Maintaining strength and mobility throughout racing season can be tough. As the season progresses, we worry more about our bikes and less about our bodies. Long rides, interval training, life and travel can interrupt routines that maintain our strength and mobility. Spending 35 to 45 minutes twice a week will not only allow you to maintain strength and mobility but will help you become a more balanced cyclist.
You do not need to become a strength specialist and look like a bodybuilder on the bike. These exercises, which can be done at home with minimal equipment, are about improving performance, mobility and overall health.
Below are a few simple exercises and stretches to give you an edge over the competition.
Hamstring Stretch1 of 10
With a superband or towel, lie on your back and wrap the band around the bottom of your shoe. Pull your leg into the air, keeping it as straight as possible. The opposite leg should remain flat on the floor during the stretch. Hold for 30 to 90 seconds and switch to the other leg.
Quad/Hip Flexor Stretch2 of 10
Start by lying on your back and wrapping the band or towel around your foot. Next, roll over onto your side; the band or towel will now be behind your head. Bend your knee and pull on the band with your hands. Make sure the leg you are not stretching remains flat on the floor. Hold for 30 to 90 seconds and switch to the other leg.
Two-Knee Twist Low Back Stretch3 of 10
Start by lying on the floor and bring both knees toward your chest. Next, form the letter T with your arms by placing them straight out at your sides. While keeping your shoulders on the floor, lower your knees to the ground. Hold for 30 to 90 seconds and switch sides.
Reverse Lunge4 of 10
Grab a pair of dumbbells and stand tall, keeping your eyes on the horizon. First, take a step backward and lower yourself toward the ground until your front knee forms a 90-degree angle. Push down on the floor with your front foot and return to the starting position. Switch feet and repeat. 2-4 sets, 5-8 reps on each foot.
Push-Ups5 of 10
Get into the push-up position, head in neutral, fingers pointed forward, and squeeze your abs.
Push-Ups (cont'd)6 of 10
Slowly lower your body to the floor while keeping your elbows in. Pause and return to the starting position. 2-5 sets, 4-20 reps
TRX or Cable Rows7 of 10
Grab the handles and place your feet about six inches apart. Next, lean back, tightening your torso, and pull your body toward the anchor point. Pause, then return to the starting position and repeat. 3-5 sets, 6 -12 reps
Stability Ball or TRX Pikes8 of 10
Place both feet on top of the ball. Get into the push-up position and slowly bring your feet toward your elbows as you push your hips up.
Stability Ball or TRX Pikes (cont'd)9 of 10
Keep your legs straight throughout the movement. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat. 2-4 sets, 4-15 reps