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  1. #1
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    Upper Body Workouts

    Recently, I've been cycling about 20 miles 3-5 days out of the week. My legs are getting stronger and are becoming toned, however, I don't want to neglect working my upper body. Are there any upper body workouts designed for cyclist?

  2. #2
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    Have you ever seen pictures of pro cyclists with jerseys off. Definitely not working the upper body. You don't want to work with heavy weights and put on mass. And work the core.

  3. #3
    Senior Member wolfchild's Avatar
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    If you are a Pro cyclist then putting on mass may not be the best thing to do...But if you are the average recreational cyclist then there is nothing wrong with lifting weights and putting on a little bit of muscle. Lifting heavy weights doesn't mean you going to become very big, so don't be afraid to lift. To get big you also have to eat a lot and follow a mass building plan, getting big is a lot more then just lifting weights. The biggest problem with cyclists is they have a weak core and weak upper body because most of them never workout their upper body.
    Strength training 2-3 times per week is very beneficial. Free weights are much more effective then machines. Bodyweight exercises are also very good.

  4. #4
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    To answer your specific question: sort of. A good general cycling routine is:
    Leg sled
    Seated row
    Back machine or hyperextensions
    Barbell squats
    Bench press
    Tricep cable pulls
    Lat pull-downs or wide chins
    One-legged calf raises w/body weight
    Roman chair

    Note that all except two are either upper body or core. Of course you can only do the upper body ones if you like.

  5. #5
    Senior Member bmontgomery87's Avatar
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    wolfchid pretty much hit the nail on the head.

    If you're a pro, your time is probably best spent on the bike.
    If you're someone who enjoys cycling and doesn't want to look like crap, hit the gym, it's not going to slow you down.

    If you have a gym membership, I'd reccommend bench pressing, rows, pullups, and the overhead press. Those should be the main four lifts. Then you can supplement them with things like curls, pulldowns, pushdowns, etc.

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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Go to your gym and get them to put together an upper body and core program for you. You might also include pilates/yoga classes and rowing.

    It is a good idea to strengthen your upper body and core. You'll feel more comfortable on the bicycle over longer distances.

  7. #7
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    pushups and dips are free
    I am riding 175 miles so kids with cancer can go to summer camp for free. You can help:
    http://www.chailifeline.org/events/Bike4Chai/my/kak

  8. #8
    Senior Member bmontgomery87's Avatar
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    ^^Two pretty solid movements, but they only go so far.

    Being strong and having a bit of muscle never hurts in terms of performance or aesthetics.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bmontgomery87 View Post
    wolfchid pretty much hit the nail on the head.

    If you're a pro, your time is probably best spent on the bike.
    If you're someone who enjoys cycling and doesn't want to look like crap, hit the gym, it's not going to slow you down.

    If you have a gym membership, I'd reccommend bench pressing, rows, pullups, and the overhead press. Those should be the main four lifts. Then you can supplement them with things like curls, pulldowns, pushdowns, etc.
    Don't be afraid of weights. You're not going to bulk up unless you make a considerable effort to do so.

    And, there are a lot of other activities that will strengthen your upper body without adding a lot of weight, such as rock climbing, swimming and yoga.

  10. #10
    DBA
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    Look up Body For Life, if you are interested in adding muscle.
    It's a D&E routine based on basic body building principles and routines.

    If mass isn't what you want, look up bodyweight exercises.....things like pull ups and pushups. You won't add much mass with these kinds of exercises, but general fitness is a good idea. Even professional cyclists do strength training during the off season (if you can call benching 125lbs strength training).

  11. #11
    Senior Member UtahRider's Avatar
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    Chins
    Pullups
    Pushups
    Diamond Pushups
    Medball Pushups
    Dips
    Rollouts

  12. #12
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    take up swimming. like cycling, it will leave you feeling amazing
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

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    A great side effect of a good weight program is a stronger skeleton. Strong bones are an essential foundation for fitness. Plus, when you are injured there will be something to anchor repair hardware. Plus, healing will be faster.

    Cardiovascular and muscular fitness are important. But bone fitness, as the body's foundation is as well.

  14. #14
    DBA
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    Quote Originally Posted by HawkOwl View Post
    A great side effect of a good weight program is a stronger skeleton. Strong bones are an essential foundation for fitness. Plus, when you are injured there will be something to anchor repair hardware. Plus, healing will be faster.

    Cardiovascular and muscular fitness are important. But bone fitness, as the body's foundation is as well.
    good point....and cycling is considered a non-weight bearing exercise. It doesn't do much to strengthen the bones the way running or weightlifting can.

  15. #15
    Senior Member hermanchauw's Avatar
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    Just the basics: squat, bench, deadlift, press. Additional pulling which can be done include bent over/pendlay row, pull up.

    Build work capacity (GPP) through more strength. When you get stronger overall, your cycling would improve. There isn't really a need for a cycling specific program.

    Get strong, practice your sport. That's it. Read Bill Starr, Mark Rippetoe and Glenn Pendlay for more insights.


    Herman Chauw
    Movement coach, strength & conditioning coach, rehab therapist

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