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Old 12-21-03, 10:00 PM   #1
TriDevil
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Cycling Specific Leg Gym Exercises

Now that Im on winter break 1500+ miles from my bike I'm trying to limit my fitness loses. Im going to do a little bit of running but Im taking some time off completly to let my legs refresh. But, Im joining a gym for the month Im here so what would everyone suggest to focus on my legs. Any of that plyometric type activities? I would like to increase my explosive power, i.e. I cant really jump out of the saddle and take off as much as I would like. Should I do squats or stick to machines? Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 12-21-03, 10:07 PM   #2
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squats on a smith machine is good. (remember: you don;t need to fully extend into a deep crouch to work your cycling thigh muscles)

i'm a big fan of the sled for one and two legged presses. leg presses are nice too.

maybe some calf raises as well.

lunges are good.

keep your sets up around 4 x 15 to 20
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Old 12-21-03, 10:09 PM   #3
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I have given some thought to this and what I think is best is to try and duplicate the width of foot spacing when in pedals and do leg presses and squats also keeping the knees moving forward, not out to thje sides.

In my opinion this will come close to the range of motion of pushing the pedals.
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Old 12-25-03, 07:13 AM   #4
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Give these a try.
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Old 12-25-03, 07:26 AM   #5
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Many who have not done them before will find the wall sits to be very straining on the quad muscles, and you may get a lot of pain from the soreness (at least I did). Using a large ball (like a 24") between your back and the wall at first will help to "get into" this exercise, reducing the friction.

Otherwise it is very good at building the quads. A great exercise for a motel when traveling.

Also, with the calf raises, you can hold a 20 pound dumbell or a gallon jug of water in each hand - or we take the large physical therapy type of elastic bands (Therabands) when we travel. Put one side under your foot and the other in your hand for more resistance.

We have a whole series of "traveling" exercises using the Therabands and an inflatable ball which utilize such things as doors, door handles and your body. They work quite well. I have some pics if anyone is interested.
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Old 12-25-03, 07:58 AM   #6
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For explosive power I would focus on core free weight exercises such as squats and do them explosively.By this I mean do the lowering or contraction phase in a slow controlled manner and then explode into the positive lifting/extension phase.You will want to use enough weight you are not necessarily moving upward too rapidly though.This takes advantage of the gogli reflex where the recoil allows more force in the explosive phase.Envision a pitcher winding up and then exploding into the pitch.
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Old 12-25-03, 10:51 AM   #7
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Thanks for the exercises. I picked up a bunch of cycling training books at the library and got some exercises from there. Did a bunch of them yesterday to try them all out. Plus I found some plyometric stuff to try, one book said the plyo stuff really helps with explosive power i.e. exploding out of the saddle. Anyone tried laying on your back on the hamstring curl machine and pulling your leg to your chest? One book had that, supposed to build up your hip flexor I think to help pull on the pedal upstroke. Felt like it was working something!
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Old 12-26-03, 12:43 AM   #8
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So are yall saying that wall squats are better than free weight squats?
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Old 12-26-03, 02:29 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by HammerTheHill
So are yall saying that wall squats are better than free weight squats?
Hammer that's not necessarily true. Both are complementary. As I recall, all muscle works on contraction. Do an arm curl for example and it's the biceps that lift the weight. When you control lowering the weight, it's not the biceps that relax so much, but rather the triceps that contract to compensate. The biceps and triceps are complementing each other. The same goes for all muscle groups. Wall squats put the main focus on the thigh but if you hold them too long the complementary muscles will have to work harder to compensate for the build up of lactic acid and the intolerable pain it causes. I don't suggest that it's the lactic acid that's the problem, but complementary muscle groups work in tandem and though they don't always work 50/50 in balance, they do work together. So, when you stand from a wall squat the thigh muscles are helping to hold your position while the complementary muscles are lifting you, if you see what I'm getting at?

In that respect, it is sometimes better to exercise complementary groups together though rotation is often better. Free weights and machines are great for opening new metabolic pathways within the muscle. Free weights have the potential to cause greater injury as the weight is being held by skeletal and connecting tissue which has the potential to twist suddenly out of control. On the machines there is generally only one axis of movement to contend with and that helps to target specific groups. I get the impression you know this anyway so apologies for talking down to you if that's how I come across.

I think, personally speaking, that an all-round balance is more useful in the lean months when riding is restricted. At this time of year I tend to do more aerobic than anaerobic though I try and rotate 70/30, 30/70 depending on how many people there at the gym. A great thing I discovered is the spin bikes. Boring, I know, but I get a workout on those that which'll pay big dividends when I get back to regular trail rides.
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Old 12-29-03, 11:45 PM   #10
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I understand where your coming from. I just figured that wall squats are using only your body weight, while free weight squats is using added weight plus your body weight...Hell if wall squats work differently than free weight squats then im all for it. I just dont want to be doing different excerises if they are doing the same thing.
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Old 12-30-03, 07:39 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HammerTheHill
I understand where your coming from. I just figured that wall squats are using only your body weight, while free weight squats is using added weight plus your body weight...Hell if wall squats work differently than free weight squats then im all for it. I just dont want to be doing different excerises if they are doing the same thing.
To me, wall squats feel quite different from squats using free weights. It is the friction on the back from the wall that really adds the oomph, and they particularly seem to hit the "upper part" (if there is such a thing) of my quads.

I was much sorer the first time I did the wall squats as compared to regular squats, even though I had been doing regular squats also.
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