Integrated Training for Improved Cycling Performance - Part 2

The previous article looked at postural issues and possible muscles imbalances involved with cycling. Now that we have an understanding of the imbalances that arise from a prolonged cycling position, we can develop an effective program for correcting those postural distortions.

The first part of the program is stretching the muscles that were identified as tight in the previous article (calves, quads, hip flexors, hamstrings, pectorals, trapezius, and neck flexors). Stretching returns muscles to their proper length-tension relationship. As stated in the previous article, tight muscles alter joint positions which in turn affect the opposing muscles ability to function properly. Each stretch should be held at least 20-30 seconds.

The next component is five minutes of light cardiovascular activity to increase blood flow to the active muscles and increase the efficiency of the kinetic chain. Treadmill or elliptical are great choices.

Core stabilization training is next. Stabilization training involves improving the ability of the transverse abdominis, internal obliques and the pelvic floor muscles too effectively stabilize the spine and pelvis during cycling. Stabilization exercises involve little to no movement through the lower back, hips, and pelvis. Exercises include a progression of teaching the lower abdominals and pelvic floor muscles to stabilize the spine correctly. Exercises include abdominal bracing (aka "drawing-in" maneuver), bridges, the DOG (quadruped) series of exercises, and planks. These exercises should be performed with 12-20 reps with a slow controlled movement.

Balance is a requirement during any type of riding, (endurance, tempo, sprints, climbing, etc) and involves a series of coordinated actions involving the muscular, nervous, and skeletal systems (aka , the kinetic chain). Balance training is designed to improve the body's kinetic chain efficiency. Performing simple exercises like balancing on one leg force the muscles surrounding the hip, knee, and ankle to stabilize their respective joints. As you become more balanced, you can gradually add slow controlled movements like single leg reaches and/or single leg squats.

The strength training portion of the program is designed to improve dynamic joint stabilization by performing exercises that are slow and controlled with higher repetitions. The strength exercises are performed using stability balls, dumbbells, and incorporating balance. Each exercise should be performed with 2-3 sets, 12-20 reps and can be performed in a circuit fashion. The speed should be 4-2-2, meaning, 4 seconds down, 2 seconds hold, 2 seconds up. This slow speed allows the muscles to stabilize the joints and increases force production and force reduction. Exercises focus on the major muscles of body (chest, back, shoulders, legs).

Dave Radin, CSCS, NASM-CPT, is a personal trainer with Precision Fitness. Precision Fitness is located in the Lake Norman area. Check out their website at http://www.lakenormanfitness.com. You can contact Dave at 704-662-8664, or by email at [email protected].

In The News:

Focus on Fitness: All about cardio  Plant City Observer
Upcoming at Billerica Council On Aging  Wicked Local Billerica
Things to do with the EVRPD  Estes Park Trail-Gazette

Winter Running: Survival Tips For Your Feet

The days are shorter, the air is colder and the... Read More

Fat Burning Exercises

Fat burning exercises are the slow, aerobic, long duration types... Read More

Walking for Your Health

Walking is the easiest way of exercise because it is... Read More

Benefits of Elliptical Training

The basic motion of an elliptical trainer is a smooth,... Read More

Burn 340 Calories a Day with Aerobic Exercise

Strengthen your heart and lungs and give your body a... Read More

How To Jump Rope For Health and Fitness

Rope skipping is an excellent cardiovascular exercise according to the... Read More

Too Much Water Can Kill

Long distance runners and other endurance athletes have long been... Read More

Lose Weight And Skyrocket Your Metabolism With Regular Cardiovascular Exercise

Do you try to eat well, even diet, but aren't... Read More

Treadmill Workout Ideas That Make Fitness Fun

Research shows that in order to lose weight safely and... Read More

Run for Your Life

Running is an ideal symmetrical activity for keeping fit. However,... Read More

Cardios Effect on Overall Health

When most people hear the word "Cardio", their mind automatically... Read More

The Best Cardio Workouts

The benefits of exercise are abundant and well documented, and... Read More

Are You Making This Cardio Mistake?

Are you exercising for long periods of time to try... Read More

Aerobic Activity Burns Fat

Aerobic activity is any exercise that helps you use oxygen... Read More

Running on Empty

A sexy pair of legs moseys its way down a... Read More

Running Tips

It's a good idea to consult your doctor before beginning... Read More

Why Your Cardiovascular Workouts Might Be A Big Waste Of Your Time

What if I were to tell you that most if... Read More

Aerobic Cross Training for Weight Loss

Do you sometimes get bored with your aerobic exercise? Do... Read More

Guidant Corporation Recalls Heart Defibrillators

A worldwide recall was announced by Guidant Corporation for nearly... Read More

5 Tips for Starting Runners

So you've decided to take up running? Maybe you are... Read More

Spinning Classes - Indoor Stationery Bicycle

Over the years I have changed my exercise routine continuously.... Read More

3 Keys To Finding Your Natural Running Stride

When I think back to when I was at school,... Read More

The Fitness Cardio Secret That Propels Lance Armstrong

What is Lance Armstrong doing that you can do to... Read More

An Alternate Fitness Tool

Any competitive or recreational athlete will use a variety of... Read More

Using Nutrition to Boost Your Cardio

So, you're doing cardio religiously and you're not getting any... Read More