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6 Reasons Why Strength Training Is Important For Cyclists

nicki carter riding exercise bike in a gym

When training for long rides like LOWVELO routes, cardio isn’t the only form of exercise. In fact, strength training has several benefits for cyclists. Here are six reasons why cyclists should incorporate strength training into their training routine:

    1. Strength training combats age related muscle loss
      Use it or lose it! As we age, we naturally lose muscle mass, but strength training helps reduce and can even reverse muscle mass losses.

 

    1. Strength training improves metabolism
      When you increase your muscle mass, you also increase your resting metabolic rate, which means your body burns more calories at rest.

 

    1. Strength training improves bone density
      Maintaining strong bones is especially important as we age. Strength training builds more than just muscle, it slows bone loss and can even build bone. The stress that is placed upon bone during weight bearing exercises spurs bone-forming cells into action, resulting in stronger, denser bones.

 

    1. Strength training reduces injury risk
      The better your general strength is, the more coordinated and more stable your movement patterns likely are as well. Also, stronger muscles and connective tissues are more resilient and less likely to be injured from over-use or even just the stressors/strains of daily life.

 

    1. Strength training prevents muscle imbalances
      Cyclists can have underdeveloped core and upper body strength, and long hours in the saddle can lead to postural problems like rolled forward shoulders. Muscle imbalances can create strain on the joints leading to pain or injury. Following a well-balanced strength-training program can address or prevent these issues and decrease injury risk.

 

  1. Strength training may boost cycling performance
    It only makes sense — stronger muscles improve power output. Getting stronger not only increases power output, but it also contributes to your endurance by making you more economical. In other words, you will be able to do the same amount or work with less effort, or more work with the same amount of effort. It was once believed that doing strength training as a cyclist would add too much bulk and hinder performance but building appreciable muscle mass is a challenging feat even when that’s the desired goal. Furthermore, the chances of adding large amounts of muscle mass while simultaneously doing a lot of endurance training are very small. Strength training will improve a cyclist’s overall strength, enhance performance and help prevent injury.

 

Practicing in the saddle is great, but riders should consider strength training between rides to get the best ride results. Whether it’s to reduce injury risk or enhance ride performance, adding weights into your training routine may get you to the LOWVELO finish line faster and more safely.

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