Cyclists are all different. Some like to ride skinny tires on the road, others like fat tires in the snow. Even among us mountain bikers, there are huge differences in how we like to enjoy the fat tire experience. From hard charging enduro racers, to fat tire adventure bike packers and even to the hardcore XC racers busting out 100 milers every summer; we are all different, just like beautiful snowflakes.
Every cyclist is different. Every snowflake is different. Previous riding experience, old injuries, body composition all make a difference as to how we ride and what we enjoy with our two-wheeled adventures. They say that no two snowflakes are the same. I say that no two cyclists are the same. That’s what makes the cycling community cool and diverse and interesting.
The one thing that is the same about different cyclist, however is how they power the bike. The muscles involved in cycling have been well documented. The primary muscles used in cycling are the core, quads, hamstrings, butt, calves and hip flexors. Training these muscles and the different physiological systems that fuel them is a topic of hot debate, among coaches. There are many approaches and theories about the best ways to train for the different disciplines that have emerged in cycling. That is not what this post is about.
Cyclists are like snowflakes: unique, beautiful, imperfect and FRAGILE. The unlucky snowflake, however does not have the ability to repair itself, like we do. The body, if kept in great working order has the amazing capacity to regenerate and build specific strength, speed, endurance and skill for bike riding.
Consistency with body work can help to keep injuries at bay, especially those incurred due to muscle imbalance, weakness, inflexibility and/or improper muscle firing patterns. They might even help prevent injury from the dreaded OTB or JRA crashes we have all experienced or witnessed. These moves will work balance, proprioception, strength, coordination for your entire body, making you an all around better cyclist, and help you become more cat-like; always landing on your feet (not giving you 9 lives- that’s what Red Bull is for.)
Work on these 2-3 times a week building up your reps and sets as you can, to keep progressing. Keep strong all year with these exercises so that you can take advantage of any adventure that cycling brings to you.
Thanks again to Doug Wewer with Desert Snow Photography for his amazing snowflake images.
Connect with me Tricia Davis, DPT at Killer Coach Academy .