While core training is the place where your power begins, strength and power are built through squats and deadlifts. By switching your focus to the lower extremities you'll not only create structural balance, you'll also increase your force production, which will make you more efficient on longer rides.
Try these six exercises at least once per week during the season and twice per week in the offseason to improve your performance on the bike.
Single-Leg Deadlift1 of 13
1. Hold a kettlebell or a pair of dumbbells in front of your legs.
2. Roll your shoulders back and down. This will keep your back in a proper position during the exercise.
Single-Leg Deadlift Continued2 of 13
3. Lower the kettlebell toward the floor by bending at the hips. Keep your arms straight.
4. Raise your left leg back behind you. Keep your right knee slightly bent and lower the bell to the floor. If your back or shoulders start to round, you have gone too far forward.
5. During the exercise, keep your eyes up to help your balance. Complete 3 to 5 sets of five repetitions.
Glute Hamstring3 of 13
1. Lie face down on a back extension pad with your hips slightly off the pad.
2. Cross your arms over your chest and keep your knees locked.
3. Remember to keep your back as flat possible as you bend over the pad.
Glute Hamstring Continued4 of 13
4. Use your glutes, hamstrings and back to lift yourself back up.
5. Bend your knees as you rise to increase your height. Contract your hamstrings at the top of the motion.
6. Complete 2 to 4 sets of 5 to 8 repetitions.
Hip Thruster5 of 13
1. Start seated on the ground with a bench directly behind you.
2. Take the barbell and place it over your legs. Place a pad under the bar to reduce any discomfort from the weight of the bar.
3. Move the bar directly over your hips.
4. Lean your shoulders back against the bench behind you.
Hip Thruster Continued6 of 13
5. Drive your feet down through the floor, contracting your glutes and hamstrings. Extend your hips as high as you possible until your waist is near the level of your shoulders.
6. Return to the starting position and repeat. Complete 2 to 4 sets of 4 to 6 repetitions.
Kettlebell Swings7 of 13
1. With the kettlebells in front of you on the floor, grab one kettlebell with both hands.
2. Swing it between your legs behind you.
Kettlebell Swings Continued8 of 13
3. Immediately swing the kettlebell forward in front of your body to the level of your waist. Try to use your hips to generate power.
4. Keep your body rigid at the top of the swing by contracting your glutes and abdominals.
5. Complete 3 to 5 sets of 20 to 30 seconds of swinging repetitions.
Deadlifts9 of 13
1. Stand with a weighted bar near the center of your feet.
2. Grab the bar and bend your knees, letting your shins touch the bar.
Deadlifts Continued10 of 13
3. Lock your arms out straight and keep your shoulder blades directly over the bar.
4. Keep your abs pulled in to support your back. Make sure during the exercise you do not arch your back.
5. Pull the barbell up in a straight vertical line until your hips are fully extended.
6. Return to the starting position and complete 3 to 5 sets of 3 to 5 repetitions.
Back Squats11 of 13
1. Using a squat rack, place the barbell on your upper back just below the shoulder.
2. Take a few steps away from the rack. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart with your toes pointed out to a 30-degree angle.
Back Squats Continued12 of 13
3. As you descend, push your knees out as far as possible. Squat down so that your hip crease is just below the knee.
4. As you return to the starting position, drive your hips up toward the ceiling.
5. Be sure to keep your head neutral and look straight ahead. Complete 3 to 5 sets of five repetitions.