Dumbbell Exercises for Cyclists

October 19, 2021 6 min read

Dumbbell Exercises for Cyclists

If you are wanting to be the best cyclist you can be, you need to add these dumbbell exercises to your routine. Strength training not only improves your endurance but also reduces your chances of picking up an injury. We have made strength training easy with this simpledumbbellguide.

Our guide focuses ondumbbell workouts specifically as they are great to ensure you train both sides of your body equally. They are also a lot more accessible than other strength equipment.

You can easily get a pair ofhex rubber dumbbells for yourself. That way, you can perform these exercises in the comfort of your own home.

The best part is that theselight dumbbell workouts will not take too much time out of your schedule. The benefits of including these movements in your weekly routine highly outweigh the small investment of your time.

How to Strength Train for Cycling

We have rounded up an easy, but effectivedumbbell exercise for beginners as a cyclist. If you feel you are more on the intermediate or advanced strength level, you can simply increase the weight of dumbbells used. 

Dumbbell deadlift 

Dumbbell Exercises for Cyclists

Cyclists rely heavily on their legs. This is why deadlifts are essential to your strength routine. Deadlifts are great compound exercises that work your legs, core, glutes and back. 

Doing them regularly enough will also improve your mobility. The more mobile you are, the less likely you are to pick up an injury.

To perform the dumbbell deadlift, start with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your arms at your sides. Move your hips back while bending your knees in a slow, controlled movement. 

As you bend, allow the dumbbells to slide down the sides of your legs. Keep your back straight and your head up. Slowly slide the dumbbells back up your legs as you stand up straight.

If you are a beginner, start with lightweight dumbbells and perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions. With time, you can choose to either increase the weight or the number of sets you perform in a session.

Russian twists 

dumbbell workouts for cyclists

This is a great movement to increase strength in your core. Core strength is very important for cyclists to keep in a strong position on the bike. Single dumbbell exercises like this are also great if you have limited equipment.

Start by sitting on the floor with your legs out in front of you. Bend and lift your knees up from the floor. 

If you are new to this movement, keep your feet planted on the floor. If you are more familiar with this movement, lift both your knees and feet off the floor.

Hold the dumbbell with both hands in front of your chest. Breathe in and as you breathe out, twist your core to face your right side. As you breathe in, twist back to face the front. Repeat this on your left side.

You can perform this exercise for 2 sets of 16 as a beginner. Increase the weights or repetitions as you improve.

Dumbbell squats 

dumbbell exercises for a cyclist

The squat is another essential movement to ensure your legs are prepared for a long cycle. Squats are a great versatile movement to work the legs inworkout routines with dumbbells and barbells. We will focus on the dumbbell squat as we are working on training both sides of the body equally.

To start, stand up straight holding the dumbbells at your sides with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width. Keeping your back straight and chest up, sink your hips backwards and bend your knees as if you are sitting down. Your arms should be kept at your sides and your heels flat.

Once your thighs are parallel to the ground, extend your hips and knees to come up out of the squat position. Make sure to keep your chest up and your shoulders back for the entire movement.

Perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions at a weight you feel comfortable with.

Dumbbell lunges 

dumbbell exercises for cyclists

These are particularly populardumbbell exercises for women as they are great for building the glutes and legs. Stronger glutes will give cyclists more powerful pedalling. 

To start, stand straight with your arms at your sides. You should have a dumbbell in each hand. Step your right foot forward and bend your right knee until your leg forms a 90-degree angle. Your left leg should be bent with your left knee touching the ground. 

Your arms should remain straight with the dumbbells at your sides. 

Use your right foot to push yourself back up and return to the starting position. 

Repeat this for 8 repetitions on each leg for 3 sets. Start with light weights and increase them slowly over time.

Dumbbell Shoulder Press

dumbbell exercise for cyclists

During a cycle, the upper body does not get much of a workout. This is why it is really important to do movements like the shoulder press in your sessions. Another bonus is that they are greatdumbbell exercises sitting down.

Start by sitting down with your back straight and feet firmly planted on the ground. Hold a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder height, with your palms facing away from you. Slowly press the dumbbells upwards until your arms are straight.

Make sure you keep your core activated and your head looking straight ahead for the entire movement. Slowly lower the weights to the starting position. 

Perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions to start with. These are also greatseated dumbbell exercises for seniors as they can perform this exercise on a chair with back support.

Dumbbell Chest Press

dumbbell exercises for a cyclists

This is a greatdumbbell and exercise ball workout to strengthen your chest muscles. As with the shoulders, you need to work your chest in your strength sessions. These muscles get neglected during cycling.

If you do not have an exercise ball, you can use a bench instead.

Start with your feet flat on the floor and your back on the exercise ball. The ball should be centred between your shoulder blades. 

You should have a dumbbell in each hand with your arms bent. Point your elbows away from you until they are in line with your shoulders. Your hands should be wrapped around the dumbbells with your palms facing your feet. 

In a controlled movement, push the dumbbells away from your body until your arms are straight. Make sure to keep your head still and facing the ceiling. When your arms are fully extended, slowly bring them back to the starting position. 

Repeat this for 3 rounds of 8 repetitions. If this feels too easy, increase the weight of the dumbbells you are using.

How Does Strength Help Endurance?

Strength training and endurance may seem at odds. But, this is not completely true in practice. In fact, most endurance coaches will recommend a form of strength training incorporated in your cycling program.

Strength training increases the force that your muscle fibres can produce. Having more force means you can propel your body more efficiently. When it comes to cycling, this means you are capable of pedalling more on the bike.

More pedalling means you can last even longer on your bike with less fatigue in your muscles.

Aside from performance benefits, strength training can help you avoid injuring yourself on a long ride. Cycling involves the same motion of pedalling for long periods. This means that you use the same muscles during your cycling sessions.

Using the same muscles over and over again can attract imbalances and tightness. Tightness and imbalances may not sound serious, but these issues have knock-on effects. This is where injuries can creep in.

Since prevention is always better than cure, let’s invest in some dumbbells and start training.

How Often Should You Strength Train for Cycling?

Setting aside time for strength training just twice a week will be sufficient to complement your cycling. This will allow you to work most of your muscles every week without overdoing it. 

If you are not a fan of the traditional strength workouts, try replacing one of your strength sessions with adumbbell cardio workout. This is a fun and unique way of working your muscles in a session. For these types of workouts ensure that you have a pair of lighter dumbbells. 

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