There are few sports that have seen as much growth in the USA as cycling. Cycling journeys increased from 2 billion in 2000, to 4 billion in 2009. Also, more than 750,000 New Yorkers cycle every day. With national campaigns pushing cycling benefits, the number of bicycle users in the States is set to rise too. With this, healthy competition between riders has increased also. The average American wants to become fitter, smarter and better on their bicycles and improve their efficiency. Luckily, there are certain exercised and workout routines you can do to improve your ability on your bicycle and keep you one pedal push ahead of the pack.
One of the keys to improving your cycling performance is to boost your overall core strength. One way to do this, is to ensure you are cycling in the gym, but mixing up your regimen from your road cycle. Try high intensity intervals, with thirty seconds of sprints followed by thirty seconds of moderate cycling, followed by rest. This will help improve your core strength, while also developing your overall fitness. Also try increasing the difficulty for thirty seconds, so you are really having to drive the pedals down to get them moving. This will ultimately improve strength and increase your muscle mass, long term. Again, try thirty second intervals at first, to get that core strength up. When you are using HIIT, it is important to fuel the body correctly. Ensure you consume adequate amounts of protein to fuel effectively, so you do not run out of energy at critical times. Protein is essential for energy intake, as well as helping turning your unwanted fat stores into muscle.
In the off-season, try and develop your squats and lunges. Both of these exercises will improve core strength and improve those quads, glutes and hamstrings that are so important when striving for power on the road. Again, as you get fitter and stronger, you can increase the difficulty of the exercise by adding weights when you squat or lunge. Hold a dumbbell or a kettle bell and increase the weight as your overall strength improves.
In addition, you will need to improve your muscular endurance, to see regular improvements to your times out on the road. One excellent addition to your repertoire could be The Plank. Often cited as a difficult exercise, The Plank really works and really develops the endurance of your abdominal muscles. If you lie on the floor on your front and push yourself up on your arms, to rest on your elbows you are in plank position. The rest of your body should be in a press up position. Hold the position, as best you can, for thirty seconds. As you get fitter, you can increase the time. This exercise will have a really positive effect on your overall physical endurance.
If you want to improve your cycling performance, follow these simple exercises. Doing them together will develop the core groups you need to be in peak physical condition to get your best performance when cycling.
Story submitted as special contribution by Sally Writes.