Triathlete cycling at Kona
Triathlete cycling at Kona
Training > Bike

Strength training for cycling: 6 key exercises

Build strength across your frame so you’re able to better use your core and upper body to control your bike during long rides and your legs to push harder during every pedal stroke…

Athletes that include well-structured gym workouts in their winter training come into spring stronger, faster and more resilient than those who don’t. Scheduling well-structured gym workouts into your winter training will help you become a stronger, faster and more resilient athlete  

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1. Alternate dumbbell chest press

Muscles targeted: Pectorals, triceps, deltoids, rotator cuffs, abdominals.

Session: 3 x 8 to each side, rest 2mins between sets; work with a weight that would only allow you to get out a couple more reps if you had to.

Method: Lie on a flat bench with dumbbells held in a hammer grip position to either side of your pecs. Press one weight up explosively until your arm is straight, then, under control, lower the weight back to the starting position and repeat to the other side. Brace your core and leg muscle throughout the move to maintain balance.

2. Dumbbell squat press

Muscles targeted: Quadriceps, glutes, deltoid, bicep, tricep and adductors.

Session:  3 x 6, rest 2mins between sets; work with a weight that would only allow you to get out a couple more reps if you had to.

Method: Stand with dumbbells held with a pronated grip at shoulder height. Bend at your hips and knees to lower into a squat until your thighs are just past parallel to the floor. As you stand back up, press the weights above your head, then bring them back to the start position.

3. Reverse abdominal crunch

Muscles targeted: Rectus abdominus, transverse abdominis, obliques.

Session: 3 x 20, rest 2mins between sets.

Method: Lie on a mat with your hands by your sides. Lift your legs off the floor and bend 90˚ at the knees – that’s your start position. Brace your core and pull your knees to your chest while keeping your legs bent. Allow your lower back to come away from the floor as you pull your knees towards you. Then  – under control – lower them to the start position so your lower back comes back into contact with the floor.

4. Single-arm dumbbell row

Muscles targeted Latissimi dorsi, triceps, trapezius, biceps.

Session 3 x 8 to each side, rest 2mins between sets; work with a weight that would only allow you to get out a couple more reps if you had to.

Method With a dumbbell in one hand, put the opposite hand and knee on a bench in front of you, and plant your free foot on the floor to the side of it. With your arm hanging and your back straight, pull the dumbbell up to the side of your pec by bending your arm. Lower the dumbbell back to the starting position under control.

5. Barbell calf raise

Muscles targeted: Calves

Session: 3 x 6, rest 2mins between sets; work with a weight that would only allow you to get out a couple more reps if you had to.

Method: Stand with a barbell against the back of your traps and hands in a supinated grip roughly 10cm outside of your shoulders. Body in a straight line, raise heels off floor as high as you can before lowering under control.

6. Romanian deadlift

Muscles targeted: Hamstrings, spinal erectors, abdominals.

Session:  3 x 6, rest 2mins between sets; work with a weight that would only allow you to get out a couple more reps if you had to.

Method: With a barbell on the floor in front of you, bend at the hips and slightly at the knees to grasp it with a pronated grip, with your hands shoulder-width apart. Keeping a slight bend in your knees, but your back and arms completely straight and hips back, stand, pulling the barbell up your shins. Lower the bar back down your shins, stopping just before the weights hit the floor.

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