Whether you are a competitive cyclist, weekend mountain bike warrior, freestyle BMX rider or casual beach cruiser rider, it is very important to put POWER into those pedals! From a biomechanical standpoint, most of this power will be generated from HIP EXTENSION, and the main engines for hip extension are the GLUTES.
When addressing Glute development for any kind of cyclist, it is important to focus on both:
A. POWER – ability to produce force quickly
B. STRENGTH – amount of force that can be produced
Another reality is that many people who prioritize some form of cycling as their main activity are not necessarily your avid gym goers. So here are 4 exercises to increase your pedaling power that ONLY require your own body weight
and a workout bench:
- Seated Vertical Jump: A power exercise that mimics producing force from a standstill position (ex. Bottom of a hill climb, or beginning of a race)
Execution- Begin seated on a bench with knees at 90 degrees and hands on hips. Explode vertically as high as possible, make sure to land softly in a squat position. 3-4 sets of 5 reps
- Alternating Box Blasts: A repeated power exercise that would mimic multiple sprint pedal actions in a row
Execution- Begin with one foot on top of a bench, other foot on the ground. Drive through the bench to propel yourself vertically. While in the air “switch” your feet so that the opposite one lands on the bench, and immediately repeat the action. 3-4 sets of 5each reps
- Single-leg Squat: Dynamic strength movement to target the Glutes AND incorporate the postural alignment we’d like to see on a cyclist.
Execution- Stand on one leg about 3-5” from the bench with opposite leg held in front of the hips. Lower yourself until your butt gently taps the bench, drive through your heel to return to start position. 2-3 sets of 6-10 reps
- Bench Supported Single-leg Hip Lifts: Isolated strength movement to target the Glutes as well as Hip Flexors and Hamstrings
Execution- Lie with upper back on the bench, 1 foot on the ground and opposite knee “pulled” into your chest. Slowly push off the ground till your torso and hips are aligned, and descend under control. 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps