Pedal stronger, with less chance of injury, by doing these simple lower body moves.
Stability ball hamstring curls
Strengthens: (And stabilises) abs, glutes, hips, hamstrings and knees
Do it: Lie on your back with your feet on a stability ball. Inhale, tightening your abs, back and glutes. Lift up off the floor to create a straight line from feet to shoulders. Exhale and bend your knees, using your heels to pull the ball towards your backside (your feet should end up flat on the ball). Return to the starting position. Do 10-15 repetitions. Rest for 30 seconds, then repeat. When you can do two sets of 15, add a third set.
Strengthens: Hips and backs of thighs; also teaches muscle memory for smooth cycling
Do it: Using a turbo trainer set at a moderate resistance, pedal for 30-60 seconds with your left leg (rest your right foot on a box), then cycle with both legs for 30 seconds. Do this three times. Switch legs and repeat. If you started at 30 seconds, add five seconds a week until you reach 60. When you reach 60, add a fourth set.
Strengthens: Hips, glutes and front and backs of thighs
Do it: Starting in a standing position, hands on hips, step forward with your left foot and bend both knees, lowering until your left thigh is almost parallel to the floor. (Keep your left knee over your ankle, not in front of it.) Press into your right foot to stand back up. Continue by stepping your right foot forward. Complete 10-15 repetitions on eachside. Do the second set backwards: step back onto the ball of your left foot to get into the lunge. Again, do 10-15 reps each side. When you can do two sets of 15,
add resistance by holding a dumbbell in each hand.
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