Mend Physical Therapy Blog and Injury Information

Why Every Cyclist Should Strength Train

March 23, 2024

It is well known that cycling is considered to be a highly beneficial sport for enhancing cardiovascular fitness, yet studies show little or no corresponding improvement in bone mass. Previous articles have shown that athletes who participate in non-weight bearing sports such as cycling or swimming (and do not also perform concurrent weight bearing exercise) have less bone density than their peers who participate in weight bearing sports such as soccer. This means individuals who only participate in cycling for exercise are at greater risk of developing osteopenia or osteoporosis.

Previous blog posts have highlighted the benefits of strength training and jump training as tools to improve bone mass and stiffness in osteoporotic females and in athletes who participate in non-weight bearing sports such as cycling. In addition to improving bone health, strength training can also be impactful on cycling performance and has been shown to increase cycling economy, cycling efficiency, and time to exhaustion at maximal power. Furthermore, strength training can reduce risk of developing overuse injuries by half!

In our Boulder Physical Therapy and Lafayette Physical Therapy clinics we strongly encourage our cyclists to incorporate weight training and jump training to strengthen their bones and boost cycling performance. Multi-joint, compound exercise movements such as the deadlift, squat, and overhead press should be used to optimize performance benefits and minimize the time required for strength training. Participating in lifting exercises just 2 days a week will promote overall health and longevity and can also make the difference in longer distance races and high efforts.

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