Whether you are joining the Tour de France annual bicycle race or just a cycling competition in your country, preparation is the KEY. This will include good sleep, hydration, healthy diet, and a cardiovascular training that will make your body more capable and ready. Whilst spending more days in the saddle improve your body strength and endurance, tough riders incorporate some cardio in the gym to become a powerful rider with improved speed. So if you are looking for an excellent set of exercises that you can do during your warm-up and workout period, just read on.
Warm Up Exercises
Warm up is an essential part of every workout to prepare your muscles and joints as well as to increase flexibility and raise your heart rate. Some warm-up exercises require weights while others don’t. The stretches you do for warm-up engages the major muscles used when cycling that includes the glutes, hamstrings, calves, quads and hips. Don’t ignore this process to stay safe and injury free during the gym workout.
Squats: To increase muscle flexibility, the squat is one of the most popular exercises to cyclists targeting the lower body muscles. Stand straight with your shoulder and feet wide apart. Lower your body into a sitting position and slowly move your hands forward. Hold for a while and rise back up to repeat it again.
Lunges: This exercise targets your lower body muscles. Stand with your both feet on the ground, move your left leg forward with your right knee close the floor. Push back to the standing position and do it on the other leg.
Chest Stretch: Your shoulders work more when cycling, so it's best to stretch them before riding the bike. Stand tall, put your arms over your head as high and straight as possible. Then shrug your shoulders up and down. This will engage your “lats” the broadest muscle of your back.
Strength & Endurance Exercises for Cyclists
For an intense cardio exercise, you need to utilize some of the equipment available at the gym. You can integrate any of these three strength exercises to your training routine to boost your fitness and improve your body’s tolerance to lengthy cycling race.
Kettlebell Swing: Choose a weight suited to your ability. For newbies, try York Barbell Single Kettlebell with 5 lbs. weight. It's important to understand that a newbie cannot start with heavy weights for safety reasons. Stand with your feet at hip distance apart and bend your knees slightly. Hold the York Barbell Single Kettlebell using two hands resting in between your legs and swing it to chest height. It will fall back between your legs and you just have to swing it up again.
Barbell Squat: Similar to the kettlebell swing, you need to choose the right weight of your barbell. Stand with the barbell place to your upper back, feet at shoulder-width apart with toes pointing 30 degrees. Squat down while keeping your knees over your feet with your head down. Move your hips up, rest for a while and repeat the process. When you are able to do it correctly, this may be one of your most loved strength and endurance workout.
HIIT Bike Workout: Indoor cycling is one of the best workouts for a cyclist who wants to increase their strength and endurance while keeping their overall cardiovascular health in good condition. A fitness bike mimics the feeling of cycling outdoor but has a flat trail so you don’t have to experience the pounding due to the uneven surface of the ground.
HIIT is a popular program if you want to achieve great results by spending only a few minutes on a regular basis. The training will include an alternate period of work and recovery. For example, you need to warm up for 5 minutes then continue pedaling for 2 minutes at the highest speed you can then go back to the warm-up pace for 5 minutes. That’s how you do an interval cycling workout.
Exercise at the gym or at home? Try finding ProForm 14.0 EX Exercise Bike if you prefer to do a home-base cycling interval workout. With its 26 levels of resistance, a huge library of pre-programmed exercises, 18-pound flywheel, ProForm 14.0 EX Exercise Bike is the machine that can surely help you prep for your competition and achieve a stronger body. Enjoy your HIIT bike routine at home!