Improve the Power in Your Pedal With Cybex Lower Body Strength Training
From trail rides to road races to inner-city commutes, biking is more popular than ever. Now, studies are showing that off-road strength training at the gym can improve just about every aspect of biking. In the first of a two-part series, we explore lower body strength training to help you reach your biking goals.
Big Legs: Pack more power into the muscles that push you forward
Cycling is a spectacular endurance sport, but sometimes bikers question whether or not strength training could be beneficial for them; they think the added muscle weight could literally weigh them down. However, developing these muscles (especially in the legs) can enhance the amount of force you push on the pedal, as well as potentially reduce the risk of injury—allowing you to go faster and farther than ever before.
“Not only does strength training make our muscles stronger, it also helps build bone density and connective tissue, while preventing muscle imbalances which can be one of the biggest factors as to why we develop injuries…doing just two to three strength training sessions per week can lead to big improvements in your cycling performance.” –Nancy Howard, “8 Strength Training Exercises for Cyclists”
It’s also important to strengthen the muscles that surround the knee, in addition to other leg muscles; over varying amounts of exercise time, the repetitive motion of cycling can do damage to your knees without proper preparation. Try these few exercises that are catered to strengthening this area of the body:
Leg and knee muscles for more downward push
- Add more force to your leg drive
- Increase your distance
- Tackle hills with less burn and fatigue
4 LEG BUILDERS TO TRY
- Leg Press: 4-5 sets of 6-10 reps
- Leg Extension: 3 sets of 8-12 reps
- Seated Leg Curl: 3 sets of 8-12 reps
- Calf: 3 sets of 8-12 reps
“One 2012 study aptly titled ‘Strength training improves cycling efficiency in master endurance athletes,’ when researchers had two groups of cyclists—half of them masters (about 52 years of age on average) and the others half that age (26 years on average) do lower body resistance training three times a week for three weeks, the masters cyclists saw a nearly 18 percent jump in leg strength and improved their efficiency by more than 16 percent.” –Selene Yeager, “Should Cyclists Lift Weights?” Bicycling.co.za
Cybex helps you do what you love—longer, stronger, safer, smarter. Work some strength training into your biking routine to go farther, faster, and keep you logging those miles.
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