Strength Training Exercises to Improve Cycling Performance

Cycling is an endurance sport, but it also requires a heck of a lot of strength. Well-trained leg muscles and a strong upper body are essential requirements to crank through the rotation of the pedals on long, demanding rides. And yet, many cyclists skip strength training altogether, opting instead to focus on their rides.

It's simple: Strong muscles allow cyclists to ride faster, harder and longer. In other words, your performance on the bike increases by putting in some strength training sweat equity. It also helps riders prevent injuries. When all of the major and stabilizer muscles are strengthened, you're less likely to encounter the most nagging of cycling injuries. Implement a strength training regimen a few times a week and you'll develop into a better all-around athlete who spends less time on the bench.

Strength For Performance

There's plenty of evidence that suggests the importance of strength training for cyclists. Whether you're training for time trials or long rides, it works to enhance performance.

A Journal of Applied Physiology study evaluated a group of trained cyclists who completed three weekly strength training workouts. At the end of the 10-week program, the cyclists had increased their leg strength by an average of 30 percent. Short-term endurance and long-term cycling to exhaustion also increased.

This study showed that strength training had no negative consequences for endurance performance. In fact, the researchers asserted that a strength program can bolster performance in sports such as cycling that require the use of fast-twitch muscle fibers. This added strength will allow you to more efficiently mobilize the muscles needed to forge ahead.

More: How Cyclists Should Approach Strength Training

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About the Author

Mackenzie Lobby

Mackenzie Lobby is a Minneapolis-based freelance writer and photographer with a Master's in Kinesiology from the University of Minnesota. She has run 10 marathons and is a USATF certified coach. When she's not writing, she's out swimming, biking, and running the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes. Check out her website at mackenzielobby.com.

Mackenzie Lobby is a Minneapolis-based freelance writer and photographer with a Master's in Kinesiology from the University of Minnesota. She has run 10 marathons and is a USATF certified coach. When she's not writing, she's out swimming, biking, and running the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes. Check out her website at mackenzielobby.com.

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