6 Strength Training Exercises for the Century Rider
More than 100 miles is a long way to sit in the saddle; there is no doubt it takes a toll on your back and shoulders. There are ways to prevent this, as strength training is a great way to prepare the body for long stints on the bike. For most century riders who put in long miles each week, it can be tough to find time to hit the gym to strength train.
However, you do not need to be in the gym for hours to see the benefits. Two 45-minute sessions are all you need. Show up at the gym with a plan and keep your rests between sets on the shorter end. Keep in mind that your body gets plenty of endurance work on long rides, so do not kill yourself doing a bunch of reps. The intensity will be greater with heavier weights, but the volume will be lower. (Volume is what you want to avoid when already cranking out a ton of mileage.)
Dumbbell Back Rows1 of 7
Place your right knee on a bench and grab a dumbbell with your left hand. Row the dumbbell back until your elbow is just past the level of your torso. Pause and return to the starting position. Do 4 to 6 reps then switch arms. 3 to 5 sets
Inverted Rows2 of 7
Find a squat rack and place the barbell at arm's length. Get your body in a rigid position and pull yourself to the bar until your chest touches the bar. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat the movement. 4 to 8 reps,3 to 5 sets
Shoulder Press3 of 7
All cyclists should practice shoulder exercises because of all the hours sitting in the saddle with your shoulders rounded. Grab a barbell or dumbbells. Tighten your abs and legs before you press the bar in a vertical path. Lock your elbows out and shrug your shoulders at the top of the movement. Return to the starting position and repeat. 5 reps, 3-4 sets
Back Extension4 of 7
You can perform this exercise on the floor, on a stability ball or a glute-ham developer. Place your arms behind your head and lift your chest up and away from the floor. Focus on squeezing the muscles of your lower back at the top of the movement. Make sure to do this exercise slowly through the entire range of motion. 5 to 10 reps, 3-4 sets
Deadlift5 of 7
Deadlifts not only strengthen your legs but strengthen your back, as well. Stand with your feet under the bar. Grab the bar with both hands and bend your knees. Let your shins touch the bar. Keep your arms straight and shoulder blades directly over the bar. Expand your chest and pull the bar up in a vertical path. Make sure not to let your back round. Stand tall and return to the starting position. 3 to 5 reps, 2-3 sets
Farmer's Walk6 of 7
Grab some heavy dumbbells or kettlebells and start walking quickly. Maintain a straight back and keep your eyes on the horizon. Walk 50-100 feet, 4 to 6 times.