Cross training offers many benefits for cyclists, and this post focuses on five of those benefits. Benefits include improving your strength and mobility – and becoming a better cyclist! If cycling is a passion of yours, getting away from your bike and flirting with other forms of exercise may seem like an impossible task. However, did you know that one of the best ways to become a better cyclist actually involves getting off the bike? Here, we’re talking specifically about cross training. Cross training has long been praised for its positive effects on cyclists and many other endurance athletes, and today we will look at five benefits that cyclists can reap by engaging in regular cross training. So read on to find out more!
No. 1: Strength Training will Improve Your Cycling
Cross training is one of the best ways to gain strength, and as you know, strength is an essential component when it comes to upping your cycling game. Hitting the weights can dramatically improve your riding by boosting mobility and increasing your lower body capacity and resistance to fatigue. Unfortunately, cranking up your cycling gears, although fantastic for cardiovascular endurance, isn’t the best way to build your strength up.
Instead, we recommend weekly routines that include deadlifts, squats and upper body presses that will engage your and keep your bones dense.
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No. 2: Variety is the Spice of Life
Did you know that in a single ride that spans over three hours, your body will perform the same movements approximately 17,000 times? Unfortunately, extended periods of repetition can take their toll on your joints and cut your cycling journey short.
This is why crossfit and other forms of cross training are so beneficial when it comes to stabilizing and stimulating opposing muscles and joints through different ranges of movement. These are all key factors in preventing injury or long term damage and injury to your joints and connective tissues.
No. 3: Cross Training will Engage Your Core
Being your best self on the bike goes beyond just strong legs and lungs. To do well on long rides that keep you in the same position, repeating the same movement over and over again, building your core strength up is absolutely essential.
Core work is often overlooked, but it is one of the most important components of being a good cyclist. A strong core will help keep you stable, allowing maximum exertion through the legs and resulting in a much more efficient pedal stroke.
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No. 4: Cross Training Provides a Break in Routine
Spending some time away from your bike and engaging in leisurely exercises such as walking or swimming is a great way to take a break from pedaling while still keeping up with your fitness routine. This may result in you returning to your next bike ride with a clear and refreshed mind, ready to tackle anything that comes your way.
Ultimately, even the most die-hard cyclists need some rest, mental breaks, and downtime from training in order to not over exert themselves or over-train, which may lead to injuries and accidents.
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No. 5: Cross Training Can Improve Your Mobility
Last but not least, cross training, yoga and other forms of exercise are an excellent way for cyclists to improve overall mobility. Yoga in particular is extremely helpful for stretching and improving flexibility, which is important when you are going to be in an aerodynamic position for long periods of time.
According to personal trainers, it is especially important to ensure you give your pecs a good stretch, in order to prevent stooped posture and develop bone strength and stability in your hips.
Feeling Inspired Yet?
Becoming a better cyclist often requires you to hop off the bike, give your body a break, and engage in other activities and exercises that will help you develop overall strength, flexibility and bone health. We hope that this article has inspired you to add cross training to your workout routine which will almost inevitably help you excel further as a cyclist.
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