Cycling and Lifting: The Perfect Balance
With New Year’s
resolutions in full swing, people have been back in the gym tackling their fitness
goals. If you’re out of practice or simply looking for a way to spice up your
fitness routine, consider exploring a blend of cycling and lifting. A
combination of the two yields balance and results, as well as adding variety to
Cycling is a great
way to increase cardiovascular fitness and lose weight with low impact to the
joints. Cycling also improves muscular endurance through continually exerting
force over an extended period of time. This rhythmic repetition not only
improves endurance, but releases endorphins that lower stress levels. An indoor
cycling class can be particularly good for stress relief, creating an
environment that drives performance while allowing you to turn off your mind
and enjoy the ride.
Lifting is a perfect
complement to cycling and can bring a well-rounded balance to your overall
fitness. Here are a few high-value exercises to round out your workouts that
will prove perfect companions for cycling:
Strengthens your quads through a full range of motion to make you stronger on
hills while encouraging upper back extension to counteract the flex position
that you are in on the bike.
Start with the barbell across the front of your shoulders, fingers under the
bar and keeping elbows up. Keeping your chest up and core braced, drop down
into a squat until your thighs are parallel to the ground.
Often? 2 to
4 sets of 5 to 8 reps, one to two times per week before cycling.
Stronger hamstrings and glutes help to balance out the work done on the bike
and keep your knees pain free.
a standing position push your butt back while keeping your chest up and legs
mostly straight until your hands are at about mid-shin, then squeeze your
glutes to return to the starting position. Barbells, kettlebells, or dumbbells
are all great options to load this exercise.
Often? 2 to
4 sets of 5 to 10 reps, one to two times per week before cycling.
strengthen the upper back and help get you out of the rounded over, internally
rotated position that is common among cyclists.
The How: Using a cable machine with a
rope attachment or bands, start in a standing position with arms forward. Drive
your elbows back so that your arms end up in a field goal signal position and
repeat. You should feel this mostly in your upper back and on the backside of
Often? 2 to
4 set of 8 to 20 reps, one to three times per week.
loosen up your hip flexors, which are commonly tight in cyclists.
the shin of the leg that you are stretching up against the couch, knee on the
ground, toe pointed towards the ceiling. Opposite leg should be forward in a
lunge position, squeezing your glutes to stabilize the lower back. Hang out in
this position for at least a minute, increasing the stretch as tolerated.
to three minutes per side, two to six days per week after exercise.
Find your perfect balance of cycling & lifting at Granite Fitness with our brand-new, revolutionary BODY BIKE®. Experience the latest technology with the BODY BIKE® Indoor Cycling app that will take your ride to the next level with a powerful tool to monitor your performance during and after your workout creating an enhanced ride. Join the quest for the perfect ride on BODY BIKE®, only at Granite fitness.
by Ryan Jore
, Trainer, Granite Health & Fitness