No Gym? No Problem: Alternative Conditioning Ideas for Cyclists

Home Workouts

Training at home is great—no crowds, no waiting, and best of all you can fit a workout in at any time. The key with home workouts, like all workouts for that matter, is structure. It is important to have a proper progression as you go through your program. Here is a template that you can use to plan your workout:

Warm-up: 5 to 10 minutes or so to get your heart rate going and increase your core temperature.

Activation/Preparation: It's important to activate your glutes and to prepare your neuromuscular system for activity.

Balance: Single leg exercises to work on balance.

Power/Elasticity: Exercises to enhance your explosiveness and the natural elastic capabilities of your muscles and tendons.

Strength Exercises: Core, center of gravity change (lower body), upper "push" and upper "pull" exercises.

Regeneration: Foam roll or stretches.

More: 6 Reasons Cyclists Should Start Strength Training

With your lower body exercises, try to pick exercises that work each leg independently. This supports the dynamics of pedaling. Split squats, step-ups, lunges, and single leg squats are great choices.

Using that template, here is what a home workout might look like:

Warm-up: 10 minutes on your stationary trainer.

Activation/Preparation: Glute bridge—two sets of 10 reps each leg; Sun Salutation—three rounds.

Balance: Single leg reach. Place a water bottle about three feet in front of you. Stand on one leg and reach down and touch the bottle. Try not to round your back—make it more of a squatting type of movement. Three sets of five reps for each leg.

Power/Elasticity: Jump rope or jumping jacks. Three sets of 20 seconds on/20 seconds off.

Strength:

  • Core: Plank/side plank. Three sets of 20 seconds each.
  • Center of gravity change: Alternating lunges. Three sets of 10 each leg.
  • Upper push: Push-up or modified push-up. Three sets of 10 reps.
  • Upper pull: Resistance band alternating row. Three sets of 10 reps each arm.
  • Regeneration: Foam roll quads, hamstrings, upper back, hips.

    More: A Strength-Training Plan for Time-Crunched Cyclists

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    About the Author

    Dan Kehlenbach

    Dan Kehlenbach has been coaching and mentoring cyclists and other endurance athletes since 1995 and is a certified coach through USA Cycling. Dan has a master's degree in Sports Medicine from the United States Sports Academy in Daphne, Alabama and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). Along with John Hughes, Dan authored Distance Cycling: Your Complete Guide for Long Distance Cycling through Human Kinetics. Dan also writes for roadbikerider.com and served as a contributing editor for Ultra Cycling magazine, the official publication for the Ultra Marathon Cycling Association (UMCA).

    Dan Kehlenbach has been coaching and mentoring cyclists and other endurance athletes since 1995 and is a certified coach through USA Cycling. Dan has a master's degree in Sports Medicine from the United States Sports Academy in Daphne, Alabama and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). Along with John Hughes, Dan authored Distance Cycling: Your Complete Guide for Long Distance Cycling through Human Kinetics. Dan also writes for roadbikerider.com and served as a contributing editor for Ultra Cycling magazine, the official publication for the Ultra Marathon Cycling Association (UMCA).

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