We continue our look at the gym exercises you need to build explosive power over all three disciplines of triathlon this winter…
To read the first instalment from Joe Beer, click here.
5 Dumbbell step-ups
With a step height suitable to your leg length – so that you can step up without leaping off the back foot – stand up using the front-most leg, holding a dumbbell to increase your effective body mass. Stand up, then lower back down, ensuring you swap legs on the lifting and lowering phases.
Bike and run – uses quads, hamstrings and hip flexors. A simple step and extra weight makes this ideal for improving leg power and, therefore, off-the-bike run race ability.
6 Hip flexion
Using dip/leg raise machine, position arms horizontally on supports with legs hanging down. Slowly raise both legs while maintaining a strong core position, using the hip flexors to raise the knees as the lower leg hangs relaxed. Hold for 5secs then lower slowly. Do not swing the legs; just lower and raise to a count of 3-5secs.
Run and bike – uses hip flexors and core muscles. Gravity provides a great resistance. The stronger athlete can hold a dumbbell between their feet for added work.
7 Dumbbell lateral/front raise
This can be one arm or two arms at a time, front, 45° or lateral raise to target various parts of the shoulder. Ensure the upper body doesn’t lean back or swing to get the weight up and above shoulder height – injury possibility rises if resistance is too high and action too ballistic.
Swim – uses deltoids, traps, pecs. Keeping the shoulder area strong through a variety of directions provides great protection for your swim training when the mileage gets longer and/or the sessions get harder.
8 Bench crunches
Place your calves on a bench, lying on the floor with your backside near to the bench side. Slowly raise your head, shoulders and upper torso upwards by engaging the stomach muscles and breathing out. Hold briefly then lower slowly. Look to tire the muscles by holding the contraction, or an added dumbbell held by the chest, rather than hundreds of repetitions.
Swim, bike, run – uses the abdominals. ‘Core’ is in-vogue – it’s worth doing some isolation work but also engage correctly in resistance and actual swim, bike and run training.
For lots more performance advice head to our Training section