While cycling is considered to be one of the best ways to get an overall sense of fitness it shouldn't be considered as the only exercise you need. While cycling is fantastic for your overall fitness, you need to look at it from the perspective of cycling being a supplementary aspect of your overall fitness regime. But, there are some exercises out there that can prove to be a great benefit to your cycling skills. So let's break it down into what you should do, when you're not cycling, to ensure you get the most out of your cycling fitness regime?

Your Core

So, let's examine the motion of exercising on your bike. Firstly, it happens one leg at a time. You also need a strong core in which to handle your bike on smooth surfaces, not to mention the steep gradients. When it comes to core exercises, unsurprisingly, the bicycle legs are one of the best. But to get an extra workout in for your core, you need to work on the old-fashioned approaches. The plank is one of the best exercises to strengthen your core, but also, a strong core is used to protect your back. In this respect, you can use exercises like squats, burpees, and leg lifts to get some extra stability. If this is your only form of exercise, it can be quite difficult to get used to tensing your core. But this is where the benefits of greasing the groove comes in handy. In other words, this approach to exercising by Russian fitness experts like Pavel Tsatsouline is all about training little and often. The idea behind greasing the groove is to not overwork yourself, but to ingrain a sense of muscle memory. So if you think that doing 100 sit-ups a day, and absolutely killing your core is the only way to do it, you have to give consideration to how much rest time you'll need in between. Whereas greasing the groove is about doing a little, and never exhausting yourself.




Strength Exercises

Naturally, the stronger you get, the more you will be able to achieve physically. But strength exercises and strength training, in general, is a double-edged sword. Because you are wanting to get stronger quickly, you may feel that temptation to completely burn your body out. If you do this, you need sufficient rest. But as far as strength training is concerned, it's about breaking a plateau. When you think about the biomechanical side of building muscle, it's about breaking those fibers, so they can grow back stronger, which you achieve by challenging your body enough, refueling your body enough, but also giving your body the rest it needs. It's all dependent on your own abilities, to begin with, but also how you implement these training exercises into your weekly routine. Strength training comes in so many different guises, but there's so much out there, information wise to choose from. And so, you can either go with the muscle memory approach, and do little and often, or you can implement some of the principles of strength training, in other words, lifting heavy, but with low reps. This is a mistake a lot of people make because we believe that the more we do, i.e. the higher amount of reps, the likelier we are to build muscle. This isn't necessarily the case. But it's all about listening to your own body. You can kill it every day in the gym, but this won't necessarily help you with strength. And this is where other approaches to fitness could come in handy like pilates or another approach to strength training that's not just lifting a few weights now and again. Places like these fitness locations provide an abundance of strength training regimes and classes, which helps to reaffirm the principle that when it comes to building muscle and strength, your body needs that constant confusion because as soon as you get used to a certain lifting method or exercise, your body stops building muscle. And this is why so many people looking to develop muscles in an aesthetic sense see big changes at the very beginning of their exercise regimes, and it becomes more of a struggle after a year in.


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Endurance Workouts

The third part of supplementing your cycling regime isn't about the physical aspect (although you can make life easier for yourself in a physical sense by doing some stretches, exposing yourself to the cold, and allowing adequate rest), when undertaking a sport like cycling, you have to increase your capacity to endure rough terrain, harsh weather conditions, and long journeys. This is where your VO2 max can help you along infinitely. Your VO2 max is your body's ability to consume oxygen. We all have a different ability to do this, depending on where we live and how we breathe. For example, those that breathe through the diaphragm are more likely to take in more oxygen and store it effectively. There are workouts to help you increase your VO2 max, a video of which you will see below, but consider this to be a long-standing journey of improvement. If you're someone who is a novice to exercising and strength training, you may find yourself, without thinking about it, holding your breath. While bodybuilders find themselves being able to lift heavier weights by holding their breath, a technique called the Valsalva, but during sports like cycling, you need to increase your VO2 max so it becomes more bearable.


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Your fitness regime isn't just about the bicycle, and while cycling is one of the best overall forms of exercise, it can't be considered the most beneficial, and so this means that we've got to figure out other ways, if we are looking at achieving an overall sense of strength and fitness, by adding other exercises into the mix. Your core is vital, your ability to gain strength, but also your capacity to store oxygen means that these three aspects working together will prove to be the foundation of your perfect cycling fitness regime.

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