This exercise focuses on strengthening the gluteus muscles which are often weak in cyclists. If this exercise is performed correctly, it is also a good core strengthener.
Starting Position: Lie on your back with your hands by your sides, knees bent, and feet flat on the floor (under your knees). Lift one foot, extending the leg fully so it is roughly 45 degrees to the floor. If your hips are not staying level, keep both feet on the ground until you gain more strength. It’s more important to have good form and do the exercise correctly!
(1) Raise your hips, tightening your abdominals and buttock muscles to support thelift, until your shoulders and knees are in a straight line. Squeeze your core at thesame time, as if trying to pull your belly button back toward your spine.
(2)Hold this position for a count of one or two. As you are able, increase the amount of time you keep your leg elevated.
(3)Lower the hips to the floor slowly and with control, keeping the leg extended, to return to the starting position.
Do not arch your back. If you arch your back, you are not using the correct muscles to perform the exercise. Focus on squeezing the gluteal muscles and keeping your back straight.
3 sets of 10 on each leg.
This exercise focuses on strengthening your entire back. Cyclists spend a lot of time in a hunched-forward position, this exercise counteracts that stretching and weakening effect.
Starting Position: Lay on the floor face down with your arms stretched out overhead. Lift your upper body into a back arch by lifting your chest away from the floor and contracting your glutes and back muscles. Keep your chin tucked so that you are looking towards the floor. Make sure you keep your glutes engaged during this exercise and don’t overlift your legs as this can cause you to overarch your lower back.
(1) Lift your right arm up away from the floor and at the same time lift your left leg away from the floor. Aim to lift both limbs approximately one foot off the floor.
(2) As you lower your right arm, lift your left arm. Similarly for the legs, as you lower the left leg, lift your right in a controlled swimming-like motion.
If you find this exercise to be too challenging, leave your legs on the floor and just focus on lifting and strengthening the arms and back.
3 sets of 10 strokes.
This exercise really works your core muscles which is crucial for maintaining good posture on and off the bike.
Starting Position: Get down on the ground. Stack your elbows directly beneath yourshoulders and extend your legs. Rest your weight on your elbows and your toes. Keep your glutes flexed and pull your belly button towards your spine flexing your abdominal muscles.
Your back should be a straight line, do not let your hips dip or your back arch. Hold this position for 30 seconds. Take a break and then repeat 3 times. As you are able, and are able to maintain good form, increase time.
GOOD FORM MATTERS! HOLDING A PLANK FOR 15
SECONDS WITH GOOD FORM IS BETTER THAN A PLANK WITH POOR FORM FOR A MINUTE.
3 sets for 30 seconds each.
This exercise helps build your lower body strength, helping to give you a more powerful pedal stroke.
Starting position: Stand with your feet slightly more than shoulder-width apart.
(1) Slowly breathe in while dropping your weight backwards and down as if you’re about to sit down on a chair. Place your hands out in front to stabilize yourself.You should aim to squat down fairly low, so that your thighs are about parallel with the ground. The lower you go, the more challenging it will be.
(2) Ensure your back stays straight and keep looking forwards, breathe out as you straighten your legs. Engage your glutes as you stand up. Keep your knees in line with your feet, not pointing in or out. Control your squat, do not rush through them.
If you are ready for more of a challenge, you can try single leg squats, keeping the same form as a regular squat.
3 sets of 15 squats.
Upper body strength is important to mountain biking as well.
Starting Position: Get down on the ground. Put your hands on the ground directly
beneath your shoulders and extend your legs. Rest your weight on your elbows and
your toes, your feet should be together. Keep your glutes flexed and pull your belly
button towards your spine flexing your abdominal muscles. If you need you can drop your knees to the ground.
(1) Bend your elbows to lower your chest down to the floor then push back up to
your starting position. Make sure that when you lower down, your elbows are at a
(2) Exhale as you push up. Keep your hips in line with the rest of your body. You
should also keep your core, glutes and legs engaged throughout the
exercise.Like a plank, your back should be kept straight and not arched.
3 sets of 10.
This exercise targets your calf muscles which are being used constantly when you pedal your bike.
Starting Position: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointing forward. Keep your back straight, shoulders back and down, and abs pulled in.
(1) Raise your heels slowly, keeping your knees extended (but not locked).
(2) Pause for one second when you're standing as much on the tips of your toes as
(3) Lower your heels back to the ground in a controlled matter, returning to the
As able, increase repetitions. If you want more of a challenge, you can try a
single leg calf raise.
3 sets of 20.
This exercise really targets your hip muscles, which are oftentimes weak in cyclists.
Strengthening your hips will help you keep good knee and postural alignment on your bike, which will help you pedal efficiently. Hip strengthening is also really important in reducing knee pain and decreasing risk of injury.
Starting Position: Lay on your side with your knees slightly bent, keeping your knees
and ankles together. Rest your head on a pillow or on an outstretched arm to keep your spine in an aligned position. Your feet, hips, and head should all be in line with your
knees in front.
(1) Keep your ankles together as you separate your knees slowly to about 45
degrees. You should feel this in the side of your butt. Your hips should not rotate.
If they do, lessen the range of motion.
(2) Slowly and in a controlled manner, lower your knee back down.
(3) Switch sides
3 sets of 10.
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