Whatever your level of road cycling, there will always be some room for improvement. You may be a master of the climbs, but struggle with sprints. But there’s no point resting on your laurels. If you keep working you’ll see continual benefits. Of course there are loads of things you can do on the bike to boost your performance, but there’s plenty you can do off the bike too.
So, if you’re up for a little improvement take a look at our guide brought to you by Holland & Barrett.
Building up cycling strength
Strength training is a great way to enhance your cycling. When training off the bike, it’s vital to always think of your performance on it, so focus on your legs, back and arms. The following exercises are great to focus on, but it’s always important to make sure you include them as part of a balanced programme.
- Leg exercises – leg presses, weighted squats, lunges and bodyweight squats
- Arm exercises – bicep curls, tricep presses are perfect to strengthen your arms and keep them balanced
- Back exercises – dumbbell rows, lat pull-downs will focus on your upper to mid back strength; back extensions will train your lower back
When trying to improve your core strength and build muscle for cycling you should also consider using supplements such as maximuscle to provide additional protein and nutrients.
Go for long rides
The long ride should be the foundation of your cycling training. It’s vitally important, so try and make sure you do one long ride a week, or at least every two weeks. The purpose of this on-bike training is to build your endurance. A long ride should be anything longer than the distance you’d cover on a normal daily ride. It depends on you individually and your personal fitness and goals, but you’ll know what you should be doing. In most instances we recommend anything from an hour upwards. It’s also a great opportunity to get out and explore some areas you don’t normally venture to – after all it’s one of the real pleasures of cycling.
Whilst a long ride is of course extremely important, you should also try balancing this out with some faster-paced riding. Try and push up the intensity for ten minute intervals followed by a recovery period. Repeat this a couple of times during your session.
When pushing your body to the limit with long rides split up with intervals, keep yourself hydrated during and after your time on the bike. It’s also worthwhile looking into supplements from Holland & Barrett to aid with your recovery.
Warm-up and down
As with any sport, it’s vital that you spend time stretching before and after you ride. Also incorporate some light cycling into your training when on the bike to get the blood flowing and the muscles loose. A common problem suffered by many cyclists is poor chest flexibility due to the rounded shoulder position when on the bike. When stretching its vital that you make sure you fully stretch out your upper back and chest muscles as well as your legs.
With just a few improvements on your training regime you could be pushing to become the cyclist you always wanted to.