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Strength Training for Cyclists: Pros and Cons

Strength Training for Cyclists: Pros and Cons


Strength training for cyclists has been a topic of conversation for many years. There are many arguments for and against including strength training as part of your fitness regime if you are looking to improve your cycling. If you are considering taking it up, it is important to understand the effects it will have on your training.

Strength training is a form of physical exercise that includes the use of resistance. This is in order to improve physical strength, anaerobic endurance and muscle mass. As a form of exercise, it has been proven to increase bone density, improve joint function, improve metabolism and improve cardiac function.

What are the benefits of strength training for cyclists?

Incorporating strength exercises in your training regime not only improves biomechanics and the efficiency of your legs which is the prime source of power needed for cycling but it can also improve balance, co-ordination and endurance.

Cycling doesn’t just require strong thigh and leg muscles but also requires a strong core. To maintain correct posture on the bike, improve overall endurance and improve your technique when on a climb. By creating a stronger support system, it provides better rigidity to deliver optimum power to your legs. It allows you to put more energy into delivering a smoother pedal stroke.

Cyclists may often begin to develop imbalances due to their posture while cycling and if left untreated this can lead to pain and injury.

Prevent pain and injury by:

  • Focusing on increasing endurance of stability muscles such as glut medius, transversus abdominus and multifidus which helps correct hip to knee to ankle alignment when on the bike and solidify your position while cycling and;
  • Providing increased spinal and pelvic stability. This allows your legs to generate the power needed to cycle while also providing a strong core to control balance.

Cyclists can use strength training exercises in three categories: endurance, strength, and power. You can incorporate strength training by alternating load and repetitions. This is depending on what you are trying to achieve. You can achieve this through training with weights/ resistance bands in the gym but also through performing sprints. Also hill work, fartlek type workouts when on the bike.

Here at Ballsbridge Physiotherapy Clinic, our physiotherapists can provide you with advice for an effective training programme and following assessment of lower limb biomechanics and flexibility to help you get the most out of your cycling and strength training regime. If you would like to book appointment, please contact us here.

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