Leg Strengthening Exercises to Keep Cyclists Balanced
If you use cycling as a primary means of strengthening your legs, you may be exercising certain muscles of your legs disproportionately. While cycling often strengthens quads, it may not keep the hamstrings, back, glutes, and hips as toned and fit. In order to counteract this, some other work-outs may be required.
Exercises to Keep Lower Body Strong
There are three exercises that are excellent for keeping lower body toned, both to balance out fitness and tone, and to increase cycling performance.
1. Single-leg pedaling targets back of thighs and hips. The leg not being used should be rested while doing single-leg repetitions on a stationary bicycle. Reps can be varied according to individual work-out abilities and goals. Both legs should be worked out evenly.
2. Stability ball hamstring curl targets the hamstrings, knees, abs, glutes, and hips. This is a very thorough work-out, and can help to build muscle tone in areas that are difficult to target. Stability ball hamstring curls can be done by lying on a mat with feet on a stability ball. While inhaling, the whole body can be lifted in a smooth line by flexing glutes, abs, and back muscles. Hold this pose for a few minutes for core stability, then slowly bend knees, bring ball up towards glutes.
3. Lunges target the hips, glutes, and thighs. Start by standing with both feet together and hands on hips. Step forcefully forward with right foot, bending both knees and surging forward until right thigh is parallel to the floor with the knee over the ankle. Straightening left leg out, then lunging forward on it will begin a continuous pattern of repetitions.