Excellent information! Full body strength training for every kind of sport, even if you are sitting in a saddle most of the time. Thanks for sharing!
2014 Fall 5% Challenge Team Leader of SP Class of August 19-25, 2012 Team Leader of SP Class of November 27- December 3, 2011 Team Leader of SP Class of July 21-27, 2013 ____________________ "Continuous effort--not strength or intelligence--is the key to unlocking our potential." --Winston Churchill
I naturally thought cycling was all about the legs, but I've often been encouraged by serious cyclists I know to work on my core to support me during the ride, rather than putting my weight on my hands and leaning on the handlebars. The suggestion I often hear is to take your hands off the handlebars (briefly!) as you're riding: if you fall forward, you're putting too much weight on your hands.
You should be able to support yourself with only your core. I admit I can't do it, but I try to be aware of it, and I'm getting better. The biggest difference I notice is that by not putting so much weight on my hands, I have much less discomfort and pain in my hands on long rides.
People have been urging me to up my focus on strength training for a while, but they talk about it in rather general terms. Since I, too, am one of those people with a lot of natural muscle development, I often make it lower priority when time runs short. As a woman, I'm not looking for extreme definition. Unlike many other women, I am not "weak" and don't particularly need to "get toned" 8-)
But seeing this expressed specifically in terms of benefits to my ride...help! I am going to make upper body strength a "hit it" priority item for the next three months...let's see what this brings me in April or so, out on the road. I can feel the wind already - whee! 8-)
"Do not be afraid to go out on a limb ... That's where the fruit is."--Anonymous
Good article! A few years ago a similar article Was what prompted me to look into kettlebell training. Kettlebells work groups of muscles not just individual ones. Probably the best thing you can do for your core and posterior chain. I've never felt stronger! Last year I was able to climb better and was less fatigued as a direct result. They're a bicyclists best friend
Nice thing about Kettlebells is that you don't bulk up but you become strong compaired to traditional resistance training. As a big plus you also receive the added benefit of aerobics at the same time! A 45 minute workout can burn approximately 600 calories.
Try 'em you'll surprise yourself.
Edited by: BOWK5150 at: 1/19/2012 (15:34)
Life's Journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting 'Holy Sh!t What a Ride!'
Question: I have a big upper body from genetics and years of serious weight training. I've lost 40 pounds since I began riding, and I've quit the weight room for good -- I want to climb better! But local coaches tell me that I should still do upper-body resistance work to help my cycling. Why? I don't pedal with my arms. -- Andrew V.
Coach Fred Matheny Replies: There are four good reasons why you and every roadie should be doing upper-body resistance training.
• As we age, we lose muscle volume. As a result, it takes more effort to produce a given amount of power, and the increased effort requires more recovery time. Resistance training helps older riders (age 50+, typically) maintain muscle strength and volume.
• You lean on the handlebar for long periods while riding. To avoid sore triceps and shoulders, pushups, dips or bench presses are effective.
• When you sprint or climb, you pull on the bar harder than when you're riding on the flats. So your pulling muscles need to be kept strong with exercises such as pull-ups and rows.
• You need to work on the core muscles of the abs and low back. They're crucial to any kind of strength -- on the bike or in the weight room -- because they provide the foundation that arm and leg muscles work from. They're especially important for stabilizing your trunk on the saddle during pedaling.
That said, you should not do upper-body weight exercises like a body builder or strength athlete. Instead, use relatively light weights and high reps.
You're a cyclist now, not a lifter, so you don't need to spend much time in the weight room. Doing the correct resistance exercises, and doing them correctly, are the most important things.
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