Cycling is a very repetitive, non-weight-bearing sport that mostly works across one plane of movement. It’s common to overuse some muscles and neglect others, which can lead to injuries or discomfort. By working on some other activities to support your cycling that don’t take too much energy, you will find your cycling experience improves.
There are FOUR exercise routines I like to work into my training to prime and activate my muscles for cycling, as well as to enhance recovery after the session.
A great cardiovascular activity that also supports bone density and explosiveness. Starting small, skipping is a high-impact activity that if done too hard too soon (easy to do) can lead to injury, setting you back rather than moving you forward. I hadn’t skipped since primary school so I started with one minute a day and progressed from there.
Yoga is a popular activity and with good reason. Not only does it guide you through fantastic stretching and strengthening exercises, it does so with attention to the breath and a relaxed state of mind.
Yoga is a great way to unwind the knots and counteract the position of the bike, as well as calming your nervous system after a hard session. It can also be used as a gentle core strength activity. There are many different “types” of yoga so try a few and see what works for you. I prefer to do yoga after training or on my rest days.
The humble foam roller is a great way to smooth out any grimy feelings in your muscles, kind of like a self-massage. I use the foam roller for a few minutes before I do my muscle activations as well as after training while watching TV to support recovery for the next day.
Resistance bands assist the muscles used for cycling and guide movement to more specifically target these muscle groups during activations. I use them when doing crab walks or clams (ocean-themed activations seem to be a preference) to ensure consistent and precise movement. They are easy to pack in your race bag to do before a race or get in a quick session at the hotel.