The Best Cycling Exercises Without a Bike
National lockdowns, rainstorms or injuries shouldn’t stop you from keeping in shape and improving your cycling skills. Here the best exercises to make sure you stay on top of your game when you can’t ride your bicycle.
The Wrestler’s Squat
The aim of the Wrestler’s Squat is to keep your legs on point and capable of bearing tough loads. This exercise will help you develop leg strength and endurance, as well as training your balance and focusing your core.
Execution: if you work out on a hard surface, use a folded towel or an exercise mat. Get your knees on the ground, shoulder-width apart. One leg at a time, guide up the knee into a 90 degree angle. Put tension on that leg and get up the other knee, taking a squat position. You can then invert the course of motion and come back to the starting position. Do several reps and remember to switch the starting leg, so that the glutes and leg training is consistent. You shouldn’t be standing up during this process, and you should never straighten your legs.
The swimmer exercise will help you counteract the effect of all the time you spend sitting in a hunched forward position, targeting your entire back.
Execution: Lie facedown on a mat, with your arms stretched out overhead. Keep your legs straight and your feet about hip-width apart. Contract your glutes and back muscles to lift your feet, chest and hands. Now, lift your right arm and at the same time lift your left leg. As you lower these, lift your left arm and your right leg in a swimming-like movement. Continue to alternate. You should be looking towards the floor and you shouldn’t overlift your legs as this can make you overarch your lower back.
Jumping rope is one of the best cardio workouts, and a great exercise to build calf strengths and increase endurance. Also, jump rope can help you increase your spatial awareness and memory, making you more mentally alert.
Execution: drive your knee up toward your chest and back down with each skip, alternating legs every few skips. Do several reps. Keep your feet quite close together when jumping and keep your shoulders pulled back and your elbows held down and back.
One-leg bridge changeover
The single-leg bridge is a great exercise to strengthen the glutes muscles and hamstrings (back of the upper leg).
Execution: Lie on your back with your knees at 90 degrees. Your feet are flat and on the floor and arms by your side for more stability. Lift your hips and tense your glutes to create a straight line from your knees to shoulders. Lift your left leg and tense your right glute, hold for two seconds. Then, switch legs and repeat.