By Rick Schultz & Amy Schultz
We don't all necessarily want to be faster on the bike. But I think every last one of us roadies would like to maintain the strength we have, or get even stronger, in the muscle groups that count, specifically the glutes, legs, back, hip flexors, shoulders, arms and core. And we all undoubtedly would like to be pain-free when we ride.
A regular strengthening and stabilization routine can help you achieve these aims.
But there are innumerable strengthening and stabilization exercises, so how do you know which ones will help you the most for cycling? It's confusing, to say the least. And this confusion and lack of understanding helps explain why so few cyclists add strengthening and stabilization to their regular exercise routine – even though they deliver myriad valuable benefits, not just for cycling but for everyday life.
Strengthening and Stabilization Training for the Cyclist is our new 44-page eBook in which my co-author and I clear up the confusion and take the guesswork out of knowing what to do, and how to do it, to implement a strengthening program that will ultimately make you a better cyclist. (Our companion eBook, Stretching and Core Strengthening for the Cyclist, targets effective core-strengthening and stretching exercises specifically geared toward cyclists.)
The new eBook likewise was specifically created for the cyclist. It includes 32 fully described exercises, clearly demonstrated in photos that accompany each exercise. (Co-author Amy Schultz is the daughter of Coach Rick Schultz; she's completing her Doctorate in Physical Therapy, is an accomplished cyclist and has done extensive research on athletes and injury prevention. Amy demonstrates the proper form for all the exercises in the eBook, just as she did in the Stretching and Core eBook.)
Most of these exercises are programmed to target multiple muscle groups, so you get increased strengthening and stabilization. These exercises have the potential to provide you with more enjoyment on the bicycle. You will get stronger and, therefore, cycle more efficiently. You will also have more flexibility and therefore be more pain-free.
Once you go through the eBook and try a variety of the strengthening exercises, you will quickly see what you will need to work on and find your own favorites, as well.
For this exercise, we will strengthen the Glutes – the most powerful muscle group used in cycling. Grab your yoga mat and Stability Ball (SB). See the descriptions below the photos for how to do this exercise.
Step 1 - Place your upper back on your SB as in the upper photo.
Step 2 – With feet flat on the ground, engage your core and squeeze your glutes together as you lift into a bridge. Lift until your spine is in a straight line with the pelvis – spine and upper legs parallel to the ground. Make sure to prevent your low back from arching (Lordosis). Do not let knees go past toes, ideal is to keep your knees bent at 90°. Then, slowly lower to the starting position. As pictured, this is 1 repetition.
From the authors: "We believe it is very important for you to consult your physician or physical therapist if you have back pain and the source of your pain has never been diagnosed, because it is important to rule out any potential serious problem(s).
"All proceeds from this eBook will go to Amy to help her pay her tuition and books as she completes her Doctorate of Physical Therapy."
Strengthening and Stability Training for the Cyclist, our new 44-page eBook, with with 32 fully described and photo-illustrated exercises is just $14.95 / $12.71 for Premium Members with their automatic 15% discount.
Don't forget to check out the companion eBook: Stretching and Core Strenghtneing for the Cyclist, to round out your training.
Note: this is an eBook. Your purchase will be stored as a PDF file in your customer account on the website for downloading and printing.