Cycling is a synonym of good health and low rate of injuries, the muscles get impressively strong and the body changes to a sculpture desired by many.
Doctors recommend a series of foods, diets and exercises to help you achieve these majestic muscles through the use of your bike.
We tell you about it.
This exercise creates tremendous resistance both at the time of execution and when you ride your bike.
And why do you need resistance, you might say… Well, you’ll find out later, for now, we can tell you that Squat Jumps are ideal because they increase your explosive power.
Besides, when you perform the squat, you strengthen your hamstrings, which are the main muscle when we talk about cycling.
Ideally, you should do 4 series of 15 repetitions and try to jump as high as you can and then fall into the squat.
Or famously known as strides. This exercise is ideal for strengthening your quads and yes, doctors also recommend it.
Aside from having heart-attack-quads, you’ll also be working your hamstrings, buttocks and calf muscles.
You’re also giving your legs the necessary and sufficient balance on the bicycle since a strong thigh can withstand a good and powerful pedal stroke.
The lunges movement is done by throwing one leg in front and unloading all your weight on it, as if you were going to get on your knees, even if they never touch the ground, then you return to the starting position and do the same with the other leg.
Or the colloquially known in Latinamerica “gemelos”. This is the fleshy and bulky part behind our leg. They are absolutely necessary when pedaling.
The exercise may seem silly, but there is nothing like a good steep, (get on your toes and come back) to make this area stronger. Remember that the legs are the most important thing when we talk about cycling.
No, we’re not talking about dancing, but maybe you’ll see this term a lot if you really love cycling and practice it regularly.
The cadence in cycling is the revolutions per minute that the cranks give when you pedal. In other words, the specialized cycling portal g-se.com says:
“One of the key factors in performance in endurance sports is the economy of movement. We can say that a cyclist is economic when spending less energy during pedaling, delaying fatigue. Therefore, we can define the optimal cadence as the most economical, that is, the one that entails less oxygen consumption for the same intensity.”
So, low cadence is pedaling on your seat giving about 50 or 60 pedals per minute and trying to do it uphill.
They are explosive exercises that will definitely strengthen your muscles. It is recommended between 8 and 12 sprints, then you rest from pedaling normally 5 minutes and alternate again.
PEDALING STANDING UP
Another exercise recommended by doctors to strengthen the muscles when we talk about cycling, is to pedal standing up for at least 5 minutes.
With this exercise you not only strengthen the muscles of your legs, when you go standing, you strengthen and tone your core and your arms.
Contrary to what you may think, you’re not going to leave the gym as Dwayne Johnson. so don’t sweat it.
Weights are very important if you practice cycling, they help improve the efficiency of your muscle fibers.
In other words, get it out of your head that to be a better cyclist and having strong muscles, you need to be riding your bike from dawn till dusk.
In case of those old myths, there are efficient ways to strengthen those hamstrings and those calves and weights can be a fundamental element of your training.
Without overdoing it, ask your trainer which exercises with weights can you do to strengthen and tone your muscles and why not, ask your family doctor. At the end of the day, they are authority and can recommend the best exercises with weights tenhancing your strength when it comes to pedaling.
You still need the gym, that’s why we’ve been talking about the importance of exercise so far.
A real cyclist who is proud of being one, knows that it is not likely to get those muscles strengthened by pedaling alone. That’s why, whether it is on the road, in the mountains or as a sprinter, you need to push yourself with your whole body to get the best performance and that can only be given by an alternative cycling training.
BALANCE IS KEY
Many of us believe that because we ride a bike and we rarely fall, we enjoy of a perfect balance, but the truth is that we don’t.
The balance a cyclist needs is of greater consideration than a footballer might need. And in order for that to happen, you need, again, to strengthen your muscles.
Yes, we know that we have repeated ourselves enough with the strengthening of the muscles, but we suppose that after so much advice, you will fly off to the gym, or at least to do your workout at home, which we are still under quarantine in some places.
Here is the deal, you also need the balance exercises so that everything goes well on the bike and you strengthen your gluteus maximus and your quadriceps.
AND WHAT ABOUT DIET?
We’ve talked enough about exercise and doctors’ recommendations to make us like a machine when it comes to cycling.
There are a series of foods that can help you get stronger muscles and we are going to mention them here so that you can get to know them and include them in your diet.
You may already be consuming them, if so, congratulations you are already on the right track on the road of success and build the strongest muscles to be the best in your discipline.
THE FEARED BONKING
We had already talked about it in a previous article and it is that in cycling bonking or hypoglycemia are situations in which the physical performance is compromised.
It’s as if we couldn’t pedal any more, even if we wanted to. The cyclist is completely paralyzed in spite of making every effort to continue and dizziness and general fatigue kicks in.
Therefore, a cyclist’s diet is not the same as that from another sportsmen and women. That is, endurance sports such as cycling and athletics, they require a special diet so that glycogen reserves are not depleted and the feared bonking arrives..
Pasta is consumed by cyclists even in the morning, although it seems strange that one can have breakfast with pasta.
The truth be told, it is possible to have breakfast with pasta and when ingesting it, this helps not only in the performance of the cyclist to providing energy. Oh, and how could we forget about this, it contributes to stronger muscles.
The ideal thing is to consume it hour and a half or two hours before the training session starts.
You can’t go wrong with this one. Rich in protein, economical and goes well with everything. The egg is a food high in amino acids, especially leucine, which allows muscle repairing.
A slow absorbing carbohydrate but not because it is a carbohydrate will prevent you from building muscle and keeping it strong.
Oatmeal is low in glucose, so you can eat it without remorse on those energy boosts that then leave you on the floor.
And of course, oats keep the energy gap longer and, help strengthen your muscles and improve muscle tone.
These fantastic green leaves are high in calcium and nitrate ions that also improve the strength of the muscles.
They also help preserve your muscle mass and maintain your strength with every pedal stroke; they are full of vitamins A, C, K, iodine, antioxidants and folic acid.
Men’s Health magazine refers to spinach after studies and research as follows:
“A study by the School of Health and Medical Services at ECU, with researcher Marc Sim leading the project and published in The Journal of Physiology, concluded that those who consumed spinach daily and also rugula and lettuce, had up to two kilos more grip strength and their muscles were better nourished.
From previous researches, we know nitric oxide in spinach is a vasodilator and nitrate positively influences muscle function.
It widens the blood vessels and allows a greater flow of blood, which translates into better muscle and skeletal health.
Don’t take our word for it, ask Popeye who eats spinach every day and we’re pretty sure he already knows about all these benefits.
According to Cromos magazine, in its Lifestyle section it says about bananas:
“The potassium present in bananas regulates water levels in the body and participates in muscle relaxation and contraction, which is why it is recommended for athletes and people with heart problems. For its part, magnesium improves the functioning of nerves and muscles, keeps the immune system stable and, together with vitamin C, regulates blood glucose levels and the production of energy and protein.”
Is there anything richer and healthier in life than eating bananas, what do you think?
And who would say that nuts are a synonym of muscle mass? These delights of nature are proteins and, guess what, proteins are directly responsible for muscle strengthening and toning.
In addition, they contain magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, copper, iron, selenium, calcium, potassium, we feel we are naming the periodic table here, but this is already confirmation that nuts can not be missing from your diet when it comes to strengthening muscles.
Take them as snacks for your workouts!
Poor red meat, it has long been stigmatized on the grounds of its high consumption can generate more problems than benefits, including diseases such as gout and premature aging.
The truth is that it provides large doses of iron, zinc, proteins and creatines. You, yes you! Who practice cycling, could consume it without any problem since your caloric intake, you will quickly burn it up.
Meat is necessary for building muscle mass and unless you do not like it and want to replace it with something else, it is necessary that you consume it. The appropriate dose can be provided by your personal trainer or your beloved doctor, but red meat is indispensable in your diet.
Do not suppress it just because of the myths that run around. Keep in mind that you are a sportsman, not a simple muggle.
HAVING STRONG MUSCLES VS. GAINING MUSCLE MASS
And it’s not the same thing, some athletes turn to certain foods to enlarge their muscles and they may be the same foods you’re eating to have strong muscles.
So you have to be careful with the portions and get advice from your nutritionist so you don’t fall into excess and get a figure that is not recommended for cycling, very much in the style of Johnny Bravo baby!
Spinach is committed within the group of foods that provide large muscles, so they are consumed daily by bodybuilders and athletes who train with a lot of weight.
MILK, YOGURT AND CHEESE
You could consume them, of course, in their low-fat versions and further give strength to your muscles.
CHICKEN AND TURKEY
Of course, we couldn’t leave them out of the list, they are white meat full of protein that helps keeping those muscles strong and you who practice cycling should include them in your diet.
Maybe they are proteins with an insipid taste, we are not going to deny it, but there are an endless number of preparations for you to give your palate a tasty bite and to let your imagination fly through the many recipes you can make.
On the other hand, for those who still think that red meat is much more harmful and want to avoid eating it, chicken and turkey become excellent replacement options.
Legumes could not be left out of our list either and we chose lentils for their high iron content without the heaviness of beans, for example.
This is a topic of intestinal flora that we will soon be diving into, in another blog post so stay tuned and subscribe, but the reality is that, many people today are as intolerant to beans as they are to lactose or gluten, ask Djokovic and you will see.
However, it has turned out that eating lentils does not cause as much of a burden as eating beans in proportion.
Lentils also give you a lot of magnesium, which is good for preventing cramps.
We hope that all the information we have left you in this blog entry will be of great use to you both in training and in the daily intake of your healthy foods.
Tell us how you like it and do not hesitate to contact us if you need any advice on exercise, nutrition and performance in cycling, a sport that we are passionate about.