Cycle performance is often on our minds here at PerformancePro. So with two very different but equally ambitious cycle races coming up in July, we’re keen to share six top tips to help you boost your own cycle performance.
Whether it’s our director Anthony Purcell training for L’Etape de Tour with PerformancePro partner Julian Wall from Cyclefit or the PerformancePro team of 21 riders for this year’s RideLondon, they all share six basic ways to improve cycle performance – all of which you can do at home!
Cycling relies on power coming from both the hip and knee (even a little from the ankle). Each joint extends and flexes against the resistance provided by our pedals. This in turn is determined by the weight of ourselves and bike, plus whatever gearing ratio we’ve selected. The more force we can extend and flex with, the faster we go. Our goal therefore, is to enhance our ability to produce power.
If you are new to strength training, the following exercises are a great entry level to strengthening the hip muscles and core. Our core is essential in providing a stable base for us to push off and through, transferring more force to the bike and wasting less energy.
If you’ve been strength training for a while, these drills will make a great addition to your warm up or to be used as a circuit for endurance at the end of a strength session.
Whatever your level, all cyclists benefit from incorporating these three movements in your cycle performance training.
Lateral band walks
Banded hip bridge
Anti rotation planks
As cyclists, we tend to get tight and sore in the same places. It is largely and seated sport after all!
Our upper backs can get stiff and cause problems for our neck and shoulders. Our hip flexors and quads (front thigh muscles) get loads of work and often tighten up as a result. This can be problematic for our lower back and hamstrings which then have to pick up the slack, quite literally.
The muscles that control our knee alignment and help extend the hip – our glutes – can also become excessively short if we let them. This can add to our lower back troubles.
The good news is there are plenty of things we can do proactively to prevent this from happening or correct muscles that have already tightened up.
Try adding these three stretches to your recovery days or the end of a long ride:
Thoracic spine rotations
Hip flexor stretch
Are you inspired to take your own cycling performance up a gear? In addition to the 6 tips above, here are two ways to make the most of both PerformancePro and our partners Cyclefit between now and Mon 30 July 2018:
Sign up for PerformancePro Cycling Training and enjoy complementary Functional Training Power (FTP) Test and Power Profile as part of your programme. Simply mention Perfect Fit when you book your initial consultation.
Book with Cyclefit and enjoy 10% discount on any of Cyclefit’s bike fitting and workshop services. Contact Julian directly for further information – Julian@cyclefit.co.uk