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  1. #1
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    Workouts to Supplement Biking

    Hi

    I started biking regularly about 6 weeks ago, and have been doing an average of 15-20miles a day. I was really out of shape physically before this, although I have a BMI of 21. I find that my quadriceps and hamstrings and biceps have really shaped up, but other parts of my body are still pretty flabby.

    Could someone suggest excercises that help develope the other muscles as well?

    Also, after longer rides (with more uphill climbs), my lower back hurts a lot. Is this normal muscle building pain? or am I doing something wrong?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Senior Member Richard Cranium's Avatar
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    Also, after longer rides (with more uphill climbs), my lower back hurts a lot. Is this normal muscle building pain? or am I doing something wrong?
    No and yes.

    Of course anytime you start a routine you may experience discomfort. But if you repeatedly end your ride with back pain -then you need to examine your riding posture and isolate where you are "going wrong."

    Most cyclists either adjust their riding style or attempt to strengthen their back through supplemental exercise. Whatever you decide - repeatedly causing back pain while riding - will not end well.

  3. #3
    Faster than yesterday
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    Stretching and strengthening the core are must-do's, and may help alleviate/prevent back and hip problems. If you want other exercises to supplement biking try these to start: dips, pullups, pushups, crunches (there are variations on all four). you don't need a gym for them, though a bar or something else that will take your weight is necessary (I've used a tree, as well as a metal clothesline post. turned out there were wasps in the post). you can get most major groups without weights. I find it rather difficult to do my delts and traps satisfactorily w/o dumbbells, though. Additionally, I like to counteract pushups or bench presses with a rowing motion (good advice to anyone, really). You can do Australian pullups, but I do not find them particularly useful. So, weights are useful to me.

    The body-weight exercises are a great introduction to weightlifting, and actually serve as the foundation of a good routine. If you want to lift to strengthen your legs, one-legged squats (try putting the resting leg on a chair or bench behind you) and lunges are great, and calf-raises are good too.

    If you really get serious about building muscle, weights become invaluable. The downside is that they cost money, and cycling is not a sport where great upper-body development is likely to help you. Not that you shouln't be fit overall. Just that a lot of mass up top is less than ideal.
    Last edited by tadawdy; 06-10-09 at 03:57 PM.

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    Mate, most of the time, lower back pains are straight up caused by not stretching properly before cycling. you have lower back muscles (I just had a major exam on biomechanics, so dont ask me to name them!) which are constantly overstressed when not properly stretched.

    i too used to have this problem, but since i started stretching before a ride (stand with your heels touching the wall, then twist your upper body to touch the wall behind you, do this a few times side to side holding for 15 seconds each) and you'll be sweet!

    some people also do "the dove", which is essentially this; http://www.dkimages.com/discover/pre...10095386.JPGas for the other exercises.. after 1-4 hours of cycling, i like to do some resistance training. although your bodys tired from all the endurance work, you've usually got the energy to do some pushups, situps, and crunches.then sone wholegrain sandwitches with salami.
    Last edited by Trance; 06-11-09 at 06:33 AM.

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    Climbing hard by it's very nature causes lower back soreness and pain as your muscles adjust to the strain of the workouts you are doing. This always happens to me in the beginning of a season, but as you do more riding, you become more flexible and things will improve. Stretching is a good idea before a ride, but make sure it is active or moving. And example would be hip circles where you stand with your feet a shoulder length apart and rotate your torso around as if you were making a circle. Static stretching such as holding your leg up to stretch your quads is discouraged due to to being counter-productive to flexibility in athletes when completed before workouts.

    As far as cross training, you could try going to the gym and using an eliptical machine and doing some weight work as well. Things you can do at home such as plank exercises, pull ups, pushups, etc will also do you good. Good luck!
    Try some Hammer Gel, HEED, and Recoverite via the 15% Hammer Nutrition Discount! - You won't be disappointed!

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    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Stretching is good. Cycling develops some muscles and not others. There are a bunch of ways you can deal with it. The quickest is lifting exercises that work the back and butt and hams. Deadlifts, hyperextensions, crunches (on a underpressure exercise ball) work well. There are many others.

    I like going to the gym. But you can go to a medical supply house and get latex tubing in lengths 12 feet and longer. Do an exercise like a squat or deadlift with the bands, then double them and a few weeks later double them again. Not as good as a bench and weights, but it gets the job done.

    A rowing machine is also an option.
    your friendly, local, minor god of information...

  7. #7
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    woah...thanks for all the info guys. I'll try these and put together a pre-biking routine. So far I just decide I want to go biking and hop on to the saddle and go out for about 2-3hours.

    I think I'll start without the weights first and then move onto weights. One of the benefits of being in college is a fully functional gym =)

    Also, would you reccomend biking at a tougher gear or spinning at an easier one? So far I've been riding at the toughest one I can pedal at on a given incline, but I find I can actually go faster at an easier gear.

    Thanks again

  8. #8
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Yeah, spinning is better for you than mashing. You want to use a easy gear, and
    keep a good steady spin going.
    your friendly, local, minor god of information...

  9. #9
    Senior Member ericm979's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilverAviator View Post

    Also, would you reccomend biking at a tougher gear or spinning at an easier one? So far I've been riding at the toughest one I can pedal at on a given incline, but I find I can actually go faster at an easier gear.

    Try everything, but ride the gear that has you going the fastest for the least effort.

    I'd recommend doing gym work. It helped me quite a bit when I started cycling. Squats, leg press, leg curls (both directions), calf raises. Plus upper body and core.

    Your back is sore because your core is not strong enough. For all riding but especially when you are climbing, you use your back to anchor your hips so there is something to push against. Poor bike position can also cause back problems, but since you just started riding, it's more likely to be overuse of muscles that need some strenghtening.

    Riding will help but careful weight work in the gym can devlop the muscles faster.

  10. #10
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    In my case I don't like to stretch the lower back with twists or crunches, but believe in core strengthening with isometric exercises. For this a properly executed deadlift (without overloading) and squat can be used. My main exercise is planks, which involves holding the trunk rigid while resting on the toes and the elbows. Also do right and left side planks, starting with 30 sec hold 3x a week and gradually increasing to 60 to 90 seconds. Progress at a controlled pace. On my rides my back never bothers me. I think if you are holding your back in a curved position on the bike, rather than straight, you might be straining it or staying in an unanatomical position for too long, and putting pressure on the discs unevenly. When the spine is loaded in the anatomic position (roughly straight, with a normal lumbar curve) the discs are loaded evenly and can take more load. If your back feels achy after trying crunches try the above advice (or skip crunches and go directly to the advice). Get the advice of a qualified sports trainer as well. Good luck!

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    Definitely recommend spinning in an easier gear!
    Try some Hammer Gel, HEED, and Recoverite via the 15% Hammer Nutrition Discount! - You won't be disappointed!

  12. #12
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    walking is very good for your body and works the legs differently. run a bit if you can, but if you're new to "training" then you may want to use great caution if you start running. I'm fond of intense weight training the upper body and swimming. you will be well served to supplement your bike training with other types of sessions and I commend you for beginning your research. I found a web site/forum helpful (see below) and educational, but a word of warning - most of these users are only focused on getting bigger and many are young thin males. However you should be able to dig up some useful info on weight training the upper body.

    http://www.cagedanimal.net/
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  13. #13
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    I'm first an inline speedskater, but I cycle and run a little to supplement my skating. You may want to try skating and running to supplement your cycling. They're both good workouts and compliment the cycling muscles, or so I've been told. I just started cycling and running this year.
    Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure
    that you are not, in fact, just surrounding yourself with azzholes. -- William Gibson

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