IT doesn’t matter what level you’re at – training off the saddle should be just as much part of your preparation as putting in the cycling miles.
Not only can complementing your long rides with strength and conditioning workouts prevent pesky injuries, which can keep you off the bike entirely, but they also get you fitter and faster.
“Gym workouts are key for improving muscular strength and endurance, which build power output on the bike,” says personal trainer Amanda O’Hare, who has devised this special workout for cyclists.
“The more muscle you can build, particularly in the legs, the more you can dramatically boost your time and distance.”
Try this one to three times per week, depending on your schedule and ability.
HOW TO DO IT: Perform one set of each move for the allotted reps in a circuit.
Rest whenever you need to, but try to stick to a moderate intensity throughout.
Once one circuit is complete, go back to the start and repeat for the number of sets recommended for your level.
Beginner: 3 sets;
Intermediate: 4 sets;
Advanced: 5 sets
Areas trained: CALVES, CORE
* Tighten your stomach and hop quickly for 10 reps. Use your arms to drive through.
* Switch legs to come back.
* Repeat 4-6 times
HOT TIP: Hold a pair of dumbbells by your sides for an added challenge
Areas trained: GLUTES, QUADS, CALVES
* Start at the bottom of a mid-stance squat and pulse three times.
* Jump up as high as you can.
* Land softly and go straight into another rep for 10-12 reps.
SAFETY TIP: Make sure your knees track your toes in the squat
Areas trained: GLUTES, HAMSTRINGS, BACK, CORE
* Holding a kettlebell with both hands, stand with your feet hip-width apart, tilt your hips back and allow the kettlebell to swing backwards through your legs.
* Explode forwards, sending the kettlebell up and forwards to eye-height.
* As it swings back down, go straight into another rep and repeat for 12-15 reps.
SAFETY TIP: Keep your stomach tight and don’t take your eyes off the kettlebell
STEP-UP WITH A HOP
Areas trained: GLUTES, QUADS, HAMSTRINGS, CALVES
* Keep as close to the bench as you can with one foot on the step.
* Drive through your heel to get to the top and pull your other knee up and hop.
* Return to the start position and repeat for 10-15 reps on each side.
HOT TIP: Use a higher bench for more of a challenge
Areas trained: GLUTES, HAMSTRINGS, CORE
* Start on all fours with your hands under your shoulders, knees under hips and stomach tight.
* Kick one leg back and up, squeezing your bottom, then pull the knee of that same leg towards your ribcage. Pause at the top and bottom of the movement.
* Repeat for 12-15 reps per side.
SAFETY TIP: Keep a natural arch in your back and your neck long
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