Cross Training Sports for Cycling

5 Most Useful Cross-Training Sports for Cycling

There are so many reasons to cross-train. It’s a great injury prevention tool. It’s great for conditioning your core, upper body, and increasing balance, endurance, and power. It gives your body time to properly recover. Unless you are a professional or totally training sport specific, cross-training allows for just great general fitness.  After a Century Ride, you do want to have the strength in your arms to hold a pint of your favorite beverage, right?  And it will keep things interesting. Let’s look at 5 sports that go well with cycling.

Cross-Country Skiing

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This is the ideal cross-training sport for winter months. It will keep your leg and butt muscles in shape when you can’t do any cycling.  Cross Country and Nordic Skiing are great for this.  And not only that, the use of ski poles activates your upper body and core which is very useful for injury prevention, overall health, and the ability to get into a comfy riding position.  If you prefer Nordic, there are numerous Nordic centers the mountain towns where you enjoyed some of your epic summer rides like Breckenridge and Frisco. If you don’t have time to get to one of those, pro tip:  Public golf courses when covered with snow, are perfect rolling tracks for this…and do no damage to the fairways.  You will see that others have already been there, I promise. 

 

Swimming

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Swimming is great at building cardio, strength, and lung capacity and it’s a zero impact activity. It’s great for staying in shape when recovering from a cycling injury or during easy rest weeks. Swimming also builds a strong core and helps you increase mobility in your shoulders and hip flexors. If you are new to swimming, get a few lessons with a coach, learning proper technique will make you enjoy it a lot more!

Yoga or Pilates

cross training sports for cycling

Cycling can make you very tight, especially those long weekend rides. This, combined with a lot of time sitting hunched over in front of a PC, can cause back aches and other issues. That’s where Yoga or Pilates come in. They help you loosen up tight spots, combat imbalances, and maintain full range of motion in all of your joints. Plus they teach you better breathing patterns and that comes in handy on the bike as well.  If you can not get to a yoga club or center, there are great online yoga courses that are cycling specific, such as Yogaglo.

Strength Training

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Strength training consistently comes up in studies as the most effective injury prevention tool. And what could be more important than being healthy and injury free all year round to enjoy as much cycling as possible. It’s worth it, you should do some form of strength work every week. If you have a good workout plan it will improve your power on the bike without gaining any excess muscle. So, get a coach if you’re a beginner.  If you do not like crowded gyms, try an Anytime Fitness that will give you a small gym atmosphere without the crowd. 

Stair Climbing or Hill Running

cross training sports for cycling

This is a great activity because it’s very similar to cycling. You use the same muscle groups for climbing stairs or running hills as you do while climbing on a bike. So why do it? It’s something you always have available. For example if you travel a lot and can’t always take your bike with you, there will always be some stairs to conquer!  In and around Castle Rock, for example, there is the Mac Center that boasts of a 200 step incline that is excellent for these type of workouts, and many others are cropping up around Colorado.  If you are really up to the challenge, the Manitou Incline in Manitou Springs is the epic of epic stair climb. 

Cycling is fun, fitness is fun, remember to keep it that way…FUN.   If you are a racer…there is no shortage of races around to keep it fun.  If not, you can not go a weekend without having an opportunity to participate in some type of charity ride, that is just a fun way to give back to the community, as you put some miles on your legs, while you make new friends in a fun atmosphere.  We are always posting new bike races, rides, and fund raisers on our events page.  Check it out here.

Have fun out there, and Ride On!

Cheers,

Colorado Avid Cyclist

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