A couple of weeks ago I posted a blog about how strength and conditioning doesn’t have to be about just lifting big weights and getting massive.

In this week’s blog we will cover the basics of bodyweight movement.

The basics of body weight training

The basics of strength and conditioning are relatively simple to get right:

Just train in a way that makes the body more mobile and helps it move with better quality. This might consist of bodyweight exercises. For someone starting out, this might simply be a mix of press-ups, bodyweight squats, and jumping movements.

Why is strength and conditioning so important?

Getting these movements right is key to advancing any strength programme, but it is also key to building performance and comfort on the bike. A stronger upper body from press ups makes it more comfortable to be in the forward position, especially when on the drop bars. The lower body movement here is included to develop basic knee stability and prepare the body for the single leg advanced movements.

The jumping movements adds a level of power in the body as well as impact resistance. This is important for cyclists as it reduces the risk of repetitive strain injuries from constantly pedalling (similar to tennis elbow).

If you ride off road too, it can also help when you decide to point your bike in the way of a tree.

How to get started

All of these exercises would be done as part of a structured plan, but to keep this blog relatively short, I have just labelled the exercises I would suggest:

  • Box jumps: You can also do these at home by jumping onto stairs, decking etc.
  • Step downs: Again something you can do at home, simply step down and land with your knees hard (45 degree angle), and not into a squat.
  • Bodyweight squat: Really slow the movement down, think 5s down and up, and then 10s down and up.
  • Bodyweight lunge: Keeping a good posture of the torso, lunge forwards on one leg and repeat with the other.
  • Press ups: The standard press up, on your knees if you need to at first and then develop to feet on the floor. To make this harder, slow them down.
  • Pull ups: In my opinion this is THE BEST back exercise you can do. You can work into it by jumping up, and controlling your body on the way back down. This will add some real strength and resilience to your body.

Doing these will make your riding more comfortable, more efficient, more fluid and, above all, more enjoyable. In my eyes, anything that makes riding more enjoyable is worth giving a shot right?

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