Strength training is a great way to improve performance and, more importantly, reduce your chance of injuries. Endurance training gives you a strong heart and lungs but doesn't protect you from injury the way strength training can.
For most cyclists, strength training is like another language, and it can be intimidating to venture into foreign territory at the gym. It doesn't have to be that hard or complicated, though. Adding strength training to your routine one or two days a week can make your body more resilient to injuries, improve body composition and it can increase your confidence.
Split Squats1 of 8
Place a bench or stack of weight plates behind you. Place your left foot on the bench with your laces facing down. Look straight ahead and keep your core tight—this will keep your head, neck and spine aligned and in a good positon. Squat down, return to the starting position and repeat.
3 sets, 4 to 6 reps on each leg
Dumbbell Shoulder Press2 of 8
Grab a pair of dumbbells and place them on your shoulders, then tighten up your core and legs. Press the dumbbells up until your elbows lock out. Slowly bring the dumbbells back to the starting position and repeat.
3 to 4 sets, 5 to 8 reps each
Inverted Rows3 of 8
Grab the barbell with both hands as it rests on a rack. Lean back while keeping your feet stationary and your body rigid. Pull yourself up towards the bar while keeping your body in a straight line. Return to the starting position and repeat.
4 sets, 4 to 8 reps each
Chin-Up4 of 8
Grab the chin-up bar with your palms facing you and pull yourself up as your chin clears the bar. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat. Make sure your reps are in the full range of motion to get the most out of the movement.
3 to 4 sets, 3 to 8 reps each
Deadlift5 of 8
Stand behind a barbell with your feet shoulder width apart. Grab the bar with both hands and bend your knees so that your shins touch the bar. Keep your back straight as you lift the bar vertically and stand up by raising your hips. Lower the bar back to the floor. Keep your abs tight throughout the movement.
2 to 3 sets, 4 to 6 reps each
Stir the Pot6 of 8
Start in a plank position with your forearms on a stability ball and your feet on the ground. Rotate both forearms to the left and hold for 10 to 30 seconds. Return to the center position and then rotate to the right, holding for another 10 to 30 seconds. Take a break and repeat.
2 to 5 sets, hold 10 to 30 seconds on each side
Weighted Plank7 of 8
With a partner close by, get into a plank positon. Have your partner place a weight on your back. Hold for 15 to 45 seconds, depending on your current fitness level, maintaining a tight core throughout. Start with a lighter weight before working your way up so as not to hurt your back.
3 to 4 sets, hold 15 to 45 seconds each