Most of the cyclists pay more attention to their legs and lungs, but the upper-body plays an important role in cycling. An exercise scientist refers that most people don’t do the exercise to build the strong upper-body but to do a lot of activities of leg-centric, which shows the disregard of the importance of the upper body.
But it is fact that having the stronger biceps and triceps means your arms will be under less metabolic stress when you ride; the lower back muscles, called the latissimus dorsi muscles, provide your body with stability and balance and it can help you keep your coordination when you’re riding. Therefore, it is very necessary to strengthen the upper body and we will offer several tips to make your own strength plan.
It is hard to have biceps like a bodybuilder’s by cycling but cycling does exercise your upper-body strength and the muscle in your arms are used and strengthen in riding because they are relied on more to keep balance. Moreover, it can help improve your overall fitness. Particularly, pedaling works on the deltoid muscles in your shoulders, working with the biceps and triceps in your upper arms. The front is at the front and the back is the triceps. When you grasp the handlebars of your bicycle, both of them will work, even more so when you learn how to ride a bike and keep balance.
1. Hammer Curl
This training is beneficial for working biceps to mimic a handlebar-pulling climb. First, stand straight and palms face your sides with holding a dumbbell in each hand. Keep upper arms tight against your body. Then raise the dumbbells until your forearms are nearly vertical to your back arms. Your thumbs face your shoulders and slowly down to starting position.
2. Lying Triceps Extension
This can isolate triceps to reduce the fatigue from a long ride. Lie on the floor or AB chair and knees bent, feet flat. Palms face in with holding a dumbbell in each hand. Your arms are at your sides. And extend your arms toward the ceiling and bent your elbows slowly with lowering the dumbbells until they’re at either side of your head. Raise your hands again and repeat.
3. Military Push-Up
This training aims at strengthening the ride-stabilizing muscles. It is alike the push-up position. Keep your abs and buttocks tight and keep your back in a straight line. Lower yourself to the floor slowly and keep your elbows against your body and in line with your shoulders. Then push back to the original position.
In the abdomen, the rectus abdominus is the most obvious muscle, sometimes called the “six-pack”. And the transverse abdominus is located underneath the rectus, which can keep the horizontally and stabilizes your body, lower back, buttocks, hamstring and hip flexor muscles.
Plank is a common training in our daily life, which can benefit for transverse abdominus, upper and lower back. Face down to lie on the floor and place your elbows under your shoulders. Your hands and forearms should be on the floor. Lift your hips off the floor and keep your back straight and tighten your abs. Stay 60 second.
2. Boxer Ball Crunch
This trains your abdominus and lower back. Prepare a stability ball and lie with the middle of your back on it. Your knees bent 90 degree as well as your feet flat on the floor. Put your hands behind your head, but don’t pull on your neck. Pressing your belly button against the ball and raise your upper back from the ball. Your shoulders are off the ball and trace a clockwise oval with your body. After 15 clockwise ovals then trace 15 counterclockwise. Repeat.
3. Power Bridge
This training works on glutes and lower back. Lie on the floor or your bed with bending your knees and placing your heels near your buttocks. Arms are at your sides with palms down. Pushing your glutes and raise your hips off the floor (your bed). Pushing up your heels forms a straight line from your shoulders to knees with your toes also off the floor. Stay 2 second and keep your toes position then lower your body quarter to complete one rep. Repeat.
4. Boat Pose
Boat pose is training for transverse abdominus and lower back. Sit with leaning back your torso at 45 degrees. Keep your legs together and raise your hands off the floor. Tighten your abs and your torso to form a 90-degree angle. If your hamstrings are tight, you can bend your knee a litter. Stay for 60 seconds.
5. Scissors Kick
It is useful to train the transverse abdominus, hip flexors, inner and outer thighs. Lie on the floor with your legs straight. Put your hands under your lower back with palms down. Push your elbows down to the floor and pull your belly button toward your spine. Lift your shoulders off the floor and look toward the ceiling. Then raise your legs off the floor for 4 inches and fold your legs-- left leg over right and right leg over left, which is a rep. Repeat for 100.
6. Transverse Plank
This training is for transverse abdominus and obliques. Lie on your left side with your left elbow under the shoulders. The forearm is in front to stay stable and put your right legs on your left. Raise your right arms over your head and raise your hips to form a straight line down your left side. Then lower your hips a few inches off the floor. Repeat 10-15 times and switch sides.