In fact, including some form of weight training into your fitness routine is essential, especially as the years start to pile on. Lifting weights will build stronger bones, tendons and ligaments, and can also help to fight against muscle atrophy, which can occur at an alarming rate as you age.
To improve bone density in your hips and spine, you will need to load them in a way cycling can't. Squats, deadlifts, and shoulder presses will do just that—making these exercises the perfect complement to your cycling and to your overall fitness.
Try these four exercises that will go a long way to preserving your health in the years ahead.
Low-Bar Back Squat1 of 8
Target muscles: Glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps.
1. In the standing position, place the barbell on the lowest part of your upper back.
2. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart. Turn your toes out and keep your elbows up.
Low-Bar Back Squat Continued2 of 8
3. As you descend, push your knees out and make sure your hip crease is below your knee.
4. Your eyes should be focused on the floor six feet in front of you.
5. Drive your glutes up as you ascend.
6. Complete 3 sets of 5 repetitions.
Deadlifts3 of 8
Target muscles: Erector spinae, glutes, hamstrings.
1. Stand with your feet under the bar.
2. Grab the bar with both hands and bend your knees.
3. Let your shins touch the bar. Arms are straight and your shoulder blades should be directly over the bar. Inhale to expand your chest.
Deadlifts Continued4 of 8
4. Pull the bar up in a vertical path. Make sure not to let your lower back round.
5. Stand tall and then return into starting position.
6. Complete 1 to 3 sets of 5 repetitions.
Shoulder Press5 of 8
Target muscles: Anterior deltoid, trapezius, triceps
1. Grab the bar with both hands and rotate your shoulders back. Tighten your abs and your legs.
2. Press the bar up in a vertical path. Lock your elbows and shrug your shoulders at the top of the movement.
3. Return to the starting position.
4. Complete 3 sets of 5 repetitions.
Bench Press6 of 8
Target muscles: Pectoralis, triceps, anterior deltoid
1. Lie on the bench. Grab the bar with both hands and pull shoulders back and down
2. Look at the ceiling, not the bar. Tighten up your abs.
Bench Press Continued7 of 8
3. Lift bar off the rack and lower to the chest. Press the bar back up into starting position.
4. Don't allow elbows to flare out.
5. Complete 3 sets of 5 repetitions.