Riding a bike using proper techniques usually works just the lower half of your body. That’s where cross-training comes in! If you really want to help yourself, your body and your cycling skills, cross-training is not only a good idea, it’s almost mandatory.
Cross-training offers a number of benefits including injury prevention, burning calories and increasing endurance. Switch up your routine and try one of these cross-training activities:
Running is an excellent cross-training activity for cyclists. It gives you the best calorie burn per minute and requires absolutely no equipment of any kind. Specifically, one of the best things to do when running is to find a nice, steep hill and run up it. Running up hills helps with the explosive power in your legs, your posture and gives you some impact training to help with bone density. However, like with any cross-training activity, you don’t want to overdo it. Just remember- don’t get too ambitious, take your time, and listen to your body.
Swimming can be one of the best cross-training activities for cyclists because it is zero impact, as your bodyweight is supported by the water. This makes it a great activity in the off-season or if you are recovering from an injury of some kind. Swimming gives you the benefits of exercise for your heart, lungs and upper body while giving your legs a rest.
I know what you’re thinking, “Skating? Really?” But hear us out! This could be a game-changing activity for a cyclists because of many reasons. First, when you skate, whether that be inline skating or ice skating, the striding motion is a close mimic to the up and down motion of a bike’s pedals. If you are mimicking the motion, that means that you will be working out the same muscles. In particular, skating helps out your quadriceps and your good ole butt muscles, the glutes! Skating also provides similar benefits to running but without the impact on your joints.
There are specifically some exercises that could boost your cycling game to the next level! Pretty much any lower body exercise, such as the leg press, leg extensions, hamstring curls, calf raises, or squats can help with your endurance and speed. Core strength exercises can also help reduce injury and help with every aspect of cycling. Although cyclists don’t tend to hit the weight room every day, this could be some good cross-training activities for the off-season or a rainy day.
What activities do YOU do for cross-training?