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  • Al Painter, NASM-CPT, PES, CES


Now that 2017 is here, a ton of people are going to start signing up for century rides, metric centuries and grand fondos all over the country. This is a great way to get together with friends, enjoy some beautiful scenery and subject your body to a lot or repetitive stress that could lead to performance reducing muscle imbalances.

The key to surviving 100 miles on the bike starts with what you do off of it. That's where this post comes in. I've worked with 100's of cyclists over the years, and the one thing they've all go in common is if they worked on keeping their glutes strong, hips mobile and stayed on top of the posture muscles in the back half of their body, they faired a lot better fighting off injuries.

Here are three dumbbell moves that I feel are essentially to accomplishing that and more. They work the core, hips and posture muscles of the back. Doing them may just help you have more fun in the saddle.

1) Split Stance Single Arm Dumbbell Row

This is a "smoke'em if you got'em exercise. It uses the core, the hips (particularly on the front leg), the posture muscles you need for long climbs not too mention how it helps with the diagonal loading that is critical for max power output out of the saddle. Start lighter than you think you should, you can always grab something heavier as go.

2) Rack Position Loaded Carry

Loaded carrys are one of the best ways to build total body strength. They are a moving plank that force your rotational stabilization muscles to fire to help you resist lateral force. That's a fancy way of saying this will help you resist loads placed on your body coming from the left or the right.

For cyclists, this can mean more strength out of the saddle and better power output seated on steep climbs. I love this exercise because I feel my core and low back stabilizers quite a bit.

3) Single Arm + Single Leg Overhead Press

Pedaling a bike requires strength/power output with one leg at a time locked down by a stable core. This exercise checks both of those boxes. In the video as Alison's left arm goes up, her right foot is her anchor point to a diagonal stabilization foundation, or how we are designed to move.

This can also help with hip stability leading to improved balanced. Keeping in mind our bodies only let us put out the amount of power our joint stability can handle, this is a good thing.

As always, a huge thank you to Alison from Goldilocks Training in San Francisco for her help with the videos. Thanks a ton for reading, much appreciated!

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