hips in line with your shoulders. Keeping your hips straight, push yourself up into a high plank, one arm at a time; once in a high plank, drop back down into a low plank and repeat. Alternate the arms that you use to push up from.
Aim for 3 sets of 10
Add balance- Rest your feet or arms onto a Bosu ball to increase the difficulty and rewards of these commandos.
Lunges are a fantastic exercise to include in your training routine as a cyclist as they target your quad, hips and hamstrings one leg at a time. On top of legs, lunges also activate muscles in the lower back and core, helping make you a stronger, faster rider. They’re simple and easy to do and require very little space or skill to execute.
Step forward from a standing position, bending your trailing leg until your back knee almost touches the ground and your leading leg/knee at a 90-degree angle.
Maintaining good form when lunging; avoid extending your knee past your front foot and flexing your back forward/backwards. Instead, keep your knee aligned with your front foot and your bike straight in a neutral position.
Aim for 3 sets of 10.
Add weight- To increase the difficulty, add a weighted bar or bicycle on your shoulders or kettlebell in each hand.
Walking lunges- The same as a regular lunge; instead of returning to the starting position, take a step forward with your trailing leg, bending into another lunge.
While this technically isn’t an exercise, we think it will strengthen your cycling. You can protect your bike with our bicycle insurance against accidental and malicious damage, theft and more. You’ll be riding with confidence knowing that we’ve got your back, and we’re pretty sure that that confidence adds at least 10 watts to your FTP.
How to: Click here and take out a quick, easy, obligation-free quote to get your bike now