Exercises For Stronger Cycling Legs

07 September, 2018

For cyclists, leg day is considered everyday. But to have good cycling legs, it probably comes as no surprise that having strong legs can take you far. Even if you're not training for a race or working toward any other specific athletic goal, you need legs that are strong enough to literally cycle up the hill and everything else from lifting your bike and walking up a flight of stairs. I've been super into doing bodyweight exercises this last year and have reaped some really great benefits on and off the bike. I do these twice a week at home or the gym to give me a boost to training. There are plenty of bodyweight leg exercises you can add to your workout routine to get stronger—and work toward any strength and cycling goals you may have, too.

Doing leg exercises at home is probably a lot easier than you realize. All you need is your bodyweight, maybe a chair, and the motivation to put some burn in your quads, hamstrings, glutes, calves, and inner thighs. These bodyweight leg exercises below will help you build strength while also prepping your body for any ride, century, or adventure. Give them a try, and embrace the burn.

Perform each exercise for 60 seconds, resting up to 30 second between reps, complete full cycle 3x's or to your best performance.

Chair Squats Jumps
You'll need a chair or bench for this move. Sit on a chair with back straight and feet hip-width apart. Using your glutes, jump straight up, making sure both feet come off the ground. Land lightly, and slowly squat to sit on the chair.

Tip: once you're good at squat jumps, try doing them without a chair. great for core and balance.

Power Skip
From a lunge, with right foot in front and left foot behind, bring left foot forward and jump up (skipping), getting right foot completely off the ground and raising left knee high. Land lightly on your right foot first, before placing left foot on the ground behind you to return to starting position.
Crossover Lunge
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and lift your left foot, stepping backward and to the right to cross behind right foot. From this crossed position, perform a lunge, engaging glutes, abs, and hamstrings to lower. Push off with your left foot to stand. Repeat on the other side.
Lung Walk
Step forward with right foot and, using glutes, hamstrings, and core, lower into a lunge. Lift left foot and step forward, immediately dropping into a lunge on the other side. Continue to “walk” forward.
Rear Foot Dead Lift
Stand on your right leg, slightly bending your knee. Keep your back flat as you hinge forward at the hips into a deadlift, sending left leg back behind you and arms below you. Only lower as far as you can without curving your back. Use your right hamstrings and glute to stand. Repeat on the other side.
Side Skaters
Stand with feet together and crouch down by pushing hips back, keeping back flat and abs engaged. Jump as far as you can to the right, landing lightly on the ball of your right foot. Now jump as far as you can to the left, engaging glutes to push off, and land lightly on left foot. Repeat.

Single Leg Reach Cross
Stand on your left leg with right foot a few inches off the ground, arms at your side. (You do not need to lift your left knee high. This should be a relaxed, balanced position.) Send hips back, bend your left knee, and lower into a squat. As you lower, reach your right arm across your body, toward the outside of your left foot. Get as low as you can (try to touch the ground). Return to starting position. Repeat on the other side.
Side Lunge Squat
Step your right foot to the side, send your hips back, and bend your right knee to lower into a side lunge. Staying low, shift to the other side, so your left knee is bent, and right leg is straight. Push off of your left heel to stand. Repeat, starting with the left foot stepping sideways.
Glute Bridge
Lie faceup with knees bent and feet shoulder-width apart. Raise hips straight up off the ground, engaging glutes and bracing your core. Lower down slowly, creating your own resistance.

Marching Hip Lift
Lie faceup with knees bent, feet on the ground, and abs engaged. Lift your hips as you squeeze your glutes (like the glute bridge). Now raise right foot a few inches off the ground and straighten leg. Try not to let your hips twist. Lower right foot to the ground as you pick up left foot. Repeat "march" on other side, focusing on squeezing glutes throughout.

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