4 simple drills to improve your cycling aerodynamics and power
Coach Andy Wadsworth
Benefits Strengthen core muscles; hold a more efficient TT position for longer
Nutrition Electrolyte drink; energy gel
Warm-up 10mins on the bike or steady jog to get the blood flowing.
Wall hamstring stretch, 3 x 1
Stand with your back against the wall and squat down to legs at nearly 90°. Pivot from the hips to bend the upper body forwards. Keep upper body down with back parallel to the floor and then straighten legs to feel the hamstring stretch. Hold the stretch for 1-2secs and then tense abs and bring upper body back upright to the wall. Hold your arms in a TT position throughout.
Hamstring stretch into plank, 3 x 5
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart on a towel. Now bend at the hips and reach down, easing into a strong plank position by using arms to walk forwards five paces and then back five paces. Finish by walking hands back up and reverse through hamstring stretch to stand up tall.
Cool-down Easy 5min walk.
- Outside Aero
Coach Matt Bottrill
Benefits This isn’t too demanding a session but it’s not designed to be; instead, it’s all about making changes to your head position as that’ll be a game changer in terms of performance and free speed
Kit Bike, power meter or heart rate monitor
Warm-up 10mins easy at a high cadence.
Main set 10mins @ 30secs max effort with 30 secs easy.
Action the Turtle; in other words, pull on the extensions, push into the pads and try pushing your head forwards to hold a better head position.
5mins easy recovery.
6 x 5mins @ 83% functional threshold power (FTP) – low cadence (around 80rpm) with 5mins easy. Turtle.
10mins @ sweetspot
Cadence to suit. Turtle – see how long can you hold.
Cool-down 10mins high-cadence recovery.
Coach Matt Bottrill
Benefits This is all about the shoulder shrugs. Look at doing this in front of a mirror so you can start to see the changes in your shoulders. The idea is to push into the pads and pull on the end of the poles. We need to train the muscles around the neck and shoulders to grow stronger.
Kit Bike, indoor trainer, power meter or heart rate monitor, mirror
Warm-up 15mins, easy, high cadence.
Main set 8 x 1mins @ 83% FTP. Low cadence around 80 with 3mins easy recovery. Shoulder shrug at times throughout each rep.
10 mins @ 83% FTP. Cadence to suit.
Cool-down Easy 5min high-cadence recovery.
- Better Breathing
Coach Jamie Webb of Brighton Sports Therapy
Benefits This breathing exercise will send more oxygen to your muscles, help you exercise longer and create more space for the flexibility required for a dynamic position. It’s weight training for your diaphragm.
Warm-up Lie on your back and breathe naturally. Where do you breathe the most? Is it in your stomach or your ribcage? Perhaps even your neck?
Main set Still on your back, start the breath by moving your tummy. As your diaphragm draws your lungs downwards, your stomach should move outwards. Place one hand on your stomach and one hand on your chest to make sure your stomach moves first. Breathe deeply in a wave from the bottom of your stomach and continue the ‘wave’ through your ribcage front, back and sides. Start with a couple of minutes. You may feel a little dizzy initially if you’re not an efficient breather normally. Increase the duration as your body adapts. Do this once a day.
Cool-down Go back to breathing naturally in your normal way. Does it feel different? How do you feel? More relaxed? This is a good way to start a workout. When you’ve got the hang of it, breathe like this while spinning the pedals.
Image credit: Getty Images