Cyclist's strength & conditioning exercises - Part 1

Stronger, Faster, Older - Pick Two! PerformancePro guide you through their favourite exercises

Posted by Julian Wall

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Alex and Tony from Performance Pro Lecture Jan 2018 as part of The Midlife Cyclist Series

Stronger, Faster, Older

We all know that strength and conditioning is recommended to work on the things that competitive cycling can neglect - flexibility, core-strength and upper-body conditioning. But it seems to be increasingly true as we get older and still want to preserve performance. Dr David Hulse from lecture II in the Midlife Series mentioned that we actually lose muscle fibre as we get into middle age and beyond, so we need to work on the bulk and strength of the remaining muscle condition. Alex and Tony from Performance Pro took us through a theoretical lecture and then a series of practical exercises. They have kindly produced a series of mini videos for Cyclefit to guide you step by step through their favourite exercises. This series will not replace the intensity of a one-to-one with Alex or Tony but it is a great first step.

Anti-Rotation Plank

Superb for both upper body and core strength. Be warned if you have a pre-existing back issue.

Banded Hip Bridge (Banded)

Excellent for co-contraction of gluts and core - especially good for cyclists as it reinforces the perfect pedal stoke muscle firing pattern and power application

Hamstring Stretch (Band Assisted)

I think the look on Tony's face in this one says it all! Short or tight hamstrings can drag the pelvis back out of neutral. This will inhibit glut and core muscle contraction. If you had to pick one exercise it might well be this one!

Hip Flexor Stretch

Cyclists have a tendency to exert shortening and tightening forces on the hip-flexors as a result of:

  • Poor cycling posture
  • Poor pedalling technique (too much pulling up on the pedals)
  • Sub-optimal bike-set up
  • Incorrect crank length
  • Poor foot control

This stretch will help re-lengthen the hip-flexor group of muscles. Make sure you also address underlying cause!

Lateral Band Walk

Works on active glut contraction. Harder than it appears to do properly. Glut contraction is the holy grail in cycling. This is a perfect exercise for cyclists to wake up the biggest group of muscles in your body.

Thoracic Mobilisations

Cyclists tend to load tension into the thoracic area. All those thousands of miles locked into the machine with little twisting and mobilisation. Plus a slouched position (posterior pelvis rotation) will further load the spine further up.

    About the author

    Julian Wall, Co-founder

    Co-founder, bike fitter and bike designer. Jules rides a Trek Emonda SLR 1 x 11 road bike, he likes gardening and Belgian beer.

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