If your motivation to hit the weights is flagging, you’re not alone. It’s common for winter-weary cyclists to find their strength training mojo fizzling by February. But for most of us, it’s just a sign that it’s time to change things up.
Just as you’d get bored riding the same loop day after day, you’re bound to get tired of repeating the same strength-training exercises week after week. Now is the time to expand your home workout horizons and add some variety that won’t just stimulate your brain but will also give your fitness a boost.
“Cyclists often do the same classic exercises—squats, deadlifts, and lunges—which are good exercises, but there are so many ways to work out that build stability and agility, and even incorporate on-bike style intervals to your strength training to stimulate your muscles much as you would while riding that riders can benefit from,” says Menachem Brodie, CSCS, head coach at , USA Cycling expert coach, and author of
That’s why we teamed up with Brodie to create this unique workout that will fire up your core and glutes, strengthen your stabilizing muscles, improve your posture, and sharpen your balance all while getting you strong for the (hopefully upcoming) cycling season.
How to use this workout: Each exercise is demonstrated by Hannah Myett, a certified personal trainer and yoga instructor, in the video above and outlined below. Perform all 12 exercises as one circuit, repeating the entire sequence three times through, or break it down into four mini circuits of three exercises each and repeat each of those three times through before moving on to the next circuit. Rest 1 to 2 minutes between circuits.
You will need: A set of sliders or a towel, a long resistance band, a 2- to 4-pound slam ball, and a kettlebell. A mat and book or yoga block are optional.
Quadruped Kickback With Slider
Start on all fours with hands under shoulders and knees under hips with a slider or towel under your toes. Brace your core, and extend your left leg out straight, pushing the slider out along the floor. Pause, then pull your knee back into the starting position. Repeat 5 to 10 times. Switch legs.
Eccentric Hamstring Curl With Slider
Lie faceup on the floor, arms at sides, palms down, knees bent and feet on the floor with a slider or towel placed under the heel of each foot. Press your hips up off the floor into a bridge and, in a slow controlled manner, straighten your legs, sliding your feet out along the floor until your legs are fully extended. Pause, and bend your knees, pulling the sliders back to the starting position. Repeat 3 to 7 times.
Stand on a light resistance band, feet hip-width apart. Grasp the top of the band with both hands, crossing it in front of your body and lifting your hands up as high as possible (if your band is long enough, you can go overhead), hands spread wide, so the band forms a giant X across your body. Keeping your upper body stable, take a step to the left with the left foot, followed by the right. Repeat for 8 to 15 steps in each direction.
Place a book on the floor about two feet in front of you. Stand back and to the right of the book. Then leap diagonally forward with your left leg so you land past the upper lefthand corner of the book. Immediately push back with the left foot and bring both feet to the left of the book. Switch feet, this time leaping with your right leg to the far right corner of the book, making a “V”. Repeat, switching feet for 4 repetitions per leg.
Standing Ball Slam
Stand tall holding a slam ball. Lift the ball up overhead, keeping abs tight and core engaged. Raise up onto your toes and in one forceful motion, snap your hips back (this move is all about generating speed from the hips) and slam the ball down to the ground, ending up in a low squat position at the bottom of the move. Scoop up the ball. Stand and repeat, 3 to 5 times.
Quad Can Opener
Position yourself on your hands and knees. Engage your core and place your right hand behind your head, elbow pointed down toward the floor. Twist your torso and bring your elbow across your body toward your left wrist. Then twist back in the opposite direction, bringing the elbow out to the side and up toward the ceiling, as far as possible while keeping your hips square to the floor. Repeat 4 to 10 times. Switch sides.
Kettlebell Goblet Squat With Biceps Curl
Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart and toes pointed slightly out. Place elbows at rib cage and hold the weight under your chin, griping the kettlebell by the horn. Send hips back and bend knees to slowly lower down into a squat as far as you can. At the bottom of the move, straighten your arms to lower the kettlebell toward the floor and then curl it back to your chest. Press back up to the starting position. Repeat 5 to 10 times.
Full-Body Tension Band Row
Start with the band anchored at belly button height. Take the band in your right hand, take a big step back so that there is some tension in the band. Sit back into a half squat and engage the bottom of your feet into the floor, grabbing the floor, and pretending there is a string tied to both of your big toes, try to “spread the string taut” and keep your weight in your feet. Brace your core. Extend your left arm forward, reaching through the fingertips, and row the band back to the side of your ribcage. Do 6 to 8 repetitions per side (or as many as you can do while maintaining proper form and tension throughout the body)
Stand facing a wall, arms extended. Lean slightly from the ankles, and press hands against the wall, forming a straight diagonal line from your head to your heels. Draw your right knee up to hip level and then forcefully extend your leg back to the starting position, as though you’re trying to crush a can under your heel. Repeat 5 times. Switch sides.
Anchor a band about two feet off the floor and loop it around your hips. Walk out so the band has some resistance and lean forward slightly, feet wide apart and planted firmly on the floor. You can clasp your hands at chest. Hinge hips back. Push into the floor and contract your glutes to come back to the starting position. Perform 10 to 12 repetitions.
Single-Arm Front Rack KB Lunge
Start with kettlebell in right hand in front rack position: arm bent in front of you, forearm vertical, wrist straight. Lunge back with your right leg, keeping your shoulders down, chin tucked, and abs engaged. Hold for 3 seconds. Keeping tension in glutes and core push down through the front foot and glute to explode up as much as possible. Lunge back to starting position. Perform 4 repetitions to each side.
Stationary Bear Crawl
Start on hands and knees, hands directly under shoulders and knees directly beneath hips. Push into floor with the base of your palms. Get on the balls of your feet and lift your knees off the floor so you are hovering above the ground. While keeping your body stable, lift your right hand off the floor and place it back down. Then do the same with the left hand. Then lift the left foot followed by the right foot. Rotate through 2 to 3 times.