2019


Strength Training for Junior Cyclists

A resource for BEA Athletes to reference some great workouts to do on your own for warming up, cooling down and staying strong!

Use the drop-downs below to see the workout.

Coach Bill

Strength Training for Junior Cyclists Information - Open for Details

Warm Up for at Least 10 Minutes

  • Either do this after a ride, or
  • Start with a light jog of 5 – 10 minutes, or
  • Go through this circuit once, slowly, doing each exercise with almost no effort or intensity, just to go through the motions and get moving before you begin adding any force or speed or true effort.

Do this circuit 2 times minimum. 3 if you’ve been gaining strength and you know your form is good. If you’re not sure, just do it twice and keep it light and fun:

Single Leg Hop 10 on each Leg

  • Stand on one leg, tall and arms ready, pop straight up as high as you can, land softly
  • 10 on one side, then switch

Step Ups 10 on each Leg

  • Use something knee-high or lower
  • Stand up on one leg normal speed or faster, come down slowly and controlled
  • 10 on one side, then switch
  • add light weight at your side or in front of chest if needed

Split Squat Jumps 30 seconds

  • “Telemarkers” start in a lunge, feet shoulder width apart, pop straight up, switch positions, soft landing, explode up immediately 

Plank Variations (Burrito) 1 minute

  • Hold a stable position for 2-3 seconds, then switch positions – be creative and challenge yourself
  • Start in “Push Up” move hands apart, or feet apart, or one arm up, opposite leg up, or pop into the air from all-fours, or get as low to the ground as you can without touching, or go to side plank… Endless really. Hold, control, switch.

Squat Pause 5 times

  • Begin standing tall, move down very slowly (5-7 seconds to descend) into a 90-degree squat, hold for 3 seconds at the bottom then explode up.
  • Breathe! and repeat for 5 total

Why does this workout help Junior Cyclists?

  • While I don’t have time to footnote things here right now, I think these are valid reasons and smart training:
  • Focusing on hip and one-leg alignment will help you push on the pedals harder for longer
  • These focused movements help stabilize your growing joints and increase your range of motion
  • Isometric holds like Plank and Squat Pause are tiring, so you have to work, but they’re generally safe to push harder and ‘break through’ into new connections of mind over body strength
  • Jumps produce lots of force off the ground, so you get explosive power, but landing softly stresses your body in a different way that makes it adapt and can be great for strengthening tendons and bones as long as you don’t over-do-it, which could actually increase risk of injury from too much stress on a tired system. To be safe, keep jumps short and sweet.

 

Warm Up for at Least 10 Minutes

  • Either do this after a ride, or
  • Start with a light jog of 5 – 10 minutes, or
  • Go through this circuit once, slowly, doing each exercise with almost no effort or intensity, just to go through the motions and get moving before you begin adding any force or speed or true effort.

Required: something in the 5 – 15lb range that you can hold in your 2 hands dumbell, a rock, or a gallon milk jug is about 8 lbs, or put dirt / sand in it to get over 10lbs. 

Do this circuit 2 times minimum. 3 if you’ve been gaining strength and you know your form is good. If you’re not sure, just do it twice and keep it light and fun:

Plank Variations (Burrito) 1 minute

  • Hold a stable position for 2-3 seconds, then switch positions – be creative and challenge yourself
  • Start in “Push Up” move hands apart, or feet apart, or one arm up, opposite leg up, or pop into the air from all-fours, or get as low to the ground as you can without touching, or go to side plank… Endless really. Hold, control, switch.

Squat Jumps 3 times

  • Stand feet shoulder-width or slightly more, drop into a deep squat, explode straight up
  • “Dive through the Ceiling!”
  • Breathe, shake it out, repeat 2 more times

Broad Jumps 3 times

  • Stand feet shoulder-width or slightly more, drop into a moderate squat, rock, swing arms, make it a full commitment
  • Jump out as Far as Possible (not just up) “Snap Feet Forward” to catch the landing
  • Breathe, shake it out, repeat 2 more times

Split Squat (Lunge) with Twist 30 seconds

  • Get your 5 – 15lb prop and hold it in front of your chest without touching, with both hands
  • Step forward into a lunge and hold
  • Rotate slowly to that side (step with left foot forward = rotate to the left)
  • Simultaneously snap back to center with your spine / core while standing back up.
  • Start slow and add speed only as you improve your stability

Chest to Overhead Press 30 seconds

  • Stand tall and strong! Get your prop to your chest and raise it up over your head, pressing up as high as you can all the way from your heels through hip though hands.
  • Go up and down in a controlled, smooth movement continuously for 30 seconds
  • Breathe! Fighting the resistance of the effort with your breath will improve both your strength and your breathing!

Push Ups 30 seconds

  • Start with hands at your handlebar width and move them every 5 reps
  • No matter where your hands are, keep your shoulders tucked in, shoulder blades down your back, and chest broad
  • Fine to go to knees if that helps smooth your movements.

Hollow-Body Scissor Kick 30 seconds

  • ADVANCED! Read first:
  • Lie on your back. Flatten your back to the ground, engage your core and lift your feet 2 – 10 inches off the ground. 
  • Brace with your hands if you must; keep neck and shoulders from clenching.
  • Scissor-kick your legs across each other, over-under, for 30 seconds trying to keep your back flat on the ground. 
  • Do Not Do This if you cannot keep your back flat on the ground. If you feel your lower back raise up, then you’re not strong enough and should stop.
  • EASIER VERSION: Sit on the ground with your feet in front of you, bring your knees up to 90-degrees, lift your feet off the ground and push them in-and-out, kind of like pedaling.

Why does this workout help Junior Cyclists?

  • While I don’t have time to footnote things here right now, I think these are valid reasons and smart training:
  • Plank and hollow-body and push-up reinforce strong muscular extension of the spine, so that makes your back straight and strong and more able to carry the load of pedaling, jumping, living…. 
  • Overhead press is working balance and chest / back — and then the lunge with twist adds in a rotation to that same area in your back to ensure it’s not getting stuck and weak, but rather strong and active. These movements reduce pain from sitting on a bike for a whole day.
  • Jumps produce lots of force off the ground, so you get explosive power, but landing softly stresses your body in a different way that makes it adapt and can be great for strengthening tendons and bones as long as you don’t over-do-it, which could actually increase risk of injury from too much stress on a tired system. To be safe, keep jumps short and sweet.

Warm Up for at Least 10 Minutes

  • Either do this after a ride, or
  • Start with a light jog of 5 – 10 minutes, or
  • Go through this circuit once, slowly, doing each exercise with almost no effort or intensity, just to go through the motions and get moving before you begin adding any force or speed or true effort.

Do this circuit 2 times. 3 if you’ve been gaining strength and you know your form is good and maybe missed another strength workout this week. If you’re not sure, just do it twice and keep it light and fun:

Bear Crawl

  • Begin on hands and knees, then engage your toes and lift your knees while maintaining that position.
  • ‘Walk to the side’ without crossing hands or feet, keeping hips and shoulders aligned and strong.
  • Go over ten ‘steps’ and back = 1
  • Do it 4 – 6 times.

Plank Variations (Burrito) 1 minute

  • Hold a stable position for 2-3 seconds, then switch positions – be creative and challenge yourself
  • Start in “Push Up” move hands apart, or feet apart, or one arm up, opposite leg up, or pop into the air from all-fours, or get as low to the ground as you can without touching, or go to side plank… Endless really. Hold, control, switch.

Squat Drop

  • ADVANCED: to build knee strength and foot strength and leg alignment.
  • Stand up on a chair or something sturdy about knee to hip height.
  • Enter into a squat position and ‘drop’ off to the ground, with the goal of landing in a deep squat, hips back, knees aligned over pinky toes to absorb the impact and be as quiet as possible.
  • Repeat 7 – 8 times.

Single Leg Tippy Bird 45 – 60 seconds continuous reps

  • Stand hips and shoulders aligned, hip-hinge onto one leg while keeping alignment between hips / spine / neck.
  • Straight-legs = work your balance and hip joint.
  • Go down slowly, touch the ground with a finger and snap back up into place while maintaining form (don’t go too fast, just work on the hip muscles to drive the motion).
  • 45- 60 seconds then change legs = 1 set.

Single Leg Jumps

  • Stand tall, lift one leg, now compress and hop straight up from the leg / hip / back complex.
  • 6 – 8 on each side, then change = 1 set
  • Explode off the ground and land softly. Slight pause to reset — no ‘bouncing.’
  • Breathe! Do 2 sets.

Push Up Variations

  • Hands and toes on ground, each one is ‘down slow, up faster’ — move to knees if you cannot do the full set.
  • Wide arms, wide legs x 3
  • Diamond Hands under chest with wide feet x 3
  • One arm ‘high’ by shoulder, one arm ‘low’ by chest, or any other offset x 3
  • Shoulder-width hands and feet, slight compress then hop on all fours (doesn’t work from knees, must be toes) x 3
  • Walk hands back up to Standing, walk down and out to Push-Up x 3 (minimize hip and shoulder rotations)

That is 1 circuit. Do it twice. 

Why does this workout help Junior Cyclists?

  • Loading the muscular system means you can focus on absorbing impacts and finding proper alignment. This is crucial for developing strength without injury, or can even help rehab injuries or problems because you’re more focused on the form and the load.
  • Any one-legged drill should emphasize power from the hips. Quads or other movers will do work, but the alignment and key to endurance “is all in the hips.”
  • Working on building muscular contractions during the loading phase will help you recruit more muscle and fire better when you need a full movement, so in the drills that require a “load” and “now go” really get after it to build explosive power.

 




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