Follow this 5-exercise home strength training for cyclists routine to maximize your gains without hitting a gym.
Strength training is my thing. My professional life is devoted to healing patients with exercise. When I made resistance exercise an integral part of my cycling training plan, it took my performance to the next level. Strengthening is essential in cycling and life and becomes more necessary as we age. Home strength training for cyclists is now my thing.
Yet, many cyclists aren’t convinced and can’t justify time out of the saddle for training in the gym. Some will find any way to rationalize the disbelief and any reason to give in to resistance. No access to a commercial gym is a significant limiter to some, but it doesn’t have to be.
The following 5-exercise Home Strength Training for Cyclists workout is an effective way to build strength and muscle mass without leaving home. You will have difficulty climbing the stairs of your basement gain cave when you’re through hitting these weights. You will be much better for it in the long ride—trust me.
Deadlift with Dumbbells
Stand upright, holding a dumbbell in each hand at the front of your thighs.
Lean forward while keeping your back straight, and do not allow it to round forward. Bend at your hips as the weight moves downward along your legs until near the floor. Then, straighten up to an upright standing position.
Be sure to keep your back straight and hinge or bend through your hips. Keep the dumbbells close to your body to avoid excessive pressure on your back.
Sumo Squat with Dumbbells
Stand with your feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart. Hold the end of a dumbbell with both hands as shown. Bend your knees, lower your body towards the floor, and perform a squat. Keep your back straight and hinge at the hips. Return to an upright standing position.
Direct your bodyweight primarily through the heels of your feet. Your knees should bend in line with the 2nd toe and not pass beyond the toes.
Tips to Perform the Perfect Squat
Alternating Forward Lunge with Dumbbells
Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. Next, take a step forward and slightly to the side and allow your front knee to bend into a lunge position. Your back knee may bend as well. Then, push off the front knee and return to starting position. Then perform on the other leg.
Keep your pelvis level and straight during the movement. Your front knee should bend in line with the 2nd toe and not pass the front of your foot. The dumbbells should surround your forward knee.
Alternating Lateral Lunge with Dumbbells
Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart while holding a dumbbell in each hand. Next, take a step to the side, bend that knee, and lower your buttock as you hinge at the hips. Push back up to the starting position and repeat on the other side.
Do not let your knee pass in front of your toes. Keep your knee in line with your foot. The dumbbells should surround your bent knee with one hand on each side.
Bulgarian Split Squat
Keep one foot on a bench and the other foot in front of and in line with your body. Drop your back knee towards the floor while maintaining an upright posture. Hold dumbbells in each hand to increase the intensity of the exercise.
Your leading leg should be positioned on the bench half a meter in front of your back leg. Be sure to engage your core and keep your back straight. The bench must be sturdy and able to accommodate the weight.
Semi-retired as owner and director of his private Orthopedic Physical Therapy practice after over 20 years, Chris is blessed with the freedom to pursue his passion for virtual cycling and writing. On a continual quest to give back to his bike for all the rewarding experiences and relationships it has provided him, he created a non-profit. Chris is committed to helping others with his bike through its work and the pages of his site.
In the summer of 2022, he rode 3,900 miles from San Francisco to New York to support the charity he founded, TheDIRTDadFund. His “Gain Cave” resides on the North Fork of Long Island, where he lives with his beautiful wife and is proud of his two independent children.
You will read him promoting his passion on the pages of Cycling Weekly, Cycling News, road.cc, Zwift Insider, Endurance.biz, and Bicycling. Chris is co-host of The Virtual Velo Podcast, too!