Road cycling, mountain biking, and gravel grinding are part of life here in Bend. Many of us (myself included) are two-wheel enthusiasts and prefer to spend most of our training hours on the bike. Let's face it, biking for fitness is much more fun than spending time inside a gym. However, we must get off the saddle and cross-train to keep our bodies healthy and functioning optimally both on and off the bike.
Cross-training not only helps to prevent injury but also can help optimize our power output and cycling efficiency. When training to increase mileage or while prepping for a bike race, it is critical to incorporate at least one day per week dedicated to strength training. While performing high-volume training cycles, it's essential to take a well-rounded approach to target other planes of motion and incorporate mindful core stability training.
If you have seen me in the clinic, you know that I treat the core (diaphragm, transversus abdominis, and pelvic floor) as the foundation of our "house." Prioritizing strength in our core and hips, particularly glutes, helps optimize our power output for cycling (and running!). Often knee pain or low back pain associated with biking reflects suboptimal core strength or hip strength.
Try the following sample workout to supplement your current riding routine. For videos, check out our Instagram or Facebook @outsidemovementpt.
Sample strength training for biking:
5 min warm-up: walk around the block, easy effort on a spin bike or rower, easy pace jog, or your favorite combo of plyometric drills (jumping jacks, burpees, etc.)
3 rounds: go slow and prioritize the quality of movement and form before adding heavy loads.
Banded Single leg bridges 8-12 per side
Single-leg Romanian deadlift 8-12 per side
Bulgarian split squat 8-12 per side
Bird Dog 5 per side
Plank to Renegade Row 5 per side
Paloff press 5-8 per side
If you have specific questions about your training schedule or a difficulty you are experiencing while riding, reach out! We are here to help you keep riding both happy and healthy.
Happy training, Nicole Todisco MacDonald