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  1. #1
    Senior Member canonball's Avatar
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    What off bike exercises have you found to be effective?

    I have seen advertisements for cyclo-core and other off bike fitness programs for off season stuff.
    I was wondering if anyone has had some exercises that they believe has helped them improve or perhaps a set of exercises that they have done for enough time to get results from.
    Thanks for the input.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Maybe some running....swimming.....gym circuit to break up the boredom.


    but the best training for cycling is still cycling.

  3. #3
    Zen Cyclist jslopez's Avatar
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    I think yoga and pilates are excellent off the bike excercises. Strengthens you without bulking up, improved flexibility, more core strength, better breathing, smaller tummy. Plus it usually helps loosen up tight muscles after a hard ride. I've never gotten cycle core though as my gym offers yoga/pilates with the membership.
    ZEN CYCLIST once again...

  4. #4
    scofflaw
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    I have a membership in the local YMCA. When the weather is truly horrid I'll
    do 40 minutes of hard aerobics on the stationary recumbent, daily. Also I do
    weights every other day, my schedule is Mon, Wed, Fri, Sun, Tue,Thu, Sat, etc.
    Now that the weather is nice and I cycle all weekend, I do weights, Mon, Wed, Fri.
    Nothing has improved my cycling skills and stamina as doing weights, regularly.

  5. #5
    Stegosaurus Crunkologist's Avatar
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    I swim on "off" days between long rides. Allows my quads to recover through light use, while my arms do most of the work.

    I think squatting, higher reps (12 or so) would be good for stomping up them hills.
    "A conservative is a liberal who's been mugged.
    A liberal is a conservative who's been arrested."

  6. #6
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    I've heard of something called "Hindu squats" which you can find out how to do on the net, there are "Hindu pushups" too, they're called this because they were originated by Indian wrestlers. Those are done high-reps, and are considered very very good general fitness exercises. They're a subset of "body weight exercises" which are very good, no gym, do 'em at home in your undies while watching trashy TV, while the rain pours, what could be better?

    When I was last a serious bikie, I got pains in my back and upper back, and my sponsor told me to do pushups and situps, like an idiot I didn't do them but those are very good, and my older sister got rid of her back problems with Pilates so there you have it.

  7. #7
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    Pizza and beer and stinking work. done it for 4 years. The 4 year rain finally stopped last week. Did 30 miles and I was dead.

  8. #8
    Sprockette wabbit's Avatar
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    Yoga is good, power walking. Early and later in the season I go to the gym;usually I stop by may and start again in september. I'll still be riding but the days are shorter so I do cardio and weights.
    You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. That's great...if you want to attract vermin.

  9. #9
    I fear angry birds Santaria's Avatar
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    Start out with this:
    Mon., Wed., Fri. - 2 mile run @ 8:30 min. miles (6 miles total on the week)
    Mon. Tues., Thurs., Fri., Sat - 15-30 mile cycle @ whatever pace to start.
    Mon., Wed., Fri., situps 4x20 (I use crunch here 2x20 as well) pushup 4x15 and pullup 4x5.
    Swim daily, as far as you can for 15 minutes.

    Each week, add 5 reps to the exercise, 1-3 miles to the bike and add 1 mile to the run putting your second week at 9 miles vs. 6 miles in the first week.

    After 3 weeks, stop running for a week, then it changes a bit (I can fill you in later, if your interested).

    Tai chi is also good, but being I'm in a 9 week training cycle for my first tria, I've pretty much relegated anything outside run/bike/swim as useless until after the tri and my 5k in 3 weeks.
    THE DEVIL

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  10. #10
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Hi,
    I only work out in a good gym. Weights at home collect dust... The key is avoid major strength imbalances, which cycling can give you. When I start in, I go for a few visits exercising just the core, and hamstrings, and back. Stuff that gets meglected cycling. However,working just one spot can cause a problem.. Once you start working the quads, you threaten to overwhelm the hamstrings (very bad news). What you are really asking is .. 'How can I get in shape so my body can handle what I throw at it' Glad you asked. Start *very* slowly. First time in the gym after a while I hit the weight stations but leave the pin on the floor. I am just trying to get used to the new movement with minimal resistance. I don't do a lot of reps either. Make haste slowly.

    When your body adjusts to the new routine you can add weight quickly for a while; but that will slow down. I do one upper body workout and one lower body workout a week. It's enough.Don't ride the day after you do legs unless it's a very easy cruise. Do abs with arms and the back with legs. It can be hard learning to do the exercise perfectly. You can get hurt doing them wrong.Having gone thorugh this before, all I can do is to ask you to try it. You will like the results.
    Anyway, there are a lot of good exercises.
    For the core my 3 fave exercises are
    1) Roman Chair ( I love this one, but I do seated rows to build up my back for a month or more to get ready)
    2)Incline situps (don't forget the twist, and don't start on an incline unless you love pain. After a month on the gym, and after a few easy crunches, do a couple at a slight incline. You will cramp doing this exercise eventually, just walk it off.
    3)seated rows.....great exercise, but it works best if you're feet are at the same level as your butt (or close to it). You get that by sitting on the floor with your butt on a cushion. If you don't get them on the same level the hips don't get involved. You want to row from the hips. Most rowing stations put your feet too low.
    Legs....
    1)Leg extensions (do the last set working only the upper third of the extension to nail the Vastus Medialus. That is the one that protects your knees.)
    2)Leg curls. I try to keep the weight on extensions and curls close to each other.
    If the difference goes over 40-50% I'd lay off the leg extensions for a week, and do leg curls twice in that week.
    3)Mini-squats....you only want the knee to bend as much as you do when pedaling. Good form is vital. Keep your butt underneath your shoulders. You may need someone to train you for that.
    4)Calf raises...a surprisingly effective cycling exercise. Occasionally do a set lunging against the calf machine. You need a standing calf machine to do that. First week just do calf raises leaning on something so you aren't using all your weight as resistance. 2nd week you should be able to do a calf raise. After that you can use a calf machine.
    Arms....
    1)AN exercise that uses most of your range of motion in pushing. Pushups are limited in effectiveness. Dumbell press, most machines, are fine. You arms act as shock absorbers on a bike, so imitating that partial up and down movment would be good.
    2)I invented this one. Lean forward while holding a dumbell and place a hand on a bench or rack so you are at least at a 45 degree angle. Make a motion like you were drinking from a cup, but... keep the palm facing down, and the motion straight up and down just in front of, and to the side, of your face. Don't go higher than your chin. This gets front and rear delts; think of it as a core exercise.
    3)Dumbell rows (lean over a bench or use a machine). Use full range and it will use your back a little.
    4) Lat pulldown/close grip pull down. Do lats in one arm workout and then the close grip pulldown on the next workout.

  11. #11
    Maglia Ciclamino gcasillo's Avatar
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    Hiking. Great for balance, core strength, and peace of mind.

  12. #12
    Positio, ergo sum! Bécane's Avatar
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    Shadow cycling

  13. #13
    Senior Member
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    Surfing the web.

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    Warning:Mild Peril Treespeed's Avatar
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    Swimming, running, a little gym work.

    -Marcus.
    Non semper erit aestas.

  15. #15
    Positio, ergo sum! Bécane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amorrow
    Surfing the web.
    LOL!

  16. #16
    Member sswartzl's Avatar
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    There is no "off-season," just a time for heavier clothes...

    I've been doing a short lunchtime workout on weight machines four days per week, focusing on the upper body.

  17. #17
    Bad Mutha Hucka CyniQ's Avatar
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    Squat

    Deadlift

    Rinse

    Repeat
    The fellowship of brothers of one mind is stronger than any fortified city. - Antisthenes

  18. #18
    Senior Member skydive69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by canonball
    I have seen advertisements for cyclo-core and other off bike fitness programs for off season stuff.
    I was wondering if anyone has had some exercises that they believe has helped them improve or perhaps a set of exercises that they have done for enough time to get results from.
    Thanks for the input.
    20 repetition breathing squats.
    www.brokennecktobrokenrecords.com

  19. #19
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    Compound exercises are the best:

    - Stiff legged and normal deadlifts (will take care of those hamstrings and lower back)
    - Squats (Your quads will finally have that power to take you up that hill!)

    And don't neglect the upper body:
    - Bench presses (incline, decline, flat) dumbell and barbell! Work out that pec and tricep!
    - Upperback (such as pull-ups) and biceps.


    Muscle mass is a must

  20. #20
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by appel
    Compound exercises are the best:

    - Stiff legged and normal deadlifts (will take care of those hamstrings and lower back)
    - Squats (Your quads will finally have that power to take you up that hill!)

    And don't neglect the upper body:
    - Bench presses (incline, decline, flat) dumbell and barbell! Work out that pec and tricep!
    - Upperback (such as pull-ups) and biceps.


    Muscle mass is a must

    Yeah!!! Forget the stoopid bike, live in the gym!!!

  21. #21
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    I play ice hockey three times a week, the bike flies!

  22. #22
    Theodore Roosevelt's idol TheKillerPenguin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bécane
    Shadow cycling
    Masochism is a training adaptation.

  23. #23
    I get high on lactic acid ^*^BATMAN^*^'s Avatar
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    do you mean off season, or in the summer, but not on the bike?

    Off season, cant beat cross-country skiing, especialy skate skiing, or hockey, same motion.

    In the summer time, roller blading(roller skiing if you are really into x-country skiing)
    Road Bike- 2003 Trek 2000(out of service, rear triangle bent, looking for replacment)
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  24. #24
    Bad Mutha Hucka CyniQ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ed073
    Yeah!!! Forget the stoopid bike, live in the gym!!!
    Good point. The regimen proposed by appel is probably a little extreme for someone looking for sport-specific benefits. If you are looking to improve your performance on the bike... bicep curls, or tricep presses are going to do you absolutely NO good at all. Truthfully, they are of no benefit to virtually any athlete. Stick to big movements. 5 sets of 5 Squats, DL's, Bench presses and Pullups 3 days a week will add more strength and mass than you desire. And will allow you to stomp the steepest hills.
    The fellowship of brothers of one mind is stronger than any fortified city. - Antisthenes

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