Strength Training Exercises (2/3)


Off Season Strength Training is a Key to Success!!

Second of Three Part Series - Lower body


1.. Leg Extensions (upper legs/quads; supports weight-catching phase of running and builds additional muscle mass necessary for half-marathon distances and up)

Beginning position: Sit on machine. Rest shin pad just above ankle. Line knee with pivot point of machine

Ending position: Extend both legs fully to straight line

Sport-specific: run and bike hills, low cadence cycling.

2. Leg Curls (upper leg/hamstring; boosts pull-through for both cycling and running)

Beginning position: Lay face down on machine bench. Place leg pad just above ankles. Keep legs slightly bent

Ending position: Contract hamstrings fully. Keep stomach on pad at all times

Sport-specific: run and bike hills, low cadence cycling.

3. Squats (glutes and quads; generates power for cycling and strength necessary for hilly running)

Beginning position: Stand with legs wider than shoulders. Find neutral spine posture. Keep weight over heels at all times

Ending position: Lower butt toward floor as though you're sitting in a chair. Bend knees until thighs are parallel to floor

Sport-specific: Hill running

4. Calf Raises (lower legs/calves; helps push-off for running)

Beginning position: Place one foot on a step and the other raised off the step just slightly. Hold the weight in the arm on the same side as the calf you are working

Ending position: Lower the heel until you feel a moderate stretch

Sport-specific: Rye strides and track work.

5. Backward Lunges (adductors and glutes; targets all muscles used in push phase of hilly running)

Beginning position: Stand with legs together; rest the bar comfortably on upper back

Ending position: Step back, extending leg out behind, and lower your body into a split squat. Drag the toes of the extended foot on the floor on the way back up to the starting position

Sport-specific: Run hills

6. Leg Press (glutes and quads; most important exercise for developing power on bike)

Beginning position: Start seated on the sled with your knees bent and feet roughly shoulder width apart

Ending position: Legs extended fully.  Each exercise should be done on a count of two on the contraction (or lifting of the weight) and a count of four when lowering the weight. Form is of utmost importance when doing the exercises. Isolation of each muscle group is the goal.

Sport-specific: Cycling hills


James Jockle