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Anatomy, Stretching & Training for Cyclists: A Step-by-Step Guide to Getting the Most from Your Bicycle Workouts

Anatomy, Stretching & Training for Cyclists: A Step-by-Step Guide to Getting the Most from Your Bicycle Workouts PDF

Author: Lisa Purcell

Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing


Publish Date: May 6, 2014

ISBN-10: 1628736348

Pages: 160

File Type: PDF

Language: English

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Book Preface

As a cyclist, you already know how wonderful a bike ride can make your body feel. During a good ride, your legs are pumping, your abdominal muscles are engaged, and a wide spectrum of different muscle groups are working hard as you power forward.

But you can feel even better. When it comes to optimizing performance, avoiding aches and pains, and generally enhancing how you feel while cycling, there is always room for improvement. This book will give you all the tools you need to condition your body to make every ride your best one.

Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned athlete, you can benefit from stretches that limber up tight muscles, strengthening moves that target your core and lower body, and exercises that improve your posture and hone the sense of balance that is so vital to cycling effectively. The exercises in these pages are designed to work a wide range of muscles that come into play when cycling. They can be performed in your living room, so that in between forays into the streets or along the mountain trails, you will be working your entire body to meet the unique demands of your sport.

CYCLING IS AN INCREDIBLY REWARDING activity. With its low impact on the joints and high rate of calorie burn, it is a great choice for anyone wanting to get (and stay) in shape. It is also accessible to enthusiasts of all fitness levels: no matter what your capability when beginning or returning to the sport, cycling allows for all forms of progression, from riding a flat mile in the local park loop to completing your first hilly 100-mile endurance ride.

One sport, many benefits

The sport of cycling carries fantastic health benefits. It has been known to boost mental health, decrease the risk of coronary heart disease, and improve coordination skills. Studies have connected cycling to not only the physical effects of decreased waistlines and prolonged caloric burn, but also to heightened emotional health, mental capacity, and even earning potential and productivity at work.

Getting back on your bike

If you’re reading this book, you likely already have some level of interest in cycling. Perhaps you’ve seen the enviable chiseled quadriceps and calves of professional cyclists riding the Tour de France or maybe you’re looking for a low-impact transition from running. Maybe you want to try racing and are looking to increase speed and power output. If you’re a triathlete, you may be seeking to transfer your current skills and capabilities to the cycling portion of your racing. Some of you may want to embark on a fitness regimen that also benefits the environment, choosing to bike to work rather than drive a car. Or, you may simply love riding a bike and want to get better at it.

Whatever the nature of your interest in cycling, this book will help you to get fit and stay fit for the physical demands of the sport. This is accomplished through targeting the muscles predominantly used to bring about forward motion of the bike, as well as through building the powerhouse muscles that will ultimately lead to a toned and balanced cycling body. After all, cycling is not all about the legs, but about core strength, balance, posture, and flexibility too.

Cyclists should be well-rounded athletes, recognizing that strength on the bike draws from all the body’s major and minor muscle groups. In the following pages, illustrations accompanying the step-by-step instructions will show you exactly which muscles you are working.

Retool your equipment

As you start out on a cycling program, it’s likely you’ll experience some muscle soreness, especially in the back, knees, and neck, or even wrists and hands if the bike you’re using was never properly fitted to your body. The good news is that as long as your bike’s frame is the right size (a reputable bike shop can help you determine this), it is possible to adjust your body position so you do not feel aches and pains. Always give as much specific information as you can on what is hurting your body and where; front-of-the-knee pain determines a different adjustment than back-of-the-knee pain, for example.

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