How Cyclists Can Improve Their Bone Health

Use Structural Exercises

Structural exercises are done standing and involve multiple muscle groups. For example, a squat or lunge is a better choice for your legs than leg extensions or leg curls.

Consider adding full-body exercises such as power cleans, snatches, push-jerks or deadlifts to your program to help increase bone density throughout your body. These exercises are also great for developing overall strength and power. Be aware, however, that these movements are fairly complex—you may want to consult with a strength coach experienced in teaching these exercises.

More: 3 Simple Wrist Exercises to Help You Get a Grip

Progressively Overload

One of the fundamental principles of training is overload. In order to improve, you must continually increase the demands placed on your body and this is particularly important to promote bone development.

Try not to get stuck lifting the same amount of weight workout after workout. Keeping a journal will help you keep track of your exercise progressions.

Vary Your Exercises

Periodically changing exercises will produce different forces on your musculoskeletal system and provides unique stimuli for your bones. As an example, if you strength-train three days a week, you could alternate between squats, lunges and leg presses for your lower body exercises.

More: 3 Leg-Strengthening Exercises for Cyclists

Be Patient

Improving bone density with strength training takes time—six months or more depending on your individual response and program design. However, the process begins immediately, so just keep telling yourself that each and every workout is contributing to your overall health and fitness.

With these points in mind, try to set aside some time for strength training. Your cycling performance and overall health will benefit.

More: 8 Core Exercises for Cyclists

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Reference: Ratamess, N.A. (2008). Adaptations to anaerobic training programs. In Baechle, T.R. & Earle, R.W. (Eds). Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning: National Strength and Conditioning Association. (3rd ed., pp. 93-118). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

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