While the best training is always to ride real bikes, these home or gym based routines will improve leg strength and make you faster
This routine can be done with bodyweight, dumbells or kettlebells and depending on where you are in your training period, can be done up to three times per week. If you are in a pre-race taper week, it is probably a good idea to not use any weights.
Begin in the standing position with feet hip-width apart. Take a big step forward with the left foot and bend at the knee until both knees are at right angles. Return to the start position by pushing off of the left heel. Repeat on the other side. That’s one rep. Complete 2 to 4 sets of 10 reps. For variation, you can add dumbells and start with the dumbells raised (as shown) or lowered by your side.
From the standing position with feet shoulder-width apart (hands on your hips if you are not using dumbells) inhale as you step out to the right shifting your body weight over your right leg. Try to sit back (into your butt) with you back in as upright a position as possible. Exhale and push off your right leg to return to the start position. Repeat on the other side. That’s one rep. Complete 2 to 4 sets of 10 reps.
Find a foot stance that feels right for you – usually around shoulder-width apart with your toes turned slightly outwards. Keep your core tight, looking straight ahead inhale as you sit back into the squat. Keep your back straight. Push off from the heels and glute as you exhale and rise to the standing/start position. As a variation, add some dumbells to the routine and add in a shoulder press to the movement as shown above. That’s one rep. Complete 2 to 4 sets of 10 reps.
Begin standing with your feet hip-width apart and the dumbells slightly in front of you. Lean forward from the hips shifting your weight onto one foot and begin to extend the unweighted leg behind you. Lean forward and extend the leg out behind you. Try and form a “T-shape” with your body. Your arms should be hanging straight down. Slowly bring in your extended leg as you return to the standing position. Repeat on the other side. That’s one rep. Complete 2 to 4 sets of 10 reps.
Stand in front of a box, step or stair with your feet hip-width apart and your arms and legs straight. As you exhale, step up onto the box with your left foot then lift the right leg up until the quad is parallel with the ground. As you inhale slowly lower your right leg until your foot touches the ground before placing your left foot onto the ground. From this position repeat on the other side. That’s one rep. Complete 2 to 4 sets of 10 reps. These can be done with or without weights.
Lie on your back with knees bent and arms at your side. Tighten your abs and drive your hips up by contracting your glutes. Try to form a straight line between your knees, hips and shoulders. Slowly lower yourself to the ground. Complete 2 to 4 sets of 10 reps.
| WITH THANKS: LARA FAY Activewear & Virgin Active Gym |
| KATE SLEGROVA is a personal trainer & cycling coach @kateslegrova @pretty_pedal |