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Strength training improves the core strength of the sportsman. Thereby enhancing endurance. Some sportsmen seem to have a misconception about enhancing strength training because it might lead to an increase in their body weight.
A rise in body mass need not diminish cardiovascular performance. Practical experience shows that this early season base training increases the aerobic capacity of the practitioner and strengthens the leg muscles for pedaling on the bicycle.
Advantages of strength training:
- developing bone mineral density,
- improving connectivity in muscle tissues,
- enhancing lactate threshold,
- and preventing injuries due to overexertion.
A cyclist has to make the circular motion of his legs on the pedals for long distances and hours. Specific muscle groups are not adequately toned to take the stress, and they give way leading to injuries. The muscle imbalance results in the hip region and thighs due to the pedaling by the legs.
image credit blog.lafitness.com
This imbalance is corrected when the cyclist performs strength training, which concentrates on the hamstring muscle group. Thus a proper strength ratio and optimal joint stability are maintained. It is the bone in the body that is responsible for weight-bearing activities.
STRENGTH TRAINING PROGRAM FOR CYCLISTS
So, appropriate exercises are incorporated into this specific training program for effecting bone development. These exercises require the involvement of different muscle groups and have been designed to simulate the cycling motion.
The practitioner is advised to workout both left and right sides of his body individually and not in combination. These exercises have to be practiced on alternate days in the week. The warm up workouts should be done before this strength training and followed by cooling down sessions.The basic aim of strength training is to consolidate the core strength of the body.
- The pelvic region, the calf muscles, and the hamstrings are given repetitive movements because they play a significant role during cycling.
- The cyclist should lie flat on his back with his knees bent and feet flat on the ground near the buttocks.
- By pressing the hands on the floor and contracting the pelvic muscles, the back is raised to two inches above the ground. Then return to the original position for any number of times. In the raised area of the back, the other foot is raised a few inches and lowered. This exercise is repeated ten times with each foot.
In the same raised position of the back, instead of lifting the foot, straighten it alternately in the same number of times.
- Hold one knee near the chest, and the other leg stretched to the maximum.
- Repeat the exercise by interchanging the legs.
- The number of repetitions is tentative and depends on the individual’s endurance of pain.
This exercise is slightly difficult but has more advantages for the back muscles:
- The practitioner lies on his stomach with his arms stretched above his head.
- Here, he has to raise opposing arm and leg (left arm- right leg) for 5 seconds and lower them.
- He has to change the position of the limbs.
The next exercise will be to stand on the two hands and knees and repeat the earlier workout:
- Crunch exercises improve abdominal muscles.
- The cyclist has to lie on his back with his hands folded below his head.
- Tightening his abdominal muscles, he should raise his head and shoulders a few inches above the ground and slowly lower.
- The participant can repeat the exercise as many times as possible.
- This exercise can be slightly varied to improvise the tone of the muscle groups.
EVEN MORE… THREE SPECIFIC CYCLING EXERCISES
It is quite interesting to know that though cyclists come with strong quads, they usually have weak hamstrings, and this may affect their pedaling power that will lead to poor performance.
We’ve decided to help our readers and shared this post from Active.com, where a cycling coach John Hughes shares how you can perform three simple exercises thrice a week to gain great results.
Via this article, you’ll learn how to do exercises like :
- Stability ball hamstring curl
- And single-legged pedaling for stronger hamstrings.