I can’t tell you how many athletes have said that they do not strength train in-season. For a myriad of reasons, after months of off-season strength training, it is a familiar routine to transition into on-bike workouts completely.
But why give up all that hard work you put in during the off-season? It plays just as crucial of a role during your season than when you’re eating donuts while waiting for your Zwift group ride to start. Including strength training can significantly improve performance, reduce injury, and make you move and feel better, both on and off the bike.
General flexibility and stability can make a massive difference on the bike. For example, cyclists that have greater flexibility throughout their hips, lower back, and hamstrings will be able to ride in a more aggressive position for longer. There’s nothing worse than trying to swing a leg over your bike to immediately tweaking your back. Trust me, it’s not just old age.
I incorporate squats, push-ups, pull-ups; bend exercises like deadlifts and rows; shoulder work, and core work, all designed using superset type formats to make you work like you will on the trail! You will become proficient in these patterns because every program change will challenge you even more, and eliminate problem areas!
Knee pains. Back pains. All the pains. As cyclists, it seems like something constantly aches. A study by Benjamin Clarsen, Tron Krosshaug, Roald Bahr called Overuse Injuries in Professional Road Cyclists was used to register overuse injuries among professional road cyclists focusing on anterior knee and lower back pain.
They concluded that “lower back pain and anterior knee pain were the most prevalent overuse injuries, with knee injuries most likely to cause time loss and lower back pain causing the highest rates of functional impairment and medical attention.” Strength training can help to prevent these pains from occurring down the road or trail. You have to be willing to put in the time to correct some of those habits.
Take some time to think about how this off-season went for you. What do you want to get out of this summer? What worked well both on and off the bike? What didn’t? If you’re not sure where to start, drop me a note. I’d love to chat with you!
– Coach Dee