Want to up your cycling game? Try these 5 exercises!

August 8, 2014

Anyone who spends their time on home gym equipment pumping the pedals of a stationary bike knows that it takes a fully rounded workout program to continue meeting and improving goals.

In addition to spending time on your home exercise bike for cardio workouts, it’s important to strengthen the muscles needed to cycle so you can become stronger and faster with better endurance and stamina. While some might think they just need to work their lower body since that does most of the cycling work, you should actually strengthen both the upper and lower body as well as the core to see real gains in your riding. Having good back and abdominal strength ensures that you’re using proper posture, and strong arms and chest make holding onto the handles and supporting your weight less strenuous. Of course, stronger legs mean you can pedal harder and faster.

If you’re looking to up your cycling abilities, try these great exercises to strengthen your total body:

1. Deadlift with row

  • Hold eight to 10 pounds free weight in each hand.
  • Stand with your feet hip distance apart.
  • Keeping your back flat and your abs tight, bend at your hips and reach the weights toward your feet.
  • When your back is about parallel to the floor, pull the weight into your chest so your shoulder blades squeeze together, then release the weights, squeeze your glute muscles and return to the starting position.
  • Repeat 10 times.

2. Rotating plank

  • Starting a plank position on your hands and feet, making sure your shoulders are directly over your wrists.
  • Keeping your abs tight, lift your right arm into the arm and rotate into a side plank of the left side, then return to the start.
  • Lift your left arm into the air, rotate into a right side plank, then bring your left arm back down to the floor.
  • Continue rotating for one minute.

3. Weighted step ups

  • Hold eight to 10 pound free weights in each hand and stand in front of a fitness bench or step stool.
  • Engage your core, then step up onto the bench starting with your right foot.
  • Step down off the bench with your right foot first, followed by the left.
  • Repeat the motion, stepping up and down this time with your left foot first.
  • Continue stepping up and down six to eight times on each side.

4. Side lunge with bicep curl

  • Stand with feet hip-distance apart, holding eight pound dumbbells in each hand.
  • Step your right foot out wide and bend your right knee to about 90 degrees, keeping your toes pointed forward and your weight in your right heel.
  • Step back to the center and with your palms facing up, curl the weights to your shoulders, then lower back down.
  • Step the left foot out to the side and bend the left knee.
  • Repeat the lunge and curl eight times on each side.

5. Backward lunge with upright row

  • Stand with feet together holding five to eight pound weights in each hand.
  • Step your right foot back so both knees can bend to 90 degrees, keeping your posture tall and straight and your weight in your front heel.
  • Bring your right foot back to the starting position.
  • Hold the weight in front of you, palms facing down.
  • Pull the weights up to shoulder height, bending your elbows out to the sides, then return.
  • Lunge back on the left leg.
  • Continue the lunge and upright row motion on each side for eight repetitions.

Repeat each of these exercises for two sets to begin, and once you feel more comfortable increase to three. Strength workouts should be completed two to three times a week.