Are you not filling out those spandex shorts very well in the quad region? Do you envy the muscular calves of your fellow athletes? It’s time to make some serious gains in those quads and calves of yours.
You might say it doesn’t really matter if you have monster legs or chicken legs as long as you fly down the road and put the proverbial knee on your competition’s neck. But if you are feeling that you lack adequate strength in your lower body, its time to fix that issue and get stronger.
Strength is your ability to produce muscular force against an external object, for the cyclist that would be the pedal. The stronger you are the more economical you become, you are now using less energy to spin at 18 mph than you did when you were less strong.
After you master these exercises, progressively add 1, 2.5 or 5 lbs. each week on every lift until you feel you have appropriate strength for your sport.
Split Squats3 sets, 4-6 reps on each leg 1 of 5
If you are not doing some sort of squat you really aren't training your legs. Leg strength is built on compound exercise like squats, not leg extensions or leg curls. Place a barbell on your back or hold a pair of dumbbells at your side. Next, place your left foot into a bench with your laces down. Now look forward about 8-10 feet in front of you, squat down while maintaining a tight torso and your back straight. Return to the starting position and repeat the exercise. Do all reps on right foot, and then switch to the left foot.
Goblet Squats3-4 sets, 4-8 reps 2 of 5
Grab a kettlebell or dumbbell and hold it close to your chest. Push your butt back squat down with your hip crease below your knee. Make sure that your knees stay over your toes throughout the movement (do not let your knee cave-in). Return to the starting position and repeat the exercise.
Step-ups3 sets, 8-12 reps 3 of 5
Grab a pair of dumbbells and stand in front of a box. Place nearly your entire right foot onto the top of the box; drive down with your right foot so that foot is pressing through the box. Now bring your left foot up onto the box to meet up with your right foot while squeezing your buns. Pause and return to the starting position. Repeat all reps on your right foot then switch to your left foot.
Calf Raises3-5 sets, 8-12 reps 4 of 5
Having big calves is really determined by your genetics, so try not to get frustrated if after working them for a year they are not huge, it's okay. Grab one dumbbell and stand on top of a short box, with your free hand holding onto a stable object. Lower your heels down 3-4 inches while keeping your toes on the box return the starting position and repeat.