Last week, we launched Strengthening and Stabilization Training for the Cyclist, 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 was specifically created for the cyclist. It includes 32 fully described exercises, clearly demonstrated in photos that accompany each exercise. (My co-author, Amy Schultz, is my daughter; 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.
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 undoubtedly all would like to be pain-free when we ride, and most of this can be accomplished by strengthening these muscle groups. A regular stretching and core routine, in combination with a strength and stability routine, can help you achieve any or all of these aims.
One of the great things about Strengthening and Stabilization Training for the Cyclist is that you can and should choose your favorite exercises for your personal routine(s). In that light, I thought I would share my own personal favorites today and next week. This week, I’ll talk about my favorite glutes & lower body exercise, and next week, I’ll talk about my favorite upper body exercise. In general, I like performing exercises that work out the greatest number of muscle groups at the same time.
Once you go through the eBook and try a variety of the exercises, you will quickly see what you will need to work on and find your own favorites as well.
My Favorite Glutes & Lower Body Exercise
All of the exercises in the book are good and worth doing (if you’re able; don’t overdo it, and don’t try the advanced exercises unless you’re capable).
But after studying pedaling efficiency and pedaling dynamics as part of my training as a USA Cycling level 2 coach, my favorite exercises are the GLUTES/LEGS/QUADS (pages 22-24). My hamstrings are already pretty strong from concentrating on pedaling efficiency drills this past season, so my thought is that every cyclist can use stronger pushing muscles – i.e., Quads and Glutes.
Why? Because stronger quads and glutes will allow you to push harder on the pedals. Pushing harder on the pedals makes you go faster on the bicycle. Don’t forget to stretch after your rides and after exercising. See our previously published eBook, Stretching and Core Strengthening for the Cyclist.
Here’s one of my favorites, along with the description from the book on the proper technique. To make these really count, go SLOW and PAUSE at the bottom.
Coach Rick Schultz is an avid cyclist who trains, races and coaches in Southern California. Rick is an engineer by trade, and in addition to being a coach, he’s a bike fitter and prolific product reviewer. He’s the author of Stretching & Core Strengthening for the Cyclist and Bike Fit 101: Your Toolset for a Great Bike Fit in the RBR eBookstore. Check his product reviews website, www.biketestreviews.com, and his coaching site, www.bikefitnesscoaching.com. Click to read Rick’s full bio.