by: Paige Hope Crowther
Cycling and Triathlon season is underway and my goal is to hit the road faster, better and stronger than last year! I recently completed a Spinning continued education course on Resistance Training for Spinners and it gave me the knowledge and motivation I needed (combined with Lucky13Fitness’ Monster Monday workouts!) to kick myself into the next level for this 2013 season!Here are some tips on movements and strength training which can lead to increased ability in and out of the saddle!
1) Adding STRENGTH to your hill climbing: Pedal Stroke POWER!! Leg Press–especially when done with a single leg at a time–will help your power output per pedal stroke, strength to take on more resistance, and endurance to keep pushing through to the end of those high-intensity, resistance sprints and hard, heavy, long hills. This is an “open-chain” movement, isolating the leg, and anyone nursing an injury (esp. knee) should DEFINITELY seek approval from a doctor before attempting this movement.
2) Giving BALANCE to your out-of-saddle positions: Develop core musculature to improve balance and stability out of the saddle… SQUATS and LUNGES! Body weight squats/lunges/side lunges/reverse lunges, functional squats with a body bar and walking lunges (with or without dumbbells) use core strength to stabilize while moving through multiple planes. Single leg step-ups are another great exercise… add a little extra challenge and hold on to some dumbbells as you go! These are very natural, “closed-chain” movements and will enhance your Spinning program, your road biking AND your movement during every day tasks!
3) Upper Body ENDURANCE for those long Spinning classes or 100+ mile bike rides: Planks and Push-Ups! 6+ hours in the saddle on a long ride means you’ll have to develop your shoulder, upper back, chest, triceps, forearms and wrist muscles. All forms of plank (standing, moving, walking, side, reach-through, feet elevated, etc.) and of course, the always-popular Push-Up are a great way to develop those muscles… and can be done in the living room while watching t.v.!
4) An added PUSH for your Interval and Race Day rides: Think Explosive! Think Plyometrics! These kinds of exercises will help you comfortably and safely perform jumps and transition through positions while maintaining fluidity and control. Plyo squats and jump lunges are great examples to get your Heart Rate up quickly for a power push!
***ALWAYS REMEMBER: Avoid over-training, eat plenty of healthy calories to support your fitness (“STRONG” is the new “skinny”), get plenty of sleep and STRETCH – flexibility is KEY to keeping your muscles and joints healthy for your various activities!
Cheers! to pedaling optimistically forward in 2013!!
About Paige: I got my start in cycling as a Spinning instructor who hadn’t ridden a bike since she was 14. In June of 2011, my Dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Inspired by his strength and positive attitude, I bought my first road bike in January 2012 and signed up for the 2012 Pan-Mass Challenge in February, a ride where 100% of proceeds go to benefit the Dana Farber Cancer Institute through the Jimmy Fund. My father has had an amazing recovery but I have, once again, committed to raising $4,300 for the 2013 PMC. If you feel so inclined, please support my 2013, 192-mile PMC! http://www2.pmc.org/profile/PC0193Join me, Jarrod Charbonneau and Sarah Neely (Boston Sports Club instructor) for my Spin-A-Thon on June 23rd at Beacon Hill Athletic Club in Brighton Center to help me raise money for my 2013 PMC: http://paigespmc.eventbrite.com/#