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9 Leg Strengthening Exercises for Cycling

While cardiovascular fitness is essential for advanced cycling, enhanced leg strength can go a long way towards helping with balanced physique. As a beginner cyclist, you might think doing bridge repeats or interval training is sufficient to gain leg strength. You could discover a marked difference in your leg musculature, yet as years roll on, you might realize you’re just hitting rock bottom in your riding performance, and you may not be able to figure out the reason. Now is the time to change your workout technique to ensure you are on the right road to an effective leg strengthening for your cycling performance. Check these tips below:

Lunges

Lunges, Leg Exercise

Photo Credit: Hi Fitness Club

Lunging works out your hamstrings, calf muscles, quads, and glutes. This means lunging is an all-encompassing workout for boosting leg strength. This exercise also aids in eradicating any variable in thigh strength.

Begin this workout by standing upright with the other leg a little bit ahead of the other. Next, leap forward with the right leg to achieve a 90 degrees bend on your knee.

Maintain the weight towards your heels, then, bring back your body to the initial standing position, pushing away the front leg, before interchanging the other leg. Repeat this exercise 15 times.

Squat jumps

Squat Jumps, Leg exercise

Photo Credit: My Protein

Squat jumps are so vital to the cyclist since they assist in maintaining the hamstring balanced through exercising them in diverse fashion to the pedaling action.

As a cyclist aspiring to ride at supersonic speeds, your squats must be low enough to draw parallel with the ground. Your angle will be used to this level of squat by pedaling.

When still on the squat position, initiate a high jump, by putting in all your effort, while maintaining your hand close to your hits as possible to avoid creating a false momentum.

Calf raises

Calf Raises, Leg Exercise

Photo Credit: YouTube

You should know by now that your calves are continually abducted and flexed while bike riding. So performing toe raises on your days off the bike pretty much imitates the act this muscle creates on a bike, hence, continuity of the muscle development.

How do you do it? Position yourself upright on a flat surface. Your feet should be apart at this time. Then, lift yourself up on your toes easily and slowly. Lower yourself back down, again easy and slowly. Do at least three sets repeating each set 20 times.

If your endurance is up to the mark, you can mix this workout with squats, exercising both your quads and thighs simultaneously.

One –legged pedaling

One Leg Pedaling, Leg Exercise

Photo Credit: Bike Radar

Just as the name suggests, the exercise involves pedaling with one leg. All you have to do is to begin pedaling and remove your left foot from the pedal keeping it away from the rotation. Continue the pedaling for at least three minutes before switching to the right leg. Repeat the process for at least three sets.

When just starting out this exercise, you will experience your movements being jerky when peddling up because of weak hip flexors. But one thing is for sure, the more you perform this workout, the more flexible your flexors will be, and you’ll soon be attuned to it.

Stability Ball Hamstring Curl

Photo Credit: In Motion Life

Photo Credit: In Motion Life

Apart from helping exercise your legs, this workout fortifies and stabilizes your hamstrings, butt, abs, knees and hips.

Do it by simply lying on your back; your feet propped on a stability ball. Breath in, tightening your butt muscles, abs, and back. Lift yourself up from the floor to draw a parallel with the floor surface from shoulder to feet. Breathe out and bend your knees, and utilize your heels to tag the ball towards your butt. Go back to the start point. Repeat the process 10 to 15 times. Take a 30-second rest and repeat all over. If you’ve done 2 sets of 15 each and you still have the stamina, do the third set.

GHD’s

GHD, Leg Exercise

Photo Credit: Elite Fitness

You need a GHD machine to pull off this leg strengthening workout. To optimize movement, ensure you adjust the width and height to your size. To mitigate any low back pain, it’s advisable to squeeze your glutes all through and maintain your core tight. If you fail to squeeze your glutes moving up, you’ll start to indulge a lot of the erector spine muscles and converting the workout into a trunk extension instead.

Kettlebell swings with plyometric box jump

Kettlebell swings with plyometric box

Photo Credit: Breaking Muscle

To hack this workout, you have to keep a tight core, establish momentum in the kettlebell swing and let the swinging momentum push you in front while leapfrogging. Repeat this very motion at least 5 times, let off the kettlebell and then leap onto a plyo box. This is a remarkable plyometric movement that involves numerous muscles. Perform at least 3 sets of at least 3 repetitions as outlined above.

Single-leg deadlift in conjunction with barbell in landmine

Single Leg Deadlift in Conjuction with Barbell in Landmine

Photo Credit: Sweat Like a Pig

If your home or commercial gym lacks a landmine, then you are liberty to insert the barbell end into a corner of a wall. This workout is unilateral; therefore, it needs higher levels of balance. This makes banging out this exercise with any flat shoes or barefoot rewarding. Your back must always remain flat so that you do not indulge those erectors and minimize the possibility of injury to the low back. During motion, ensure to squeeze those hamstrings and glutes and also tighten the core in the course of the motion. Perform 2 sets with 12 repetitions.

Hip flexion or extension

Hip Flexion or Extension

Photo Credit: Pinterest

This workout also needs cable cross, ankle cuffs over machine plus 18-inch plyo box. To complete this workout, hook one of your legs to the cable below, climb on top of the ply box, and get yourself steady holding the above beam. Elevate your hips in an explosive manner, and take control of it, while extending it backward. This fulfilling workout is particularly used to exercise the hips flexus, which are mainly used when you want to climb on the bike. It also fortifies the gluteus maximus. For effective outcomes, you’ll l need to complete 3 sets of 10 repetitions.

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Dion Lewis
My name is Dion Lewis.

I’ve been cycling from my childhood. When I was in high school, I started racing in our local competitions.

At my college life, I took a part time job in a bicycle shop and I learned how to repair and maintain bicycles professionally.

Though I love racing, mountain biking is another thing I do frequently. My friends, neighbors, and colleagues treat me as an avid rider and take my suggestions while they plan for a new bike or a bike gear.

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