The beginning of spring is an ideal time to start the cycling season. However, before you decide to get on your bike and set off on your first trip, it is worth taking care not only of good preparation of the bike for the season, but also of your body’s fitness. If you are wondering what a general training at home should look like, we invite you to continue reading.
Training before getting back on the bike – exercises
Spring has knocked on your door, you are surely already thinking about preparing your bike for the season, but do you remember that it is still worth to work on your fitness? If you don’t know where to start, the best solution will be general development training at home without equipment. Doing it, you will increase not only your coordination, but also your endurance, without building up your muscle mass. Thanks to functional exercises you will stay in good shape all year round. This is because they involve tonic muscles, which are under considerable strain during exercise.
Performing exercises engages several muscle parts at the same time. Below we present those that will stimulate tonic and phasic muscles to work. All of them can be easily performed at home. We will start with the upper body.
Bends – strengthen not only your spine, but also your arms and legs. Stand with a slight stride. Take weights in your hands and, holding them at the height of your chest, lift them high, bending once to the left and once to the right. You can also do these bends while sitting.
Lift weights and push-ups – these are arm strengthening exercises that you must not forget. Hands play an important role during cycling, as they are responsible for maintaining balance. Here we also strengthen the spine. When lifting weights, stand slightly apart, holding the load of your choice in your hands. Now lift your leg up so that it is next to your knee. At the same time, raise your arms to the sides at shoulder height. Try to hold the whole position for 5 seconds.
Seated trunk twists – these exercises will especially strengthen the muscles of the spine and abdomen. Sit on the floor with your legs stretched out in front of you. Bend them at the knees, and rest your feet on the floor. Lean back slightly. Your arms should remain at chest height. Then twist your body left and right so that your elbows touch the floor.
These forms of exercise will allow you to take care of the proper preparation of the upper body, which, contrary to appearances, very actively participate in cycling. However, let us move on to the most loaded areas, i.e. the lower limbs.
How to strengthen leg muscles?
Every cyclist knows very well that intensive training and long rides after a long lack of physical activity can cause pain and soreness. That is why before starting trips on a motorcycle it is worth to prepare the parts of the body, which will work the hardest. For this purpose, it is best to perform exercises for leg muscles at home. Thanks to this you will avoid overheating outside, where at the turn of the winter and spring it is cold and damp, and this combination often leads to a cold.
Regular squats – will allow you to strengthen the muscles of the legs (especially the calves), buttocks, back and arms. Stand with a slight stride. Your back should be straight. Bend your knees and lower your hips. It is as if you are sitting on a chair. Remember, your knees should not go beyond the line of your toes. If you can manage it, you can easily use extra weight for this exercise.
Bicycle squat – is an advanced form of the above exercise. It looks similar, but thanks to small differences allows you to use the maximum range of motion of muscles, also activating the so-called medial vastus muscle. To perform this exercise, you must place your feet close to each other, lifting your heels slightly. You can put something under them to make it easier to maintain the right position – the higher the pad, the greater the effects will be.
Climbing stairs – a simple but very effective form of activity, which is also used by Himalayan climbers in their training. It will help develop primarily leg muscles, but also arms and abdomen. During this exercise the hands should be close to the body. Each time you climb a step you raise your hand high into the air. If you are able, you can use a weight.
Tensioning buttocks – probably many times after cycling several dozen kilometers you felt pain. All thanks to an improperly adjusted saddle and constant work of muscles. When doing this exercise lie down on the floor on your side. Extend one arm in front of you and support your head with the other hand. Lift your leg a few inches off the ground. Then bend at the knee and pull it to your chest. Hold for three seconds and then lower.
For those who have more space at home, a trainer is also a great choice. This is a very good solution, because we can ride a bike without going outside. Here, depending on the funds we are able to allocate, we can choose from a wide range of different trainers, such as interactive, which can be connected to a smartphone, tablet or computer. Thanks to that our training becomes more attractive. In addition, we are able to accurately analyze its entire course. It is worth remembering that riding a bike with a trainer we exercise selected parts of our muscles.
Now you know how to strengthen your legs by doing appropriate exercises. Remember however that they should be adjusted to your abilities and current condition. Training too hard can have the opposite effect and cause long-term injury.
Exercises for cyclists at home – how to take care of your condition?
The number of repetitions performed, as well as the duration of the training, should be individually adapted to the needs and abilities of the cyclist. In order to improve endurance, the best option will be an intensive effort with short breaks. If you get out of breath while performing exercises, it is a sign that it would be worth working on improving the efficiency of your lungs. Here it may be helpful to do squats with jumping, thanks to which you will improve your condition, and at the same time work on your leg muscles and spine. Jumping to the side or forward or backward on one leg is also great. The skipping rope will also help you get back to the shape of your dreams, as it will engage a number of muscles to work.
In a healthy body, a healthy spirit!
Taking care of our condition and frequent physical activity are the basic aspects which translate into improvement of our health. It concerns not only the body but also the mind. Sport helps relieve stress and tension, which nowadays often accompany us literally every day. It is therefore worth spending some time on exercising. They will allow you to prepare well for the cycling season, as well as relieve your mind and get away from various worries for a while. Workouts also strengthen character, and this helps to achieve both sports and life goals, and make dreams come true.