You can turn back the hands of time after all – well, at least when it comes to your knees. In a study in the European Journal of Applied Physiology, cyclists in their 20s and 40s performed 100 leg extensions, three times a week.
Researchers found that this strength training for the knee extensors (ie your quads) improved torque – the force that rotates your bike cranks – by 17 per cent among the older cyclists and six per cent in the younger group. The older cyclists also saw improvements in their cycling efficiency – a bonus because with age comes muscle loss, which robs endurance.
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Position yourself on a leg-extension machine and select a weight you can lift no more than 10 times. With your ankles behind the pads, extend your legs, then lower the weight. Repeat for three sets.