I'm not a doctor but…
Cycling injury, recovery and health issues.
The information / discussion in the Cycling Health Forum is not qualified medical advice. Please consult your doctor.
I've only recently started road riding and as such my legs have gone from zero to hero... Well, from zero in any case I'm very happy with how all the cycling is improving my fitness and helping tone and build my lower muscles, but whilst the arms do get a bit of a workout on the hills I feel my upper half is missing out! I used to do a fair bit of rock climbing to keep my arms, chest, back, shoulders etc in check but now I just really don't have the time (and I'd rather be cycling). Anyway, last week I started a little regime of push-ups, crunches, and pull-ups - just 3 small sets of 10-15 reps a couple of times a week. I am planning to keep this up and add more reps as I'm comfortable but I was wondering what other cyclists do to build and tone their upper body? I really don't like gyms, as much as I don't mind gym equipment, also the cost is a deterrent when push ups are done for free on my floor... Do you guys do nothing, gym sessions, or something altogether different?? Only real reason I ask is that I see myself growing bored of the pushups/crunches after a few weeks and giving up on them, plus I have a metal plate in my wrist and it doesn't always feel pretty when lifting half my weight Wouldn't mind a more interesting alternative.
I think you are on the right track. My physio recommended three exercises for upper body strength maintenance when on the bike for hours every week.
- upper body push = 30-60 pushups as one or two sets. hindu pushup for variation and two flex/extend lower back. To make them harder, come down more on one hand and come up on the opposite. If you have a plate in your wrist, experiment doing push ups on a closed fist, a seat bench or log, or rope suspended from above with wood or steel rod to hold onto.
- upper body pull = 30-50 inclined pull up as one or two sets (or chin up or pull up if strong enough 10-20 reps) I do the inclined pull ups under banana bars on cycling trails or fence rails.
- bicycle crunch for abdominal strength
- forward and side lunges, and step ups (working towards one legged squat) to build accessory hip and knee extensors.
- stretches for hip flexor, gluts, adductors, quads, calf, neck joints.
Apart from chin ups and pull ups on an overhead bar, these exercises should not bulk your upper body up. They will help preserve calcium in your bones for when you hit the bitumen, and help preserve or build better posture.
Yes, they might be boring, but 3 x a week is adequate as a conditioning and maintenance stimulus.
There's also variations for all of these, and if you do them during or after a ride, it doesn't seem such a boring chore.
Winston is on the money, I do most of what he has mentioned and every couple months do a cycle of what I know as "The Evil Russian's Pushup program"
Mon: 100% test, relative intensity (RI) 30% Set frequency (SF) 60 min
Tues: RI 50% SF 60 min
Wed: RI 60% SF 45 min
Thurs: RI 25% SF 60 min
Fri: RI 45% SF 30 min
Sat: RI 40% SF 60 min
Sun: RI 20% SF 90 min
Mon: 100% test RI 35% SF 45min
Tues: RI 55% SF 20 min
Wed: RI 30% SF 15 min
Thurs: RI 65% SF 60min
Fri: RI 35% SF 45 min
Sat: RI 45% SF 60 min
Sun: RI 25% SF120 min
Mon: 100% test
There is no such thing as firming and toning. Just stronger and weaker.
Annoying macho gym guy aside, crunches are real bad. Really really bad. Half the patients we get into our physio clinic are dudes who did crunches and busted their backs. Great for getting time off work, not so great for anything else Hanging leg raises compress your spine alot less, and work your abdominals even better. (maybe go to a kids part and try them).
You could always buy a mountain bike for upper body strength; it's nice out on the trails, and gives you much better control on the roads/track. I race triathlons, and feel better turning sharp because of mountain biking (plus, your arms get shredded).
Something interesting; your arms are great for dissipating lactate, so if you can raise your tolerance through 'burning' sets, (3 x 200 biceps curls of your bicycle?) you can raise your inter-exercise recovery
What are these salesmen peddling?
Thanks for the replies guys, truly very helpful!
I'll definitely give the closed fist/bench pushups a crack Winston. I'm sure the fist will help a lot actually, it only feels a bit "off" when my hands down flat and stretched out. Wayfarer, thanks for the insight on crunches. I have to admit, they do feel bloody horrible. That's the only part of the workout regime that I really hate, that bicycle crunch/hanging leg raise looks a lot beter. I've got a steel girder holding up my ceiling I can do that off too which is convienent. It does work as a chinup bar too, but I pulled a muscle in my neck this morning tilting my head to the side so I could pull all the way up and not hit the roof I've been thinking about buying a MTB, I used to race DH at a national level so I'm no stranger to the dirt - I just don't know that I'd have enough time to actually ride it to justify buying one! Be nice on the weekend though Trickle, that's a well thought out program, do you guys generally just make your own programs up or go and see a PT to devise one? I've never really trained properly for a sport, as far as considering nutrition, heart rates, etc etc but I'm getting more and more into it through this cycling - maybe it's time to go see a pro and see what they think would suit me...
Thanks again, appreciate the insight!
I reckon some pushups, leg raises, pullups (alternate between wide pronated grip and narrower suppinated grip) and dips are about all you need.
I don't like closed fist push ups, but understand first hand the wrist problems first hand with a flat hand, so I use push up bars - small plastic stands to grip when doing push ups that keep your wrists nice and straight (and pain free).
You really can build a good upper body with just these simple exercises.
barbell ,dumbbells , some hand rails for dips , a chin up bar and pushups
check out http://www.ausbb.com for more info
don't worry you're not going to bulk up over night it take times to get to that stage
Sure, but he's already doing that. I do both. Weights do not kick my donkey like swimming does. Swimming also develops postural musculature much better than a general weights program will.
You have officially become your parents.
Check out this guy:
I bought one of his workout books (Never gymless), very tough. Most of it is own body weight or simple exercises with very basic gear so you don't need a gym.
Lots of variations of different exercises to keep you interested. I'd highly recommend it, he even answers your emails in great detail about training questions you may have.
just because you don't feel it as much as swimming , doesn't mean that it's not working , it's a common misconception that people have , people believe that in order for it help you it needs to make you feel tired and sore , it just isn't the case
http://www.ausbb.com is all you need , a great wealth of info
I'm not already swimming (assuming you mean't me), that's for sure. I feel a bit like a fish out of water when I'm in the pool I have never really been keen on swimming, other than for leisure, but I can see the obvious benefits. Hmmmm, I'll keep it in mind, the thought of doing laps makes me bored before I've even begun though...
I had a lucky strike today. I was at Big W getting bulk cheap socks for work and on the way out I noticed a $8.00 exercise machine! Ok, well it's really just a few bars with padding designed to hang off a door frame or be used on flat ground. But, it is a prefect fit for my doorframe, and it's designed for pullups, chinups, pushups etc. Gets my hands on rails for the pushups too which is A LOT more comfortable for my wrist. It's perfect for the chinups/leg raises. Did a workout on it this arvo and have come to to conclusions it's the best bloody $8 I've ever spent! Now that I've got a proper way to actually do the exercises I'm much more likely to keep them up too. That was my first time in any Big W store, what else do they have!...
bodybuilding.com = Mecca no other site comes close.
those chin up bars are a bargain , brought one myself , they are a good buy , can hit different target muscles just by changing your grip
There are real people out there who don't swim?
What are these salesmen peddling?
Try rowing. It's like cycling, but harder.
If you live in a city the club membership prices might be a bit of a turn off and it'll take you a while to get your skill level up to where you can get a decent work out, but once you do it's great. It's also one of those things which is fairly easy to do a basic impression of, but you'll spend the rest of your life perfecting it.
Check out kettlebells
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9nEpydx ... 44C4BA04D3
OP - depending on how bad your wrist is, it might determine what you do.
Before I got a bike I did a fairly typical bodybuilding split; since then it's morphed into more of an upper-lower split, done whenever I feel rested enough. I have about 200kg of weights, screw-lock dumbells and a barbell, and home-made dip bars and a pull-up bar. Sports-based workouts might neglect certain muscles and muscle groups, and I don't imagine they could compete with weight-lifting as an effective way to build strength - although they might complement the latter.
Lance recommends the following :
http://www.livestrong.com/video/5189-la ... g-workout/
A few compound exercises with just enough upper body work to keep things working. He looks like he does more than he demonstrates but what is important is to avoid putting on too much upper body weight. It doesn't help your cycling.
If you are riding lots you probably don't want to do step ups although the way he does them they are a pure power exercise.
judged, insulted, gone
Its not abour become a roid fueled superman, whole body strenght and cardio fitness, involves every type of exercise for almost every muscle.
So much info out there, but if you want a Whole body approach to fitness, this is it.
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