In an age of marginal gains, we’re all striving for that extra one percent, and while nothing can compare to time spent in the saddle, cyclists are increasingly now turning to the gym to help improve their performance.
Over the last few years, we’ve seen much progress made into endurance athletes and their coaches using strength training to help boost endurance performance.
Let’s start from the desired outcome of any and all training we do as cyclists: increased power output. This is after all what we are after: An increase in your power output/ sustainable output, so that you can crush your opposition, and move up in the ranks.
Power output has five contributors that all must be working at high levels in order to maximize your power output.
These five contributors for maximizing power output include:
- Motor Control
- Movement Qualities
- Skill & Technique
- Energy Systems
As we improve the motor control and attain better musculature balance at each joint, we will see the athlete’s movement qualities significantly improve—on and off the bike.
Whatever your endgame, whether it’s training for a strong sportive finish or just looking to get in the mix on a local club ride, the exercises below will help increase your strength, power and ability on your bike.
- The humble lunge is perfect for those wanting to workout at home. Simple and straightforward, lunges work every muscle in the lower body, targeting the hips, quads and hamstrings.
- Kettlebell swings
- An explosive full-body exercise, the kettlebell swing is an effective way to improve endurance and develop a stronger pedal stroke.
- Despite what you might think, the deadlift is not to be feared. Activating your legs, back and core muscles, this simple compound exercise will develop your overall muscle strength, increasing power and supporting the key movements required to make you an efficient and fast rider.
- Burpees are a dynamic whole body exercise that you can do anywhere. Stringing together several functional movements, the burpee not only trains your muscles and joints, but also raises your heart rate and burns calories.
Combining properly executed strength training programs can significantly increase your motor control, so go ahead and build up some extra strength.