Coach Hughes: Cycling Strength Training Muscle Balance pt. 1
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Intelligent Training—Training

Improving Muscle Balance, Part 1

Strength Training for Century, Brevet and Other Endurance Cyclists

by Coach John Hughes and Coach Dan Kehlenbach

John Hughes and Dan Kehlenbach are the authors of Distance Cycling: Your Complete Guide to Endurance Cycling.
Hughes is the author of Anti-Aging: 12 Ways to You Can Slow the Aging Process He has written 40 articles on training, nutrition, psychology and medical issues for More about Coach Hughes.
Kehlenbach is certified as a strength and conditioning specialist with the National Strength and Conditioning Association and as an expert level coach with USA Cycling and has a master’s degree in sports medicine.

© John Hughes, All Rights Reserved

Strength training overview for endurance cycling [  Part 1  |  Part 2   ]

Recommended exercises for

  1. Increasing core strength [  Part 1  |  Part 2  ]
  2. Developing leg strength [  Part 1 |  Part 2  ]
  3. Improving muscle balance [  Part 1  |  Part 2 ]
  4. Strengthening connective tissues [  Part 1  |  Part 2 ]
  5. Improving upper body endurance [  Part 1 |  Part 2 ]

Improving Muscle Balance
Most of us have strong quadriceps and relatively weak hip flexors, hamstrings, and gluteals. The following exercises will improve muscle balance and pedaling efficiency. Do one or two sets of 12-20 reps three days a week.

Single leg hip flexors: Stand with a resistance cord around your right ankle and the cord anchored behind you, or with a weighted band around your ankle, or wear heavy boots. Hold an object for balance. Lift your knee up and forward, replicating the motion you use when pedaling from 6 o'clock to 12 o'clock.
Hip Flexor

Single leg hamstrings: Same position as the hip flexors, except facing the cord/machine, or wear a weighted belt around your ankle. Tighten your hamstring until your heel curls up and touches your butt.
Hamstring Curl Hamstring Curl

Gluteals: Lie on your back on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor near your butt. Tighten your glutes (butt muscles) to raise your butt about eight inches off the floor and lower.
Gluteals Gluteals

Originally printed in UltraCycling