Spoke Talk: On the bike, on the floor
As we pile on the miles, recover from a fantastic Tour de Steamboat or prep for the upcoming Steamboat Stinger, it’s important to remember to augment those miles with a few elementary exercises to complement your current program. Start with some basics, and learn as you burn. Not sure where to start? Following are some suggestions, but be sure to chat with a qualified professional for advice or help.
• Plank — Begin with forearms into the mat, on your toes with your back straight. Focus, and hold as you begin to feel your abdominal muscles work to hold the position. There are numerous variations, so do some research or define your own.
• Lunge — The common lunge is great for many sports, and cycling is no exception. Lunges with weights and/or a core twist make a noticeable difference in your ability to stand and deliver power to the pedals. Extra credit for a weighted farmer’s carry with alternating leg lunges. Keep your head up, your chest out and your shoulders square. Want more glute work? Grab a kettlebell or dumbbell and high rep, front squats. Add a burpee.
• Deadlift — Follow any common strength program, and you’ll see an emphasis on variations of Olympic-type lifts. The deadlift is one such lift. It is such a great way to gain overall fitness and strength. Form and technique are important in this lift, so check your technique and get help if you’re unsure.
• Push up/renegade rows — A great combo exercise. Begin with a standard push up (knees or toes) with a set of dumbbells. At the top bring your dumbbell to your chest in a rowing fashion. Make these part of your plank routine to ensure maximum discomfort and suffering.
• Front squat — This is the easiest with kettle bells or a single dumbbell. A few sets will work your glutes, hip flexors and quads. Add variations with your lunge and let the crying begin.
Finish with some stretches. A warm or “worked” muscle gains greater benefit with a stretch. Ideally, you’ll stretch the muscle or group, but take your time. Don’t bounce or pulse; instead, go slowly and steadily. Concentrate on form and effectiveness.
The above is not intended as a definitive list, rather a reminder of the importance of efforts that can help your existing riding program: laps at the Steamboat Bike Park, hill-climb intervals up the pass or simply a weekend spin with friends. Stay fit, stay healthy.
Routt County Riders is the local source for grassroots advocacy and information for all types of cycling. If you want to help or want more information, find us at facebook.com/rcriders, routtcountyriders.org or email email@example.com.
Alan Perkins is a Routt County Riders board member and volunteer.
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