8 Strength Training Exercises for Cyclists

By , SparkPeople Blogger

Last month I wrote a blog on strength training exercises for walkers. This week's blog will focus on strength training exercises geared toward cyclists.

It was once believed that having endurance athletes, such as cyclists and runners, participate in strength training exercises would hinder their performance by adding too much bulk. But we now know better. Not only does strength training make our muscles stronger, it also helps build bone density and connective tissue, while preventing muscle imbalances which can be one of the biggest factors as to why we develop injuries. Strength training also helps improve our lactate threshold, the point at which the body produces lactic acid at a rate faster than it can remove it.

By doing just two to three strength training sessions per week can lead to big improvements in your cycling performance.


While cycling is great for muscle tone and development, doing single-leg exercises will help to develop the legs individually. It isn't too unusual for one leg to be more dominant than the other, therefore doing individual exercises allows for the weaker leg to gain strength and stabilization.

Leg Press

Single Leg Squat


You may be wondering why abdominal exercises are so important for a cyclist, but having a strong core is essential for delivering a stronger pedal stroke.

Walk the Plank and Rotate

Reverse Crunch


Strong back muscles are important for maintaining great posture while on the bike.


Seated Lat Pull-Down Machine


Strong shoulders, along with a strong core, help cyclists to maintain a strong sitting posture.

Triangle Arm Raise

Dumbbell Standing Shoulder Flexion

Are you a cyclist, if so do you strength train? What exercises do you do to help you become a better cyclist?

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JUNEPA 9/14/2020
The exercise link for the shoulder exercises didn't work for me

Frame strengthening is great for improving fitness and competitive performance times. Report
JANIEWWJD 8/25/2020
Thanks for all the info!!! Report
I’m finally waking up to the idea that strength training makes a better cyclist. Ride safe everyone Report
CECELW 6/16/2020
not all of the links work Report
Thanks. Report
Great Blog! Thanks for sharing! Report
Some links to the exercises are broken, FYI Report
Thanks Report
Thanks Report
Thanks! Report
Not a cyclist! Report
Thanks Report
as an avid bike rider, thanks! Report
thanks Report
Thanks! Report
Love this info Report
Thanks...will definitely use them.... Report
Thanks will use some but not all because of health problems that will not allow my body to do certain workouts Report
The dumbbell standing shoulder flexion link goes nowhere :-( Unable to do planks because of damaged right arm not allowed to lift any weight, let alone body weight. Report
Just starting out cycling - great to see articles that address cycling : )
With all the wonderful comments, you may not see this (thanks for the great article BTW), but I'd LOVE a post-cycling stretching routine! I do a couple things, but my yoga teacher always kids me about my tight "cycler's hips" etc. HELP!

Maha Report
As somebody who had cycled a lot in my days, your blog was wonderful. Report
I made the mistake of cutting back on my strength training last year because I was cycling so much. I won't do that again. The gym does wonders for my legs in all different areas Report
I cycle as much as I can - it's my passion. I do strength training, especially in the Winter, but I try to get in a couple sessions each week during the summer as well. I really appreciate your pointers!! Report
Thank you for the workouts; I do most of them because I love to cycle. Report
The single leg squat looks brutal! Can't wait to try it :-). I'm a dancer so anything to strengthen the legs and glutes helps. Report
I've found that pilates (yoga) has really helped improve my cycling. Having a strong "core" is vital to any athlete. Why do yoga ? Most people don't realize that being flexible is important. Tight hamstrings place stress on a riders back when they cycle. Tight hip flexors can mess up a ride too. If athletes can increase their flexibility, they'll decrease their risk of repetitive injury as well as increase their range of motion.

As far as strength exercises, I tend to do a lot of upper body and core work because most cyclists tend to neglect their upper body strength. They don't seem to realize that they need strong triceps (and core strength) to be able to ride out of the saddle in a stable position.

okay, back to the question, what exercises do I do ? plank, side plank, push ups, tricep dips, deadlifts, etc...
This is definitely an area I need to work on - building lower body strength. Thanks for the tips! Report
thank you for blogg Report

All the exercises have instruction, however the single leg squat will require you to scroll down to get the instructions. I hope this helps!

Nancy Report
I'm more of a runner than a cyclist.I take some spinning classes , but that's about all. Strength training is important too, & these sound like good exercises to try. Report
Acouple of these, I am already doing. But most of these I have never heard of. They didn't describe how to do them. How am I to Know? Report
Walk the plank and triangle arm raise are 2 new ones I am going to try! Report