Cycling is very specific exercise and one needs to spend time on the bike to get faster. However, a regular leg strength exercise routine is an important component of any training program to become a stronger rider.
Try to include 1 or 2 sessions a week of strength exercises a week. You can do this in the gym or at home if you have some weights.
What should you do?
Lunges (12 repetitions each side)
One leg dead lift
12 repetitions of each exercise. Start with 2 sets and build up to 3.
The key is in correct form first. So, either exercise with a friend that can help you, use a mirror or best train with a qualified coach that will make sure your form and execution of the exercises is correct. If you do the exercise incorrectly you might injure yourself. When your form is correct, you can add weights.
Strength training not only makes your legs stronger and will be able to generate more power and prolongs fatigue during your ride, but is a prevention for Osteoporosis as well! Cycling, unlike running, is a low impact sport and healthier for joints. However, it does not prevent the development of Osteoporosis which is an important reason for cyclists to add strength training to their weekly routine.
Next month I will tell you more about upper body strength exercise and its benefits for cycling.
Kate Slegrova is a personal coach at Virgin Active in Green Point and has been coaching athletes for over 8 years.
Speak to her: firstname.lastname@example.org // www.cycletraining.co.za