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Old 03-13-10, 10:11 AM   #1
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Best Biking Excercise?

What is the best single excersice for biking? EX. Benchpress, squats, etc.
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Old 03-13-10, 12:10 PM   #2
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Riding a bike is the best exercise to get better at riding a bike.

Lifting has its uses, but it's really mostly valuable for sprinters and other short-duration/max power types of efforts.
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Old 03-13-10, 04:36 PM   #3
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Apart from the obvious, Riding & Running?.

The best single exercise for cycling (IMO) has to go to Dumbell Jump Squats, without a shadow of a doubt.

A great multiple-joint exercise that targets the Posterior chain & develops explosive strength. Load 2 dumbells with as much weight as you can handle, Stand up straight, dumbells hanging down by each side, squat down, both dumbells touch the floor, explode into a jump, full extension of the ankles, knees & hips. Do them correctly you will defiantly feel these working. (5 Sets x 8-12 Reps).

Explosive Strength; Explosive strength can be developed by using moderate resistance with maximum speed. One method involves jumping exercises. Acceleration and exertion of force is the key. Speed is the ultimate goal. Explosive speed, EXPLOSIVE STRENGTH. Most training cycles should end with explosive strength training.

Good exercise, pretty similar to a power clean (& power cleans are GREAT).

Take note of your HR. Should be up there similar to a stiff climb.



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Old 03-13-10, 06:55 PM   #4
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DJSs may give some extra power when sprinting out of the saddle, though it only works half of the muscles used. Might actually be better for slow out-of-the-saddle climbing. I'd have to experiment to see if it does anything and unfortunately my back won't allow it this spring. Maybe someone else can try it and report. May not have any effect on ordinary seated cycling because it only works a few of the necessary muscles. You can combine these with explosive straight-legged deadlifts to work the hams for some real sprint potency, but be careful or you'll tear a meniscus just like I did. In short, be careful with all explosive movements. Even adding weights slowly is not a perfect defense against injury. You are much more likely to have a season-spoiling injury in the weight room than on the bike. Avoidance of injury should be the most important concern in a training program, IMHO.
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Old 03-13-10, 08:56 PM   #5
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DJSs are not good for your spine/back. I'll be careful with them, as there is no use ruining your back trying to become a hotshot cyclist. I lift weights moderately (low poundage/12-15 reps, 3sets, 4x a week) and I have found that it helps my cycling in terms of stamina more than speed. I recommend weighttraining as a complement to your cycling, but be very careful not to injure yourself. Better yet, have a trainer show you the basics and correct form before you go on your own.
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Old 03-13-10, 09:10 PM   #6
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though it only works half of the muscles used.
What would the other half be? Please list?.

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May not have any effect on ordinary seated cycling because it only works a few of the necessary muscles.
The muscles being?.

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You can combine these with explosive straight-legged deadlifts, but be careful or you'll tear a meniscus just like I did.
Take it from me. Perform straight-legged deadlifts/Romanian dealifts but never perform them EXPLOSIVELY. I perform one version of the deadlift explosively & they are just regular deadlifts, no fancy technique, just straight up (EXPLODE) & down. The explosion is very demanding & taxing on your CNS.

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DJSs are not good for your spine/back.
It will come down to the shape of what the individuals spine/back is in, prior to performing them.

Regular Deadlift (Perfect form/Technique)... But you will be using just a tad less weight, lol...



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Old 03-14-10, 12:12 AM   #7
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There is no best exercise, hah... so many muscles at work

I would say a Simple squat or Bulgarian squats(No machines and do them properly bending at hips etc...)... remember keep the weight super-low you aren't trying to build mass - just enhance strength(there is a difference). I would say deadlifts are harder todo right and maybe not for a cyclist - my opinion. EDIT: why don't you ask jim wendler there how his back feels today!

Don't use a weight belt either... you don't need to squat that much and you need to focus on stabilizing the core and lower back.

Check this guy's site out for strength training tips
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Old 03-14-10, 10:02 AM   #8
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There is no best exercise, hah... so many muscles at work

I would say a Simple squat or Bulgarian squats(No machines and do them properly bending at hips etc...)... remember keep the weight super-low you aren't trying to build mass - just enhance strength(there is a difference). I would say deadlifts are harder todo right and maybe not for a cyclist - my opinion. EDIT: why don't you ask jim wendler there how his back feels today!

Don't use a weight belt either... you don't need to squat that much and you need to focus on stabilizing the core and lower back.

Check this guy's site out for strength training tips
I've recently started doing Bulgarian squats after a recommendation form a coach at Training peaks. I really like the exercise and my cycling this season has improved

The coach recommended them because I was able to do 3 times my bw with a lever strength leg press for reps and wanted a new exercise to I was going to start doing squats again but, the coach said in his experience that although Squats are a good exercise you can injure your back and create a training set back.

he also said that he prefers single leg movements since you use one leg at a time when pedaling.

his logic seemed sound so I figured I had nothing to loose

it's working for me so I'm' pleased
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Old 03-14-10, 10:17 AM   #9
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he also said that he prefers single leg movements since you use one leg at a time when pedaling.
I've also heard that it's better to train one leg at a time if you're training for something where each leg works separately (like cycling).
I do pistol squats.
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Old 03-14-10, 10:45 AM   #10
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I've also heard that it's better to train one leg at a time if you're training for something where each leg works separately (like cycling).
I do pistol squats.
My god. The woman performing the one legged squats?. RESPECT. There hard as hell.

I also do Bulgarian split squats, but with Dumbells, much tougher to perform, a lot more ab, core & balance requirement.

I also don't agree that training one leg has far better qualities than training both at the same time. Cycling is constant push & pull, & its a two legged exercise with both working side by side.
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Old 03-14-10, 11:05 AM   #11
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Those DJS's look like seriously bad news for your patellars.
The best exercise is to get used to riding as slow as you can. Even if you have a nice bike, you have to get over yourself and let yourself rest and recover. Get used to looking a ****** with a bike thats too nice every once in a while, and keep your nose up when you do. It's good for you.
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Old 03-14-10, 12:31 PM   #12
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I've recently started doing Bulgarian squats after a recommendation form a coach at Training peaks. I really like the exercise and my cycling this season has improved

The coach recommended them because I was able to do 3 times my bw with a lever strength leg press for reps and wanted a new exercise to I was going to start doing squats again but, the coach said in his experience that although Squats are a good exercise you can injure your back and create a training set back.

he also said that he prefers single leg movements since you use one leg at a time when pedaling.

his logic seemed sound so I figured I had nothing to loose

it's working for me so I'm' pleased
I found a difference in strength between legs, which is why i started to do some more unilateral training(my lead leg was much stronger)... bulgarian squats, pistol squats, lunge.. whatever. To me it makes sense also because you're always putting the power down with one leg at a time... so to train your muscles to keep the hips/back straight and etc is good.

edit: single leg deadlifts also.
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Old 03-14-10, 05:18 PM   #13
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To me it makes sense also because you're always putting the power down with one leg at a time...
Its push & pull. Its both legs working in tandem, as I push with one leg, I'm pulling with the other, both legs at the same time. Maybe you haven't gone clipless. Anyway, single legged-double legged exercises, its all good.
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Old 03-14-10, 08:34 PM   #14
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Its push & pull. Its both legs working in tandem, as I push with one leg, I'm pulling with the other, both legs at the same time.
I'm sure you'd agree that there's atleast some difference between pushing with both legs at the same time vs pushing with one leg and pulling with the other, which is in turn different from just pushing with one leg. I don't know specifically what it is about doing each leg separately that adds the supposed benefits, but it seems entirely plausible that it's caused by the differences between pushing with both legs at the same time as opposed to any exercise where you don't (including only one leg at a time, like a pistol squat, and a push and pull, like cycling).

At the very least, there's a good chance doing single leg squats uses slightly differnet muscles in different amounts. I know I feel it in different muscles when i do one handed pushups vs 2 handed pushups. My guess is that it could strenghthen muscles inside the hip which are used to keep your body properly aligned vertically which wouldn't be required if you were pushing with both legs.
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Old 03-14-10, 09:13 PM   #15
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Its push & pull. Its both legs working in tandem, as I push with one leg, I'm pulling with the other, both legs at the same time. Maybe you haven't gone clipless. Anyway, single legged-double legged exercises, its all good.
Sure it is push and pull, but it is mostly push...

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My guess is that it could strenghthen muscles inside the hip which are used to keep your body properly aligned vertically which wouldn't be required if you were pushing with both legs.
It does that but, it is used traditionally because eventually one leg compensates for the other when doing a squat. So if weight lifters aren't careful they'll end up with one leg larger than the other... for cycling purposes the benefits also include the strengthening of all the stabilizing muscles.. which is why i would say "no machines" since we want dynamic strength not size.
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Old 03-15-10, 08:41 AM   #16
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I'm sure you'd agree that there's at least some difference between pushing with both legs at the same time vs pushing with one leg and pulling with the other, which is in turn different from just pushing with one leg.
Yeah! But even performing a one legged version of the exercises mentioned, your still developing & strengthening both the "push" & the "pull" muscles. If I perform the two legged version, I'm not suddenly just developing the "pull", cos its two legged. I've been road cycling for almost a decade now & I have never once thought of cycling being one legged, nor walking, nor running, I can see where your coming from (in a way), I just can't see the benefit. I would also never substitute one legged deadlifts for regular two legged, nor would I substitute Dumbell jump squats for pistol squats, but thats just me.

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Sure it is push and pull, but it is mostly push...
Its just that you said, Your coach told you "You use one leg at a time when pedaling".

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To me it makes sense also because you're always putting the power down with one leg at a time
Don't forget the other muscles in your legs. Be efficient. Put the power down but bring the power back up.

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So if weight lifters aren't careful they'll end up with one leg larger than the other... for cycling purposes the benefits also include the strengthening of all the stabilizing muscles.. which is why i would say "no machines" since we want dynamic strength not size.
Two legged versions will also go towards strengthening the stabilizing muscles, just the one legged version calls upon them more just for balancing issues.

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Old 03-15-10, 08:57 AM   #17
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I've been road cycling for almost a decade now & I have never once thought of cycling being one legged, nor walking, nor running, I can see where your coming from (in a way), I just can't see the benefit.
I'm in a similar boat as you, since I don't personally know what the benefit is, it just that I can see plausible reasons why one legged exercises could be beneficial. I can't expect to actually know without substantial knowledge of physiology. I'm just guessing at possible benefits, since I've heard that it's beneficial. And when I say cycling is one legged, I don't mean entirely one legged, I just mean any exercise when the legs aren't doing the same movement at the same time. I would call running/walking/etc... one legged as well.



edit:
I remembered one of the places I heard it's beneficial to do one leg at a time. It's from an article by the australian track cycling coach.

http://www.performancemenu.com/wod/c...hp?dailyID=926

From the article:
Quote:
We do one bilateral strength lift each session for "core" strength (Squat, Deadlift, Romanian Deadlift) - usually lower back is the limiting factor not legs and this is the only reason I use these lifts for back strength in standing starts. The rest of the lifts are unilateral. How many feet do you push each pedal with at one time? If you train Bilaterally you get stronger bilaterally and unilateral strength lags behind. If you train unilaterally, you get stronger unilaterally. It's a neural thing.

I don't understand the central nervous system so I can't comment on that, but it sounds plausible and I think that guy probably has pretty good credentials.
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Old 03-15-10, 12:21 PM   #18
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I've also heard that it's better to train one leg at a time if you're training for something where each leg works separately (like cycling).
I do pistol squats.
Back in the day I could do 200 of those non-stop off each leg. That was when I was racing Nordic and was sure I could wheelie my bike just by pedaling if I could only get a little stronger . . . Never did them for training though, why would I do that, eh? Only did them to prove a point. Terrifies the competition.
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Old 03-15-10, 12:28 PM   #19
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What would the other half be? Please list?.



The muscles being?.

<snip>
http://cozybeehive.blogspot.com/2006...-to-pedal.html
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JovY7kZCJc8

Any further questions?
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Old 03-15-10, 05:19 PM   #20
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Its just that you said, Your coach told you "You use one leg at a time when pedaling".
He did? Coach is gonna be angry if you're putting words in his mouth!
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Don't forget the other muscles in your legs. Be efficient. Put the power down but bring the power back up.
I haven't forgotten but when i look at wattage 90% of total power is coming from the down-stroke(the push), so i think a lot of energy focused on exercises improving the sprinting power of the down-stroke is time well spent. Sure pedaling in circles is ok, but if you want to snap crankarms you're going to be doing that on the downstroke!
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Old 03-15-10, 06:51 PM   #21
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Absolutely awesome links. Your best post to date.

Again, just to put some impotence behind my reckoning.




All the muscles in the legs are used to generate the biggest power output possible & its actually the glutes that turn on the power, the "push", not the quads. Although I have to admit, I would have thought the hamstrings played a similar role in the pedal stroke just as much as the quadriceps play.

Stepups and lunges generated significantly more muscle activation in the gluteus medius than squats. The horizontal and vertical leg presses generated the least amount of activity. The Hamstrings; Quadruped hip extensions, step-ups, lunges and four-way hip extensions showed significantly more EMG activity than squats. The horizontal and vertical leg presses ranked lowest in EMG activity. (The American Council on Exercise and exercise scientists at the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse).

Best Butt Exercises:

Quadruped Hip Extensions
Lunges
Step Ups
Squats
Four-Way Hip Extensions
One-Legged Squat



http://www.exrx.net/Lists/Directory.html
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Old 03-15-10, 07:33 PM   #22
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He did? Coach is gonna be angry if you're putting words in his mouth!
I haven't forgotten but when i look at wattage 90% of total power is coming from the down-stroke(the push), so i think a lot of energy focused on exercises improving the sprinting power of the down-stroke is time well spent. Sure pedaling in circles is ok, but if you want to snap crankarms you're going to be doing that on the downstroke!
Ah, sorry, not true. When you sprint, you want it to be a fine balance between bringing the front wheel off the ground and losing steering, and bringing the back wheel off the ground and losing traction. You want just enough more down force than up force that the bike stays on the ground. My observation, after outsprinting pretty much everyone with whom I've ridden, is that hardly anyone knows squat about sprinting. I should teach a clinic or something, except that it's something that takes a lot of time and effort to develop. It has very little to do with hammering on the pedals.
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Old 03-15-10, 07:40 PM   #23
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Sick - Aha! Now you're getting somewhere. The hams are very important, too. I always try to cramp my hams at the same time my quads go off - in spring training before my endurance is up and I stop cramping. Think not so much about pedaling circles as pedaling so as to produce a constant torque on the bottom bracket. Think about that the next time you're on a trainer or rollers - a constant, even sound. Then analyze how to work those same muscles through that same range of motion in the gym.
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Old 03-15-10, 11:34 PM   #24
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That was when I was racing Nordic
OT: do you have an opinion on this?
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Old 03-16-10, 08:03 AM   #25
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So it seems Dumbell Step-Ups & Dumbell Lunges are the way to go. Quadruped Hip Extensions I'm going to perform isometrically with a resistance band. I was already performing step-ups & lunges but now they have gone up the pecking order. The Leg Presses have been canned<<< Its strange the Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Australian National Sprint Cycling Team was shouting from the rooftops how good they are & then The American Council on Exercise and exercise scientists at the University of Wisconsin stated the horizontal and vertical leg presses generated the least amount of activity in the Glutes.

Anyway my lowerbody workout looks something like this (3x per week). 1 Heavy, 2 considerably lighter.

1. Regular Deadlifts: (4 sets x 5-8 reps) (Rest 2-5 Mins) Intertwined w/
2. Jump Squats: (2 sets x 8 reps) (Rest 2-3 Mins),
3. Dumbell Lunges: (3 sets x 5-8 reps)
4. Regular Deadlifts: (4 sets x 5-8 reps) (Rest 2-5 Mins)
5. Dumbell Step Ups: (4 sets x 8-12 reps)
6. Romanian Deadlifts: (4 sets x 3-5 reps) (Rest 2-3 Mins)
7. Jump Squats: (Explosive): (2 sets x 8 reps)
8. Regular Deadlifts (Explosive): (Last set x As many reps as possible/Not to failure)
@ 60%-80%

Then its out on the bike.



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