Cyclist – The Importance of Strength Training For the Cyclist!
Cycling is a very physically taxing activity that your muscles must be able to endure at varying intensities. If you are a competitive cycler then you understand how hard it is on the muscles to climb the hills and still have enough left at the end to beat out your competition. This article will look at the importance of strength training for the body of the cyclist.
To be a cyclist there is no doubt your legs have to be powerful. They are constantly churning against a resistance that is constantly changing whether you are going straight, uphill, or downhill in your event. Even though that cycle has a seat you may find that your rear is out of it during some of the more demanding parts of the course. Leg strength is essential because of this very reason. My opinion on all cyclist that want to enhance their ability is that an effective strength training program should be as important as time on the bike. When we look at the demands on the legs of this event some may automatically assume that the legs are the sole muscle to train for this event and that is not necessarily true. Yes, the legs will endure a great deal of the load of an effective strength training program in this case, but the body should be more trained as a whole with more emphasis on the lower body as a foundation.
If you think about your time on the bike you realize that deep into the race you have to have a strong pair of legs, a strong back, and outstanding cardiovascular conditioning. Being on that 2 wheeled machine pedaling yourself silly should definitely be part of your conditioning, but the inclusion of effective strength training can further enhance both qualities of muscular strength and endurance. I would approach the program by doing variations of deadlifts, squats (single and double-leg), cleans, and a variety of plyometric drills(single and double-leg). The key to optimizing your performance here is also having a base understanding of the importance of periodization. You should engage in a high volume of both lifting and riding and strategically taper it down as you approach your competition.
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