The goal of most competitive cyclists is to increase power on the bike. We all love the feeling of effortless pedaling on a climb, or seeing an increase in speed on the flats. For many of us who have busy lives, there are other ways to increase power on the bike with limited time to train.
The solution is cross-training. Now is the season to begin thinking about taking a break from the bike, and taking on some other activities. With temperatures outside dropping, it becomes more appealing to move indoors to try something different.
Yoga, Core Strength Training, and High Intensity Interval training offer some solutions for great cross-training workouts that are short and specific.
Yoga can help with recovery, range of motion and flexibility. Many of us are incredibly inflexible due to the repetitive nature of cycling. By shortening muscles, we are limiting our own power.
Core training will create strong hips, glutes and lower backs, helping transfer power originating from the hips down the leg to the pedals. Strengthening the hips will take pressure off the legs leading to less fatigue, and the ability to initiate smoother pedal strokes.
High Intensity Interval Training will build muscle, burn calories and mimic short training intervals on a bike as far as the heart muscle is concerned. The addition of plyometric exercises builds strength and power in the legs.
Try adding one of each of these class formats to your week this off-season, and then keep up with these formats in the spring through the summer season next year. You won’t be disappointed with the results you see. A good athlete is a well-rounded athlete, and those things include strength, power, agility, balance and flexibility.