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  • Al Painter, NASM-CPT, PES, CES


The most important component on your bike is your posterior chain. Its not something you can buy at your LBS (that's bike speak for Local Bike Shop), but if you don't have one, you won't ride as well and you just may end up with some aches pains that get in the way of having fun in the saddle.

Since riding a bike takes places in the front half of the body, the muscles in the back half of the body can be taken offline. Meaning, the repetitive stress of the seated position as you repeatedly flex the hips riding can shut down the posture muscles in the back half of the body, or the posterior chain.

Lose these, riding is lot less fun and performance gaps widen. Luckily, there are ways to manage this and that's where these three exercises can come in handy.

They focus on opening the front half the body, shoulder mobility, hip engagement and strengthening the muscles in the posterior chain from the heels to the hands. You just experience a bit of core activation as well.

1) IYT Flies

I really like this exercise for bike riders. It will open the shoulders as it works the posterior chain feet to fingers. Work at a 4 out of 10 on a difficulty scale to start off. Once you own the movement, step further forward to increase the intensity of the movement.

2) Split Stance Single Arm High, Mid and Low Row

This move not only helps you work the posture muscles, but youm train the diagonal stabilizers as well. You should immediately feel the pulling hand locked into the anchor foot in the front as you pull. This is the key to this movement's effectiveness, so work on getting that dialed in!

3) Overhead Squat

I really like this move to teach the body how to squat correctly. It is a great way to connect the feet to the hands level changing while engaging the back, core and glutes. If it looks like you are trying to smuggle a time trial helmet in your upper back on a ride, you might need this.

Keep in mind, if your elbows bend with hands overhead, work on both thoracic and shoulder mobility, then after it improves, give this another try. Bent elbows may lead to you flaring the ribs and arching your low back. Hint: not so good.

HUGE thank you to Alison from Goldilocks Training in San Francisco for the help with the video content.

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