There’s a hell and heaven difference in chalking out and following a proper exercise regime when it comes to taking up cycling as a profession and not just for passion. Giving a healthy start to your day with a rigorous round of cycling every morning is an excellent idea. However, that’s not enough for people who are professional lovers of this sport and follow a cyclist’s routine.
Cyclist’s Routine that You should Follow
Cycling not only increases cardiovascular fitness, it also decreases stress levels, body fat levels and manages various diseases within the body, and can also bring a smile to your dull and depressed look, making you appear charming and adorable. Cycling requires a lot of fitness and health to make it enjoyable and non-stressful. However, this does not mean you need to add large amounts of muscles to your body.
Endurance and resilience to injury can be mastered by building strength through proper training at the gym on a regular basis. Here are some must-do exercises that a professional cyclist needs to practice every day without fail.
Cycling is a sport where a strong core is essential to enable you to handle the control of your bike while riding or climbing, and also for overall endurance. Hence, it is mandatory to work on this area and strengthen it over time. The best way to achieve this is to do crunches on the floor. Every day, 200 to 300 crunches can do wonders in helping you build the strength and resistance you require for this. Follow the traditional method of doing floor crunches by lying flat on the floor on your back with your hands clasped behind your head. Next, gradually fold your torso and bring them to your knees thereby bringing your shoulders off the ground, up by 4 to 6 inches. Make sure not to sit up completely. Then, remain at this posture for a few seconds, holding and pressing your lower back on to the ground.
Cycling at the professional level requires long distance climbing for which one needs to strengthen and prepare the hamstrings to bear the load for long hours and keep going without halting. One needs to work at length so as to develop strong leg muscles which can bear the brunt for incessant hours at a stretch. Hamstring leg curls can work wonders to achieve this. Using a leg curl machine at preferred height and with comfortable weight resistance strengthens hamstrings and constraints muscle pulls. While on the machine, make sure to place the legs properly beneath the padded lever, holding the handles on the sides and exhaling while curling up the legs. The lever should be controlled and held for a second, thereafter lower down as you breathe out. This exercise on the machine should be repeated 20 times in sets of three.
Working on their back is equally important for professional cyclists as the entire body weight is borne by the lower back thereby rendering balance and resilience both at the same time. For this, back bar lifts at the gym can do the needful. Keeping your back straight, without rounding it, lift weights with your hands with an overhand grip. Then halt and hold for a second before bringing it back to the ground.
Rebuilding muscles can be done through rigorous strength training program at the gym. For this, King’s reverse lunge can toughen the buttocks and help greatly in balancing off one’s body while cycling on difficult terrains and upheavals. For this, widen your feet at hip-width, hold a dumbbell, set that weight to about 15% of your body weight, then, stepping backward, extend your left leg into a lunge to the reverse side. The shoulders and back should be kept straight at all times. Repeat this with each leg for 20 times in sets of three.
A combination of cardio and strength training adds the perfect fitness required for a professional cyclist which in turn enables him to achieve his pre-set goals. The Quads resistance band ladder run is the best-recommended exercise for this. What one needs to do is wrap resistance bands around the ankles and repeat shuffling through the ladder from side to side for about 20 minutes continuously. Repetitions of 100 odd ladder steps in one go would also do the magic for beginners.
Taking up a sport on a professional level requires complete dedication, strong will-power, and a lot of physical training. A lot goes in to advanced cycling (read: Every Ride Counts – Tips For Advanced Cycling. ) Nothing is achieved overnight. Hence, it is mandatory to build up a proper fitness regime if you aim to take up cycling as a profession.
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