Spending many hours on the bike leads to a number of adaptations in the body, especially when it comes to muscles and how they act on the joints of the body. Because "Joint position dictates muscle function" this means that many of the muscles in the body will be put into positions on the bike, for long periods of time, that do not allow the muscles to work as intended or designed.
The missing piece, when it comes to strength training, for most athletes, is the understanding that strength training (and cross training for that matter) should be focused on strengthening the body in movements that are NOT done in their sport, and which will lead to better stability and strength through the sports movements. ESPECIALLY when we are talking about strength training for cyclists and triathletes.
You may be thinking these changes are a bad thing, but in fact, this very mechanism of the human organism- adapting to the working demands we place on out body- has led us to be able to survive for however many thousands of years, as we’ve adapted to the stressors and demands placed on us.
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***To begin 2018 I'm trying a less formal blog-post format, more "what's on my mind" posts than "planned and researched" posts, although we will have a good number of those. Let me know what you think of the new format in the comments below!***
As those in the Northeast bunker down for the next 2.5 months of winter (sorry all, I think it'll be the end of March this year folks), one thing that I'm happy for, aside from a great Islay Scotch and my Chemex Coffee maker, are my collection of Kettlebells.
Why do I love the Kettlebells so much? Because they serve us endurance athletes to a high degree. Just one or two Kettlebells of varying weights allows us to add external resistance to some basic moves we should be able to master, or at least take time to work on, in order to keep our body in a happy balance.
These moves are:
- Shoulder Press
- Eastern Squat
- Kettlebell swing (these are killer!)
- Bent over rows/ supported rows
These 4 movements allow us to have a fighting chance to make significant strides towards balancing out our bodies hip and shoulder joints- two joints that are often made a train wreck thanks to the sport of cycling hours on end in a closed-off position.
They are a fantastic way to begin to work on maximizing your on-bike performance, although there is much more that goes into a properly balanced Strength Training program of cyclists.... But you'll have to stay tuned for more on that!
Don't forget to subscribe to the HVTraining Youtube channel for some really interesting and higher level videos on how to tune in your Nutrition so you can maximize your on-bike results. We'll be covering a nutrition topic that many endurance athletes have been neglecting over the last 10 or so years....