Cycling season is fast approaching!!
By: Jackie Collins, February 15th 2013
Fortunately for us west coasters, we are able to get outside and enjoy cycling earlier in the season than most. Gastown Cycling (the team I ride with) sets off for their first training ride in March and I couldn’t be happier. Being able to ride outdoors again excites me and is very different from spinning inside on a stationary bike.
Cycling is a great way to improve cardiovascular endurance, strength and stamina (to name a few benefits) and has very little to no impact on the joints.
We have to remember that when performing in any sport it is crucial to maintain lean mass along with flexibility in order to function at our best! This is why strength training in the gym is so important before and during the season. Cycling on its own is not enough!
Here are a few great cycling strength exercises to work on. Remember, please consult with your doctor before performing any exercise program for the first time. Make sure you feel comfortable with the movements before trying them on your own.
Warm up for 5-10 minutes before beginning this circuit.
1. Single Leg Squat or Negative Squat (6-10 reps/leg, 2-3 sets)
Stand on your left leg, facing away from a bench. Holding your arms and your right leg in the air in front of you, slowly lower your body until your butt is slightly higher than your breaking point. Keep your weight in your heels and chest up. Repeat on your right leg once you have finished your repetitions on your left.
2. Power Bridge (10-12 repetitions, 2-3 sets)
Lie on your back with your knees bent at 90 degrees. Have your hands by your sides or across your chest. Drive your hips upwards using your heels. Form a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. Hold for 3-5 seconds, drop your hips back down to the floor and repeat. Make sure to squeeze your glutes (butt cheeks) at the top of the movement.
3. Dumbbell Squat to Overhead Press (10-12 repetitions, 2-3 sets) (weight will vary based on strength levels)
Place your feet shoulder width apart and your hands at your shoulders. Drop down into a squat – Pushing your hips back and keeping your knees behind your toes (weight in heels). Drive upward through your heels and press the dumbbells over your head to full extension (arms next to your ears). Drop the weights back to your shoulders and repeat.
4. Plank/Side Plank (30 seconds each x 4, 2-3 sets )
Front Plank – Position your elbows directly under your shoulders and your toes under your ankles. Have your hips off the floor and your body completely flat. Hold here for as long as possible. Stop if you feel any lower back pain.
Side Plank – On your side, position your elbow directly under your shoulder and stack your feet. Keep your hips off the ground and make sure you aren’t twisting forward or back (your shoulders, knees and heels should be stacked) – Hold here for as long as you can.
For further information on this program and more please email Jackie Collins and firstname.lastname@example.org
Yours in good health,