6 Upper-Body Exercises for Cyclists
While most professional cyclists sport al dente spaghetti arms, you’re probably not a professional cyclist. You don’t have to forfeit toned arms to tackle Alpe d’Huez. In fact, if you aren’t racing any Grand Tours this year, a little strength training works in your favor.
Do you need to look like a Hollywood action star? Absolutely not. But let’s not look like undercooked pasta, either.
Chin-Ups1 of 13
Grab the bar with your palms facing you and shoulder-width apart.
Pull yourself up until your chin is right above the bar and slowly return to the starting position.
Chin-Ups (cont'd)2 of 13
Make sure you use the full range of motion: all the way up and all the way down. For stronger cyclists, be sure to perform this exercise weighted using a dip belt. Attach a kettlebell or weight plate to the dip belt and then perform a full range chin-up.
4-10 reps, 3-5 sets.
Dips/Bench Dips3 of 13
Pull yourself up on two parallel bars. Make sure your head is neutral, core tight and both arms extended.
Lower your body until your elbows are bent at a 90-degree angle and push your body back to the starting position by extending your arms.
Dips/Bench Dips (cont'd)4 of 13
For the novice, you can use a chair or bench. Start by sitting on the bench and place your butt at the edge and extend your legs out in front of you. Lower your hips straight down toward the floor and push your body back to the starting position by extending your arms.
4-10 reps, 3-4 sets.
Diamond Push-up5 of 13
Get into the push-up position and place your hands in a diamond shape with your index fingers and thumbs touching. Make sure your hands are under your shoulders.
Diamond Push-up (cont'd)6 of 13
While keeping your body in a straight line, bend your elbows out to the sides and lower your chest toward the floor. Return to the starting position and repeat the exercise.
4-10 reps, 2-4 sets.
Barbell Curls7 of 13
Grab the barbell with your hands shoulder-width apart. With your arms extended in front of you, curl the barbell by slowly contracting your biceps.
Barbell Curls (cont'd)8 of 13
Bring the barbell all the way up to your chest and then slowly return to the starting position and repeat the exercise.
8-12 reps, 3-5 sets.
TRX Triceps Extensions9 of 13
Grab the TRX handles with your palms facing downward and make sure you're facing away from the anchor point.
TRX Triceps Extensions (cont'd)10 of 13
Lean forward so your body is at a 50-degree angle to the floor. Start with your feet about shoulder-width apart, and extend your arms upward until you've locked your elbows. Return to the starting position and repeat the exercise.
5-12 reps, 3-4 sets.
Concentration Curls11 of 13
Grab a seat on a bench or chair and place one dumbbell on the floor between your legs.
Concentration Curls (cont'd)12 of 13
Grab the dumbbell with your right hand and place your right elbow on the inside of your right thigh. Slowly lower the dumbbell toward the floor and curl the dumbbell back toward you.
8-12 reps, 3-4 sets.