It may not seem like there’s been many benefits to the Covid pandemic of 2020, but there’s certainly no denying that this period has made 2020 a year for cyclists to really enjoy their time on the bike. The restrictions placed on gyms has resulted in us reconsidering our exercise and fitness options and resorting to either online Zoom classes or finding our own best home workouts for cyclists to compliment our fitness.
Instagram has been awash with people sharing their best home workouts with so many options out there. So many people have converted their garage spaces and spare rooms into home gyms or fitness studios and I’m no exception! As a yoga teacher who usually teaches in studios and community halls, I’ve turned my spare bedroom into a Yoga studio for my online yoga teaching and my own home practice.
I think we’ve all learned how important exercise and fitness is to us, not only to our physical body but in terms of our mental health too. Having a space at home where we can devise our own best home workouts kind of seems like an essential requirement now rather than a luxury. Having said that, you certainly don’t need to devote a whole room to your fitness if you don’t have the space. Just a corner is plenty enough; provided you have sufficient space around you to move your arms and legs freely and safely.
Equipment for the best home workouts for cyclists
So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best home workouts for cyclists. What simple equipment can you add to your home workout space? What exercises can cyclists be doing off the bike to really make a difference in becoming a stronger and more powerful cyclist on the bike?
Strengthening the obliques will really help minimise rotation through the torso when you’re pedalling on the bike protecting the lower back and making you more energy efficient. Try adding in some Russian Twists by bringing yourself down to the ground, the sit bones making firm contact with the ground. Lift the spine tall, draw in the core and lift the legs away from the ground with a bend at the knees. Holding a single dumbbell centrally in front of the chest, move the arms from one side of the body to the other with the core engaged. Super effective at working those core oblique muscles!
If you’re looking for a more cardiovascular type workout, there’s lots of equipment you can bring in to your home gym or fitness space. You can’t go far wrong with something like a SB 24 spin bike for example, if you’ve got the space. I don’t think there’s a cyclist among us that hasn’t endured the pain and then the gain of the spin gym class! You sweat buckets, but my goodness you feel like you’ve had the best work out on the legs afterwards. With all those calories burned and those all important feel good endorphins surging around the body, what’s not to love about the convenience of having one of these in your home to hop on when you can’t get to the gym or out on your bike!
Of course there’s also the option of a turbo trainer or rollers too, which you can pop your own bike onto and tune in to some virtual cycling programme from Zwift for example. Tour away, up and down mountains, along roads high and low in countries near and far, all virtually of course, until your heart’s content!
3. Resistance Bands
Focusing on the posterior is going to help you improve your cycling strength. One of the best home workouts for cyclists can involve something as simple as a resistance band, available cheaply from any good sports shop. You can work on building strength throughout the body with these and they are particularly useful for strengthening areas such as the glutes and the IT band to help minimise any lower back or QL pain you might be experiencing whilst cycling. Check out this You Tube video from the Global Triathlon Network for ideas of exercises that you can do to build strength in these areas using a resistance band.
Okay, so I’m a yoga teacher. It would be a pretty poor show if I didn’t add in how brilliant yoga can be for cyclists. There’s really no fancy equipment needed other than a yoga mat and yoga block so it’s super easy to incorporate into your off the bike fitness. Yoga is fantastic for building core strength, helping to protect the lower back but helping us with stability and balance too. You really don’t need to be flexible to do yoga. It’s a myth and absolutely not a pre-requisite. Infact, if you’re not flexible, yoga is definitely worth adding some into your home work out. It will help to lengthen the muscles that the cycling action can cause to shorten causing back, knee, neck and shoulder niggles. Check out the blog post I wrote for Greek Cycling Holidays on some very good reasons why cyclists should do yoga!
This post has been written in collaboration with PowerGym Fitness