Strength Training for Cyclists: Why It’s Important

Cyclists often overlook strength training as something unnecessary to the sport, thinking they can improve their leg strength from riding alone.

However, everyone, including cyclists, can benefit from adding strength training to their exercise program. Cycling is primarily an aerobic activity that requires repeated force production.

Incorporating weight-bearing exercises into your cycling routine will improve your overall core strength and muscular endurance, making you a better rider.

As a cyclist, you probably follow the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia, Vuelta de España, and other big races and know the best cyclists too. You may have even considered putting your knowledge to the test by betting on the big races.

Many of the largest sportsbooks offer free bets to new customers, allowing you to test out your skill before going all in. The best cyclists incorporate strength training in their routines, giving them an advantage in the big races.

This article will explain why strength training is essential to cycling.

Why is Strength Training Important?

Cycling is a sport that requires power to propel yourself forward. The amount of force you put into a pedal stroke determines your leg rpm.

Cycling is an excellent leg workout, but by adding strength training to your exercise regimen, you can increase the amount of force you’re able to use each time you pedal.

So, it makes a lot of sense to incorporate strength training into your cycling program.

While cycling alone will increase your leg strength and allow you to be a proficient rider, adding strength training will give you more force when you need to accelerate, sprint, or climb a hill.

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    It’s not impossible to build this strength from cycling alone, but strength training is a much more efficient and time-effective way to do so.

    Turn Back the Hands of Time

    Although our bodies will age whatever we do, we can slow down the aging process. Once we hit 30 years old, we start to lose between 3% and 5% of muscle mass per decade, and less muscle means less power.

    Strength training is the best way to preserve muscle mass as we age, making weight-bearing exercise an essential component of training programs for anyone who’s past their 30th birthday.

    Strength training doesn’t just help you preserve muscle mass; it also increases bone density. Some studies have shown that cyclists have less bone density than other athletes, probably because it’s a low-impact sport compared to running and other sports.

    Another theory is that when cyclists sweat, they lose calcium. Whatever the case may be, adding resistance training to your routine can improve bone and muscular strength, which becomes even more important as we age.

    If you start now, you won’t have to play catch-up when you get older.

    Improves Balance and Coordination

    Adding strength training to your workout allows you to exercise muscles that you don’t use while cycling, adding balance to your training program.

    Since cycling is a linear sport, cyclists tend to engage in repetitive motions, using only some of their hip and leg muscles.

    Balance and coordination will be an integral part of your strength training program, whether you do bodyweight exercises, lift free weights, or use resistance bands.

    Strength training will allow you to develop your small muscles that help your stability. You’ll be less likely to move your body in ways that stress weak muscles because your body will be more balanced and coordinated.

    These exercises will help keep you healthy through middle age and beyond.

    Types of Strength Training for Cyclists 

    two persons doing squat exercise

    If you’re new to strength training, bodyweight exercises are a great way to get started.

    Burpees

    Work your entire body and require explosive power

    Planks

    Strengthen your core, maximizing your efficiency while biking

    Squats

    Strengthen the same muscles you use while cycling but at a slower speed than a pedal stroke

    Leg lifts

    Target abdominal stabilizer muscles and hip flexors

    Lunges

    Similar to squats, they use the main muscles used while biking, including the quads, glutes, calves, and hamstrings

    You don’t have to stop with these exercises. As you become stronger, you can expand your training program to include weight training and other resistance exercises. Strength training will make you a stronger, more efficient cyclist.

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