Training & Nutrition - Exercises?
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04-22-10, 09:07 AM
I'm just starting into scheduled workouts, and biking in general.
I only ride a few miles each time I go out, but in the hills of the country it has been difficult.
So, I was thinking that on days I don't go out, I need to do some exercises instead.
What exercises would you recommend? (especially leg exercises) I do a few already, I just don't know official names for them.
And in case any involve ankle weights, I do have those.
Also, I posted a question earlier on warming up and cooling down.
Please let me know if you have any advice on that, too.
04-22-10, 10:25 AM
04-22-10, 12:52 PM
A fast walk is really good, especially if you concentrate on keeping the pace up and go up and down hills. Just don't go so fast you hurt yourself. A 1-3 hour walk is a wonderful thing. Great for fitness and losing weight and is even fun in the rain. Try to keep the pace up to where you are sweating. After you get to 100 miles/week biking is a good time to think about specific strengthening exercises. On the bike, distance = strength.
For indoors, one-legged knee bends on a chair are great as is wall-sitting with knees at 90°. Pushups are great. Pilates is nice, as are all sorts of stretches.
04-22-10, 02:42 PM
Check the links...
Emphasize strengthening both The Posterior & Anterior Chain. The Posterior Chain consists of the (Hamstrings, Glutes, Hips, Legs, Lower back/Erector spinae), “A strong man is strong on the back of his body.” The Anterior Chain consists of the (Abdominal muscles, the Illiopsoas, Hip flexors and the Rectus Femoris). Front & back of the core/lowerbody. Develop the hip extensors, knee extensors & plantar flexors.
Base your lowerbody workouts round them exercises in the link above (Conventional Deadlift).
They recruit the larger motor units & prolong speed endurance more than any other lift.
Thats the whole Posterior Chain for your lowerbody...
All deadlifts performed standing on blocks will generate a greater range of motion in the hips thus a greater strength response. Further more, employing a snatch grip will generate a EVEN further range of motion into the hips via employing a wider grip.
You could also try some (safe) variations for the posterior chain:
Dumbell Split Squats
Lunges & Step Ups
Dumbell Jump Squats
Don't forget the core/abs/obliques.
Use http://www.youtube.com/ & http://www.exrx.net/Lists/Directory.html for exercise instruction.
Heres another link, take what you want from it:
04-22-10, 04:18 PM
I am just trying to increase the weight on my pathetic 'conventional' deadlift. Let alone using variations with the exercise!
That's how you improve your 'conventional' deadlift. By cycling the variations and using them to hit your weak areas. Plus it keeps you from getting bored out of your mind.
04-23-10, 08:42 AM
The Dumbell Jump Squat; Develops the strength in the hip extensors, knee extensors & plantar flexors with one exercise.
In the world of explosive power production, Yuri Sedych is no lightweight. Great exercise.
Louie Simmons believes the entire force-time (or force-velocity) curve should be worked with this exercise.
That means, do explosive partial jump squats with heavy/moderately heavy/light weights and bodyweight only jumps.
Charlie Francis believes you have to be as reactive and explosive as possible. Jump as high as you can while maintaining minimal ground contact time.
While other research shows that optimal power can be achieved with higher intensities, you'll utilize 30%-50% of your one-rep max (1RM) of your deadlift or bodyweight.
Aim for 4-5 sets, 6-10 reps. Its a great exercise.
Vasiley Alexeyev (Strongman) got in to arguments often with the national coaches. He would do a 1000 jumps EVERYDAY, before every work out. So jumping must have some significance.
If your knees & lower back are healthy, inter-wind this exercise with your deadlift/lowerbody workout routine.
04-23-10, 10:17 PM
While there's nothing wrong with weight lifting, more riding will make you fitter for riding. Cycling is an endurance sport, not a strength sport. Weight lifting can help address some weaknesses, but only if you know what those are. If you just go and lift to strengthen everything, you'll be wasting a lot of time as far as becoming a better cyclist goes. If you are weak overall, or know of some specific imbalance that needs help, or you want to be "fitter" and not necessarily a faster cyclist, then a lifting program might make more sense.
04-24-10, 05:06 PM
In no way will weight training ever be a substitute for long, hard miles on the bike. Although a combination approach can be beneficial.
“Strength endurance is characterized by a combination of great strength and significant endurance”
04-24-10, 09:11 PM
Training Hips: The Missing Link by Travis Bell - Newsletter Mini Article
When talking about athletes, posterior chain training is probably one of the most talked about topics by strength and conditioning coaches. Every gym across the country is replete with glute ham raises, lower back training machines like the reverse hyper, bands for good mornings and list after list of various exercises to train abs, hamstrings and the lower back.
But what about the joint that connects your upper body to your lower? The hips. You don’t see coaches teaching their athletes to do hardly, if any, hip exercises to increase strength. Often times, even stretching the hips is forgotten. Athletes will stretch their quads, hams and glutes and be done with it.
When you watch most athletes go from a static position to active, they often start from a hip dominant position. Football players start in the 3 point stance, where after the snap, their hips help push them into an explosive position. Basketball players, when jumping go into a squat position and explode upwards, using a lot of their hip strength to reach maximum vertical. Sprinters launch from the blocks using their hips again as a way of pushing off the blocks and transitioning into a sprinting position. The list goes on and on. In almost every sport you can find a situation where hip strength is invaluable.
Keep in mind, hips are not the only muscle in the posterior chain that should be trained, nor are they soley responsible for the force created from the above listen positions. That said, they are often the missing link. The muscle group that when trained in addition to the hamstrings, glutes and spinal erectors, makes for an extremely explosive athlete that can produce a very high amount of force from a given position. This often translates to faster 40 times for football players, higher verticals for basketball players and lower sprint times for track athletes.
At Superior Athletics, every lower day includes at least one hip dominant movement. The majority of which have been suggested to me by Louie Simmons of Westside Barbell. Louie is constantly running ideas and suggestions by me that always turn out to be helpful in my quest to better my athletes in their sports.
One of the most common exercises that we do for hip strength is the ultra wide stance stiff legged deadlift. We have the athletes take a very wide stance, with toes pointed outwards. While keeping their legs almost locked, they reach down and deadlift the bar up. A lot of emphasis is put on squeezing the glutes together and pushing the hips forwards at the top of the lift. Normally this is done for 3-4 sets of 4 reps. Variations of this can be done with either bands or chains. This is an accessory exercise done after DE or ME squatting
Another powerful movement is wide stance box squatting. Athletes who have especially weak hips will squat with a ultra wide stance, again with toes pointed outwards, down to a parallel box. This stance is most often used on DE squat day and then we transition back to the normal power stance for ME work.
A somewhat newer movement that Louie has come up with is wide stance push offs, using a belt squat machine. We attach the athlete to the belt squat machine, again have them take a wide stance, and then push off from side to side while keeping their legs straight. With this movement, the athlete will feel most of the work on the side of the hips, almost right on the joint. Most gyms do not have a belt squat machine, but this movement can be almost replicated with band tension in a power rack and looping the bands through a belt. This is another movement used for accessory work for 4 sets of 15-20 reps. Check out the following Belt Squat Push Offs video.
Belt Squat Push Offs with Bands
Could be performed with Dumbells?.
Training hip strength is invaluable for athletes who require any sort of explosiveness. Strong hips allow them to better utilize the training that they put into the rest of their lower body.
By Travis Bell
04-24-10, 09:16 PM
3 Keys To a Higher Jump - Newsletter Article! by Travis Bell - Superior Athletics
Training the vertical jump is one of the most common requests I get from athletes when they first come into my gym. Usually it’s from basketball players and volleyball players but occasionally I’ll still get some college football players who have watched the combines and feel they have to have a 40” vertical to be able to be competitive in the next level.
Increasing your vertical jump has been pretty well marketed through special shoes, special training programs, different training implements and a plethora of other tools and programs that people “must have” to help them jump higher.
But really, does it have to be that difficult? Lets look at the basics. When an athlete goes into a jump, what’s the first thing they do? They squat down. Then they squat up, pushing off the ground using their posterior chain (NOT their calves) creating enough force and momentum so that their body is lifted off the ground and for a very short period of time says a big “screw you” to gravity.
For a long time it was just assumed that a person’s vertical was mostly genetic. Athletes like LeBron James were just born to jump higher than the rest of us. To a small extent that is still true today. However, the majority of athletes have the genetic ability to jump higher than they think they can.
It all goes back to creating the necessary amount of force to lift your body off the ground in a quick motion. At Superior Athletics we incorporate box squats into our training rotation. These put the athlete in a much similar position as when they are jumping and forces them to reverse that motion with added weight on their back. Dynamic Effort squats are used in an effort to train the stretch reflex, or the motion that the body goes through when it reverses the downward force into an upward force. DE squats also train the fast twitch fibers.
Maximum Effort squats are used to help the athlete develop more power/strength. The stronger the hamstrings, glutes, hips and lower back are, the more power the athlete will be able to produce coming off the floor. Various squats are used. We will often use different combinations of bands, box heights, chains and different bars. We keep track of PR’s of each setup and choose each specific setup (box height, band tension and bar used) based upon the athletes specific weaknesses. Lifters with more hamstring and glute weaknesses will squat to a lower box while lifters with a hip weaknesses will squat ultra wide on a parallel box.
2. Posterior Chain Accessory Work
Accessory work is imperative. While squatting will cover just about all your bases, athletes can easily target specific muscles with some key accessory movements.
The first being glute ham raises. I’ve done a lot of hamstring work in the past and nothing wrecks your hamstrings like the GHR. Once your athletes get the hang of the movement, you can challenge them even further by adding in some band tension and even having them hold onto 10 and 25lb plates while doing them.
Another excellent movement is the Reverse Hyper TM made by Louie Simmons of Westside Barbell. The spinal erectors are specifically targeted with the Reverse Hyper in a very specific way. Some athletes have seen marked improvements even when the only change was adding in the Reverse Hyper. Often we will use it for 4 sets of 15 reps on DE day and 4-5 sets of 10 reps on ME day.
3. Box Jump
And then there is box jumps. The must have staple of every program that helps increase your vertical jump. Many athletes have used boxes for jumping before but haven’t seen much improvement in their vertical jump, which is often because they just do free standing jumps over and over again and never change.
When using box jumps, it’s really important to make sure you are changing it up and using a large variety box jumps so that your body does not become stagnant in your program. Remember, many things work, but nothing works forever.
We will rotate between seated box jumps (jumping on a box from a seated position) seated box jumps while holding dumbbells, seated box jumps while wear a weight vest, standing box jumps (both with dumbbells and weight vest) and kneeling box jumps (jumping onto a box from a kneeling position). Each time we do box jumps, we use two different types of box jumps. We rotate between using heavier weights and lower boxes, to lighter weight and higher boxes.
Box jumps are mainly used to help with explosiveness in the posterior chain, but for those desiring to increase their vertical jump, it can prove to be a bit task specific. Similar to how using different squat and bench variations helps increase bench and squat numbers, training different box jump variations will help increase vertical jump height.
Box Jumps at Superior Athletics Training Facility
So don’t say you can’t jump! Increase your power and explosiveness and you may be surprised how high you can leap.
04-24-10, 09:26 PM
Check these out...
Dead-start Zercher Squats
04-24-10, 09:45 PM
Rethinking Core Training
Gambetta Sports Training Systems, Sarasota, FL Vern Gambetta
The fundamental underlying philosophy is that all training is core training. Without a fully functioning core, efficient movement is not possible. The core is involved in all movement as a major factor in control of movement. Currently core training is the buzzword in training. We need to rethink how we are training core in the light of the above stated philosophy. Conventional wisdom would have us doing much of our training in prone and supine positions while emphasizing drawing in or sucking in of the stomach muscles in order to activate the internal obliques and transverse abdominis. That is fine in theory, but in practice we need to look at how the core functions as one of tbe largest links in the kinetic chain. The body Is a link system; this link system is referred to as the kinetic chain. Functional core training is all about taking advantage of this linkage - it is how all the parts of the chain work together in harmony to produce smooth, efficient patterns of movement. Movement occurs from "Toe nails to finger nails" with ail the segments working in harmony to produce smooth efficient movement. In order to truly understand core function in the context of function of the whole body we must shift our focus away from individual muscles to integrated movements. Current thinking would tiave us focus on the Transverse Abdominis and the Internal Obliques as key core muscles. This is fallacious thinking because the brain does not recognize individual muscles; those muscles are two core muscles among many that contribute to efficient core function. The brain recognizes patterns of movement, which consist of the individual muscles working in harmony to produce movement. It is unreasonable to think that two muscles could piay such an important role that they are more important than any other muscles. According to McGlll: "The muscular and motor control system must satisfy requirements to sustain postures, create movements, brace against sudden motion or unexpected forces, build pressure and assist challenged breathing, all while ensuring sufficient stability. Virtually ail muscles play a role in ensuring stability, but their importance at any point in time is determined by the unique combination of the demands just listed." (McGill pi 44)
To fully understand core function we must understand the role that gravity plays in loading the body. Gravity has maximum effect on a body in motion. We simply cannot ignore gravity; it is essential for movement because it helps us to load the system. Therefore we must learn to overcome its effects, to cheat it and to defeat it occasionally. The fact that we live, work and play in a gravitationally enriched environment cannot be denied. Gravity and its effects must be a prime consideration when designing and implementing a functional core training program or we are not preparing the body for the forces that it must overcome. Therefore we must be aware of our orientation to gravity when we are training the core. When standing we are parallel to gravity, when lying and seated we are perpendicular to gravity. The demands of the respective sports will dictate to us the primary body position where we will train the core. For the many sports therefore the great majority of core training should be in standing and moving positions that stimulate and activate the core in patterns that reflect the demands of the game. Force production is what we see as the end result of a sprint, jump or a throw. It is a jump shot or a spectacular dunk. It is all about acceleration, but often the key to movement efficiency and staying injury free is the ability to decelerate - which is the ability to reduce force. This is not as easy to see, but it plays a big role in quality movement as well as preventing injury. The muscles of the core play a major role in deceleration. A good functional training program will work on the interplay between force production and force reduction with core training at the centre of the program literally and figuratively. The Core is key to the effective reduction and production of force because of its size and location in the body. Because of It role in force reduction the core can play a major role in reduction of injuries. Ultimately, what links everything together into a complete functional program is proprioception. Proprioception is awareness of joint position derived from feedback in the sense receptors in the joints, ligaments, tendons, and muscles. It is a highly trainable quality. It is almost too simple. We must strive to constantly change proprioceptive demand throughout the training program. In fact this variable is manipulated more frequently than change in exercise mode or change of exercise.
Effective and functional core training is based on two simple principles:
Train Core Strength before Extremity Strength
A strong stable core will allow the extremities to better do their job therefore we should train the core first in a training session and in a training program.
Dynamic Postural Alignment Is the Foundation For Functional Training
Posture and a strong and stable core are integrally related. Posture is a dynamic quality. The larger core muscles known as "anti-gravity muscles" play a major role in maintaining a sound functional athletic posture. We need to shift our thinking away from posture as a still picture or a posed position. Posture must be assessed relative to the athlete's event. Each sport has its own specific posture and each individual within the sports have their own posture. The combination of the two allows for much variability. Our goal should not be to fit everyone into certain parameters, rather it should be to understand what each athlete brings to their event and adjust accordingly. An important assumption is that the body is fundamentally asymmetric. It is unrealistic to think of muscular balance right to left or front to back. We must think of proportionality. The core muscles play a major role in dynamic posture because the large muscles of the core act as "anti-gravity" muscles that give the body structural integrity to allow the limbs to position and reposition according to the demands of the activity. Balance is a key aspect of movement that is closely related to the core. Balance is a dynamic quality because movement is dynamic. Balance is control of one's centre of gravity, control of body angles and unstable equilibrium. Movement is a state of dynamic equilibrium consisting of a constant interplay of imbalance and balance with the body constantly trying to regain balance to perform efficient movement. There is a continual reaction to gravity and external forces such as the playing surface, opponents etc. The muscles of the core play a decisive role in balance because of the location and function of the core muscles; therefore core training and balance training are synonymous. The Core is an integrated functional unit consisting of the Lumbo-Pelvic-Hip Complex, the Thoracic and Cervical Spine. It is a Muscular Corset that lends integrity and support to the body. The Core is the centre of the body, the thickest part of the body. The Core is where all movement is modulated. It is more than "six pack abs". The core works as an integrated functional unit that accelerates, decelerates, and dynamically stabilizes the body during movement. Ail movement is relayed through the core. The core is in effect a swivel joint between the hips and the shoulders which: 1) Allows the entire body to accelerate the limbs 2) Allows the entire body to decelerate the limbs 3) Allows the entire body to support a limb.
The traditional method of assessment is isolation. It is usually in a prone or supine position seeking to isolate strength of individual muscles. The functional assessment is integrated and movement oriented in standing position or a position that simulates the posture of the sport. A simple qualitative analysis consists of simply taking video of the athlete doing their respective sport activity from tfie front, side and rear if possible and judge quality of movement, also consider video of a typical training activity and judge quality of movement. Look for patterns, similarities and differences. Quantitative assessment has two components:
1) Assessment Driven from the Top Down Medicine Ball Exercises Chest Pass - (Off Two Legs, Off One leg) Overhead Throw - (Off Two Legs, Off One leg) Rotational Throw - (Compare distance of throw with rotation right and left)
2) Assessment Driven trom the Bottom Up Balance Tests Excursion Tests Lunge, Jump, Hop Tests In designing a core training program and selecting the exercises carefully consider all of the following: Demands of the Sport Demands of the event or position - (Physical qualities of the athlete, Dynamic Postural Analysis, Injury History, Performance & Training History).
As in any good training program progression is the key. It is essential to achieve mastery of each step before moving to the next step. Start with easy and simple basic movements and progress to harder and more complex movements. 1 have found it more effective to emphasize a few basic movements and then add variations of those movements, rather than adding more exercises. Therefore the foundation of an effective core training program is a few exercises mastered and done well. Chose exercises tbat work the core in all planes of motion: Trunk Flexion and Extension (Sagittal Plane), Lateral Flexion (Frontal Plane), Trunk Rotation (Transverse plane). Combinations (Tri-Plane), Catching (Dynamic stabilization in all three planes).
For the purposes of effective program design and efficiency the core exercise classifications are as follows: Stabilisation, Flexion/Extension, Rotation, Throwing/Catching The system of classification then allows us to distribute exercises based on classification to ensure adequate recovery and effective coverage of all aspects of core movement. There is no shortage of core training tools available. The most common tools are:
Program Design Variables
• Body weight/Gravitational Loading
• Stability Ball
• Body Blade
• Power Ball/Kettlebell
• Stretch Cord
• Medicine Ball
There is an old saying "If the only tool you have is a hammer then everything becomes a nail." Learn how to use all the core training tools available at the appropriate time for task at hand. Use each tool individually - Learn the advantages and disadvantages of each tool. Combine tools with a specific purpose and goal in mind. Combine the tools with environmental modifiers in a logical sequential progression. Constantly evaluate exercises and environmental modifiers. Environmental modifiers are those things that enable us to add variation to the basic core training tools. Some environmental modifiers are:
• Balance Beam
• Balance Board
• Stability Ball
• Foam Roll
• Airex Pad (ABC Ladder^^^, BOSU™)
• Mini Tramp
The exercise program should begin in the most challenging position the individual can control. The Program can be manipulated by changing any of the following variables:
' Plane of Motion
' Range of Motion
' Loading Parameters - (Gravity)
' Medicine Ball
• Body Position
• Amount of Control
• Speed of Execution
Amount of Feedback
Tempo of exercise^ime under tension
• Posture (Sitting, Kneeling, Standing, Lying)
• Supine Moving
• Stance (Bilateral, Unilateral, Solo, Partner, Plane of Motion)
• Exercise Selection Guideline
• Stress multiple planes
• Incorporate a multi-sensory environment
• Derived from fundamental movement skills
• Sports specific
Yearly Training Program Guideline
Progression is the cornerstone of the plan. Core training should be incorporated daily throughout training year. Volume & intensity should be regulated in concert with the total workload in all components of training and the objective of that particular training cycle.
Volume Guidelines - Because of the structure and function of the core relatively high volumes are necessary to stress the area in order to achieve any significant training adaptation. For rotational movement the exercises are usually done in sets of 20 repetitions. For total body throw the rep range is usually 6 to 10 repetitions. For wall throws or partner throws the repetitions are 20. Number of exercises - Range of 6 to 10 exercises in a session with the reps based on the training objective for each session Time requirement -15 to 20 minutes daily for core work. This does not have to be done all in one block. It can be distributed throughout the workout at strategic points. Where in the workout - Core training can be effectively distributed throughout the workout beginning with warmup. In Warm-up rotations, chopping, flexion and extension movements are especially effective. In the actual workout the throws should be done as a segment of the actual workout or as an actual workout in order to insure high intensity and proper mechanics. After the workout or for a Cooldown is probably the least desirable time to train the core.
Sample Core Training Program
• Basic Rotations (One set of each exercise)
• Walking Wide Twist x 20 Forward and x 20 Backward
• Walking Tight Twist x 20 Forward and x 20 Backward
• Walking Over The Top x 20 Forward and x 20 Backward
• Walking Figure Eight x 20 Forward and x 20 Backward
• Base Volume - 160 Repetitions
(Performed each session as warm-up)
• Cable Core Trainer (Stretch Cord)*
' Flexion/Extension x 20
• Twisting x 20 (10 each side)
• Chop X 20 (10 each side)
• Same Direction x 10
• Opposite Direction X 10
• Base Volume = 80 Repetitions
• Low Volume - 2 sets - 160 repetitions
• Medium Volume = 3 sets - 240 repetitions
» High Volume = 4 sets - 320 repetitions
• This can be done with a partner or soio with the stretch cord
attached to a secure anchor point
»Medicine Ball Rotations
• Standing Full Twist x 10 Each Direction
• Standing Half Twist, x 10 Each Direction
• Seated V Sit Throw X 20
• Seated Side Throw x 10 Each Side
»Solo Med Ball Sit Up (Two position right & left) x 5 Reps
• Base Volume - 90 Repetitions
• Low Volume = 2 sets - 1 80 repetitions
• Medium Volume - 3 sets - 270 repetitions
• High Volume = 4 sets - 360 repetitions
• Medicine Ball Partner or Wall Throws
• Overhead Throw x 20
• Soccer Throw X 20
• Chest Pass x 20
• Standing Side to Side x 10 Each Side (Cross in front)
• Standing Cross in Front x 10 Each Side
• Around the Back x 10 Each Side
• Base Volume = 120 Repetitions
• Low Volume = 1 set -120 repetitions
• Medium Volume = 3 sets - 360 repetitions
• High Volume =^ 5 sets - 560 repetitions
• Total Body Throws "
• Single Leg Squat & Throw x 6 each leg
• Single Leg Squat & Scoop Throw x 6 each leg
• Over the back Throw x 6
• Forward through the legs x 6
• Squat & Throw X 10
• Base Volume = 46 Repetitions
• Low Volume = 1 set - 46 repetitions**
'* Because these exercises are used to excite the nervous system and achieve maximum expiosiveness they are never done for volume because fatigue would compromise expiosiveness
04-24-10, 10:07 PM
Video of different jump roping exercises.
Very beneficial to cardio, conditioning, plantar flexors etc...
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