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Thread: quad's

  1. #1
    Senior Member k12ug's Avatar
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    quad's

    ive been hearing that when you bike you mostly use your quads? is this true?

    my problem is that when i stand up to pedal up a big hill...i can only stand and deliver full power for about 10 sec. to 30 sec. MAX

    i want to work this part of my muscle out so i can get stronger at doing this.

    what part of my quad should i work on? and what work out do you know of that would work this best. (besides actually riding the bike and standing up)

    thank you.

  2. #2
    50000 Guatts of power 127.0.0.1's Avatar
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    do squats with a bar and weights. run up stadium steps with dumbells.

    and just ride a lot


    climbing hills, your heart and lungs are what take a beating, not the legs so much. you
    can increase cadence and lighten teh load on teh legs anytime
    you have to simply ride more and ride more hills to get better at teh aerobic capacity
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    Senior Member k12ug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 127.0.0.1 View Post
    do squats with a bar and weights. run up stadium steps with dumbells.

    and just ride a lot

    i heard doing wide and close squats works out diffrent parts of your quad's...i would like to know which one is the most beneficial...

  4. #4
    But on the road more MTBLover's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by k12ug View Post
    i heard doing wide and close squats works out diffrent parts of your quad's...i would like to know which one is the most beneficial...
    You can lift more weight with wide stance, but you get better development with regular (feet in line with shoulders). You can't get the same range of motion with wide stance, and I wouldn't recommend this for beginners. I reality, I don't think you'll get any better strength with wide than regular- I'd just stick with the latter. But on to your OP. Squats are good for the hip flexors, which is one of the groups recruited for standing on those hills. You also use your calves, which get some work on squats, but you might find it beneficial to work them (calf raises, toe raises). You might fine exrx.net helpful- navigate to Exercise and Muscle Directory.

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    You don't mention what is keeping you from standing up more. If you are going all out, you will quickly run out of anaerobic capacity no matter how strong your legs are.

    If you want the strength to stand up longer, it's pretty simple. Ride up a hill at a moderate pace, shift to one gear harder, stand up, and stay standing as long as you can. Repeat.

    Weightlifting can help you get stronger, but it can't develop the muscles so that you can stand and ride at the same time.
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  6. #6
    But on the road more MTBLover's Avatar
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    ^^^ good point. I'd add that you should aim to stand less. There's little that builds technique and strength on hills better than staying in the saddle. I didn't believe this until last year when I did one of my hill repeat loops in the saddle all season (HARD!)- wow, did that pay off on my longer, hillier rides. I lift too, but this really strengthened my hip flexors, quads, and calves even better than weights. Training is all about specificity.

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    Senior Member k12ug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTBLover View Post
    ^^^ good point. I'd add that you should aim to stand less. There's little that builds technique and strength on hills better than staying in the saddle. I didn't believe this until last year when I did one of my hill repeat loops in the saddle all season (HARD!)- wow, did that pay off on my longer, hillier rides. I lift too, but this really strengthened my hip flexors, quads, and calves even better than weights. Training is all about specificity.

    i read somewhere, that riding in the saddle is much more efficient, like 20% more.

    can any one verify?

  8. #8
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    1) No, you don't mostly use your quads. In the saddle, the idea is to spread out the work among your leg muscles as much as possible. You do that by pedaling round, trying to keep power on the pedal all the way around the stroke. On the backstroke you can't do too much more than just lift your leg and the crank because your hip flexor is so much smaller a muscle. But that's what you strive for. I try to never have the sensation of pushing down on the cranks.

    2) Well, duh, of course you can only deliver max power for 10-30 seconds. That's the definition of max power.

    3) You get better at riding out of the saddle by doing it. Sprint up little hills. Try riding some long hills out of the saddle until you can't stand it, then sit for a bit & recover, then back up again. Try riding at a higher cadence with the bike not moving much and other times at a slow cadence rocking the bike. It's just drill. It will make you a better rider, because you'll be able to rest your legs more on a long seated climb by riding "up" for a while from time to time.

    4) I'm not sure that working in the weight room helps one bit. It's not strength you're after, it's endurance and neuromuscular coordination. You can't get that in the weight room. I lifted for years and it never helped. The only thing that helped was riding "up" until my legs were screaming, again and again. That worked. ****It's different for sprinters. I'm talking about climbing, assuming the OP is also.****

    5) Yes, riding in the saddle is more efficient. It'll be different for everyone, of course. It's easy to verify for yourself. Just keep your speed constant on a long steady climb and ride some seated and some up, all the while watching your HRM. You'll find it's harder than you'd think to match your seated speed while standing for long periods.

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    JDM RHD BIKE racin jasin's Avatar
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    ^^^^^^^^^
    good info!!!

  10. #10
    But on the road more MTBLover's Avatar
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    I agree that CFB's advice is good, but I don't agree that time in the weights doesn't help. Free weights DO help with coordination, and with the right training routine, you can easily build endurance training into it. Even so, weight training is not an end in and of itself. The only way to get good at riding is to ride.

  11. #11
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTBLover View Post
    I agree that CFB's advice is good, but I don't agree that time in the weights doesn't help. Free weights DO help with coordination, and with the right training routine, you can easily build endurance training into it. Even so, weight training is not an end in and of itself. The only way to get good at riding is to ride.
    Well yeah, I do have a tendency to overstate everything! As I said, I lifted for years. It probably did help, but only so much.

  12. #12
    Senior Member daxr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by k12ug View Post
    ive been hearing that when you bike you mostly use your quads? is this true?

    my problem is that when i stand up to pedal up a big hill...i can only stand and deliver full power for about 10 sec. to 30 sec. MAX

    i want to work this part of my muscle out so i can get stronger at doing this.

    what part of my quad should i work on? and what work out do you know of that would work this best. (besides actually riding the bike and standing up)

    thank you.
    "besides riding the bike" you really don't need to do much in season, aside from keeping the muscles and hamstrings flexible - stretches.

    Out of season I always did "hack squats" to build muscle strength in my quads. That's like a squat but you lay in a machine with your back flat against the padded support and push the weight up an incline with your legs. It isolates the quads and glutes better than regular squats and reduces the strain on your knees and back. Most gyms have a hack squat machine.

    Whether that ever helped once the season started, I don't know. I always figured if you are training enough on the bike you shouldn't have anything left to spend in the gym, least of all leg work. If you can get out and ride do intervals for quad power. There's plenty of good info around on how to build up with interval work, and it will be better in the long run than anything you can do off the bike.
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  13. #13
    But on the road more MTBLover's Avatar
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    ^^^ Yeah- the hack squat is pretty cool and a good alternative to front or other squat types. BTW, you can do it with a barbell too: http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/...HackSquat.html You need to be more careful of you AC joints when you do the BB version though- probably best avoided if you have a tendency to dislocate your shoulders.

  14. #14
    triathlete? roadie? MTB? caelric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTBLover View Post
    I agree that CFB's advice is good, but I don't agree that time in the weights doesn't help. Free weights DO help with coordination, and with the right training routine, you can easily build endurance training into it. Even so, weight training is not an end in and of itself. The only way to get good at riding is to ride.

    Exactly. I weightlift as well as swim/bike/run, but I do so with the knowledge that my weightlifting is (probably) not helping my riding. As they say, the only way to get better at climbing hills is........climbing hills.
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