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Winter Training
By Staff
Date: 10/29/2009
Winter Training

Winter Training
by Ainslie MacEachran

Once the race season has come to an end, its time to evaluate your season and assess your strengths and weaknesses. Lifting during the winter can go a long way to shore up any inadequacies that a cyclist may have and equalize left to right imbalances.

Cycling is very linear motion, during the winter a cyclist can take the opportunity to “wake up” stabilizer muscles to help create a more rounded and complete athlete. Moves that would contribute to this would be a walking lunge with weight held over-head (to raise the center of gravity), plyometrics or lateral lunges. These moves will also reflect the alternating motion of pedaling and focus on the quadriceps, gluteals and even calf muscles.

Walking Lunge

During the season core strength often takes a hit as the year progresses too. Being in the flexed position for a large majority of hours, the cyclists abdominals are required to do very little work and it’s not unusual for a cyclists to have accompanying back issues as a result.

Hyper-mobility of the extensors and gluteals is another phenomenon seen in cyclists. Flexibility and hyper-mobility are two different things but often are mistaken for each other. The extensors and gluteals are in a lengthened position for an enormous amount of time in the cyclist with the hands and arms holding the body upright and over time these muscles can lose strength. Since the gluteals are the primary hip-extensors, you must occasionally re-educate them on how they make a living.

Super-mans - Strengthening the Core.

Moves to correct low back issues can be things like hyper extensions or “super-mans.” Abdominals can be worked on by practicing core activation and strengthening the transversus in addition to rectus abdominus and the internal and external oblique’s. One of the best ways to strengthen the core (and the “core” means more than just the abs) is to “stabilize the midline.

Body weight moves such as pull ups and dips will, in a general fashion, tune up upper body musculature without focusing on any one group. While upper body mass can be a liability for the cyclist, the extra musculature will help with posture,”balance” or proportion of the athlete and it will also be an extra place to hide away more glycogen.

The above issues are easily trainable in the gym. A well thought out and periodized weight program that addresses the musculature of the legs and core will create an athlete that is less prone to injury, has more usable power and a more stable and strong core.

Photo Credits:
Exercises performed by Joe Merkle
Photos by Red Skull

Ainslie MacEachran is a premier level coach with Colorado Premier Training. He also operates Orchards Athletic Club with his brother Hugh in Loveland, Colorado. For more information on putting together a complimentary weight program for the off season you can email him at 

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