Bart Haynes here. As we move into winter and spend less time on the bike, it’s an opportunity to do other workouts that can help you improve your cycling ability. Most cyclists I know tend to think that workout time is best spent in the saddle rather than doing something else, but this just simply isn’t the case. Periodic, targeted workouts can:
- Improve cycling endurance
- Improve cycling speed
- Reduce the instance of injury
Here are a few things I do in the offseason.
Yoga for Cycling
A lot of cycling, like any kind of workout, will make your muscles tight. Tight muscles are not good for avoiding injury and chronic pain. Tight muscles can aggravate our chronic pain spots – i.e., back and neck.
I highly advocate periodic yoga during the active cycling season, and more yoga in the off season. Doing so will help you start the next season limber, warm, and ready to go without having to “ease” into your cycling so slowly. Furthermore, it will allow you to maintain your flexibility throughout the active cycling season.
Core and Hip Exercises
High rep core exercises are great for cycling, and you don’t have to worry about putting on bulk. Some core exercises I do religiously in the off season are:
- Pushups at 30 reps
- Ab wheel at 20 reps
- Hamstring sliders
- Hip thrusts
The great thing about these types of exercises is that they are portable – do them at work, at home, or wherever. No gym required.
Of course, leg exercises can help you build muscle and increase speed, both of which are useful in cycling. Some leg exercises I highly recommend are:
- Step ups
- Jump ups
- Agility exercises
- Jump rope
The good news about exercises like these is that, like core and hip exercises, they are not time consuming and are easy to do in your home.