We love cycling! We are a cycling studio! It is what we do and it’s what we love. We love the feeling after a sweat dripping ride and how you feel after a breathless interval and when the ride is done. There are many benefits to cardiovascular exercise including, weight loss, strengthening your heart, lowering blood pressure and the list goes on.
This should only be a piece to your fitness routine! Too much of anything is not a good thing. Continuous repetition causes certain muscles to over develop and others to weaken causing imbalances and eventually injury.
When I was training for my first Ironman, I was teaching probably six classes a week, then trying to run three times, swimming and also trying to get an outdoor ride in. I got struck by lateral knee pain. I couldn’t walk down the stairs. I was active and fit what was going on? After I saw a chiropractor, it was as simple as getting my glutes activated and some extra foam rolling. From all the biking and overuse, my glutes were not firing to help me out during my runs so other muscles took over that shouldn’t have. After that everything was fine.
So how do we prevent this?
Cross training. Cross training simply means doing other activities other than the main sport or exercise you do consistently. So if you are cycling multiple times a week compliment that with two to three days of strength training. As we talked about yesterday not only does this help you maintain muscles mass while doing cardio it will also gives you a chance to strengthen the opposing muscles used on a bike.
For example, when cycling we are in a seated and flexed position. Similar to sitting at a desk all day. So, when doing your strength training you should be doing a lot of upper back work and exercises that work on holding your shoulders back and down as we tend to roll our shoulders forward on the bike. You will also want to get your glutes working. On the bike in the seated position we are using mostly quads and hamstrings. Off the bike focus on glute or “posterior chain” work. Exercises that work the back side are glute bridges, side steps with mini bands, hip extensions with bands etc.
Our goal is to keep our body in balance. If your muscles on either side of the body are balanced, you will prevent injury. Strength training has many more benefits than just getting stronger or losing weight. It will help you stay injury free when done properly as well!
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