Improve your winter strength (1)

Four exercises from Joe Beer to increase your overall strength for all three disciplines

Improve your winter strength (part one)

Now winter’s here, it’s the perfect time to build the strength you need to get off to a flying start next race season.


Joe Beer has the exercises to develop more power across all three disciplines…

1 Lat pull-down

Facing the machine, reach up to adopt the wide grip (standard) position or reverse close-grip. Pull against the machine’s resistance, keeping the body firmly rooted and the work coming from the arms alone. Look straight ahead; do not jerk the head down and forward. Slowly return the weight until almost touching the stack and repeat.


Swim – uses lats, shoulders, triceps and biceps. Good technique is vital to prevent injury in muscles that are generally weaker than those in the lower body.

2 Leg press

Adjust the moving sled to ensure you can extend the leg to near straight but can not go excessively deep. The movement should not see you touch your buttocks with your heels – think cycle and run range of movement. Keep the knees tracking over the foot, ensuring slow movements with tension on the muscle, not locking out the knee joint.


Bike strength and run – uses quads, glutes and hamstrings. This uses a lot of muscle, so growth hormone activation and session ‘seriousness’ is quickly established.

3 Calf raise

Adjust the machine so that you can drop the heels at the bottom of the action and fully extend the legs at the top. Keep the knees straight to isolate the calf, moving from a dropped heel to lift the machine (or free weights) until the calf is maximally contracted. Slowly lower and repeat.


Run and some bike – uses gastrocnemius, soleus, feet/ankle. These small muscles are key to running strong off the bike and reducing run injuries caused by poor strength.

4 Tricep press

Using the lat pull-down bar, stand facing the machine with a shoulder-width grip or narrower. Press the bar downwards, bending only at the elbow, with fingers in a relaxed ‘swim catch’ position.


Swim – uses triceps, forearms and hands. It may be a small resistance compared to lat pull-downs but the isolation effect is über effective.


For lots more performance advice head to our Training section