3 Strength training moves that will make getting back on the bike less painful

This time of the year many people are taking their first bicycle ride of the season. Much like skiing or any other physical activity that you may have taken a break from, it is always a good idea to prepare your body for what’s to come. Cycling does affect your body in different areas than running, so its important to strengthen glutes, quadriceps, calfs and definitely hamstrings. You don’t have to dedicate a lot of extra training time. By adding these three simple moves to your workout you can save yourself a lot of pain when that first ride comes.

  • Step ups  -Using a step or low bench, place your right foot on top (and centered), then step up on that foot and bring your left leg forward, lifting the knee out in front at a 90 degree angle(pause at the top briefly). Tap the left foot back down on the floor, then repeat the lift. Do this for 12-15 repetitions.
  • Fitball hamstring curls – Lie on your back and place a fitball(aka swissball or physioball) under your heels with your legs extended. Extend your arms down along your body with your palms to the floor, then lift the hips off the floor and bend your knees, rolling the ball in toward you. The soles of your shoes should come to the ball. Extend the legs back out, while keeping the hips off the floor and repeat. Do this for 12-15 repetitions.
  • Medicine ball bridges – Use a lite medicine ball (1-2 lb.) and lie on the floor on your back. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor. Place the medicine ball between your legs, just above your knees and squeeze. Lift the hips off the floor and press them up toward the ceiling. Squeeze and lower the hips back toward the floor (just not on the floor), then repeat. Do this for 15-20 repetitions.

The moves listed above will allow you to strengthen the glutes and quadriceps to push through the pedal stroke, while also strengthening the hamstrings and calfs for the pull during the up phase of pedaling. In addition to these strength moves you must not neglect stretching for these muscles, as well as foam rolling to alleviate myofascial tension.

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