How to build cycling endurance when you have no time.
Yes, I know you are busy. As a cyclist, the thought of adding anything else to your already jam-packed schedule is definitely asking for too much.
For you, the alarm usually goes off at 5 a.m.
And you have an HOUR.
All you’re 'my thingy' has to be packed in this slot until and unless you’re a pro or have some very generous sponsors.
Otherwise, rest of the time is for ‘adulting’ (working, taking care of the kids, family, and other responsibilities).
You somehow manage to fit in 5 to 7 hours of training a week.
Maybe, a couple of long rides over the weekend if you are blessed with not so demanding other halves.
Very few of us may have the luxury to put cherry on top by having few sessions of exercise bikes per week.
But we all as a cyclist you know that’s not enough especially when you intend to participate in a race, focus on sportives, aim to ride your first-century ride or simply want to get better as a rider.
And endurance is hard to train for.
Because there are no short-cuts.
All it needs is……… time………………………. and longer intervals of time.
Good news is, it is a not dead end for you.
And yoga is the most suited answer for most of your problems.
By the way, it’s not just for you (overly engaged and a well-tamed family man with a ‘CYCLOPATH’ inside.)Nowadays most pro- cyclists use yoga as part of their training program.
Here are best 8 yoga poses these pro use to strengthen the muscles of calves hamstring, back and glutes.Do them twice a week and you will observe significant improvement in your cycling endurance.
01. High Plank Pose.
Benefits: Strengthen your wrist shoulders and core muscles. Tone your abdomen. Improve your posture and reduce back pains. Improve your balance which results in better movement and coordination. Along with other enormous benefits, this is a foundational pose for beginners to train them for advance hand balancing poses.
Tips: If you start to feel your core failing and your lower back begins to arch, take your knees down. You risk injury to your lower back by continuing plank with an arched back. If holding a plank for a longer period is difficult, rest your both knees and alternate knees time to time.
02. Side Plank Pose.
Benefits: Strengthen the core stability and concentration. Tone your thighs which result in significant decrease in your waistline. Develop core endurance along with balance and coordination which results in enhanced performance in endurance sports such as running cycling etc. want to get rid of your love handles? This single pose is enough.
Tips: Keep your toes flexed toward your shin, and make sure to prevent your chest from splaying out and arching your back. You should not feel any pain in your shoulders while doing this pose. If you find this pose too hard to attempt, lower your forearm to the floor, and do the side plank on your elbow. Or drop your knee to the floor and do a side plank with your hand and knee to the floor.
03. Downward Dog Pose.
Benefits: Provide a great stretch to the entire backside, open the shoulders to get a better range of motion. Enhance shoulder and forearm strength while lengthening calf and hamstring muscles. Excellent pose for maintaining a proper running posture in long runs. Moreover, increase blood flow towards brain which decreases stress and enhances productivity.
Tips: Watch out for any hyper-extension of elbows and knees. If you feel too much pressure on your shoulders, shorten the distance between your hands and feet, or allow your knees to bend until you feel an even stretch throughout your entire back. If your hamstrings are tight and your spine is rounding, bend both knees slightly and tip your pelvis so that the tailbone reaches upward. Focus on a long spine by pressing into your palms and lifting your hips.
04. Upward Dog Pose.
Benefits: A great pose to challenge you for lifting and opening your chest. Which results in improving our posture and enhancing lung capacity. Also strengthen the spine, arms wrists and shoulder muscles for visible improvisation in athletic performance.
Tips: If you are feeling too much pressure in your hand, shift your weight towards legs by elevating your hands on a yoga block or chair. If you are having difficulty in lifting your legs in the air, tuck your toes inside. Engage your abdominal muscles to release excessive pressure in the lower back.
05. Warrior II Pose.
Benefits: This is a deep hip-opening pose that strengthens the muscles in the thighs and buttocks which improve the power in your hips for twisting movements such as swinging in golf and baseball back-flipping in jujitsu and M.M.A or changing direction in football. It tones the abdomen, ankles, and arches of the feet. This pose also opens the chest and shoulders, improving breathing capacity and increasing circulation throughout the body.
Tips: Squeeze your legs toward one another to draw your hips under your torso and tilt your pelvis slightly upward to protect your lower back and engage your core. Keep your arms active by engaging the muscles in your arms. If feeling too much pressure on the front foot, change the knee angle of the front leg.
06. Triangle Pose.
Benefits: A tremendous stretching pose which relieves stress strengthens legs and core muscles. Simulate the function of abdominal organs results in better digestion. Reduce the risk of hamstring injuries, increase the range of motion of your legs to improve kicking power and increase speed.
Tips: Squeeze your legs toward one another to prevent your leg muscles from relaxing. Do NOT lock out your front knee. For Modification, Place a block on either side of the front leg, and place your hand on top of the block.
07. Chair Pose.
Benefits: An excellent pose for toning your legs. Build lower body strength by working on your calves ankles hip flexors and back. Develop endurance while opening the shoulders and chest to Stimulates the heart, diaphragm, and abdominal organs. A good exercise to reduce flatness of feet.
Tips: Keep your back straight throughout your spine. Avoid rounding it up and opening up your chest. To keep up the balance put the weight of your body on your heels, and you may be able to lift your toes. If feeling too much pressure in legs, change knee angle.
08. Camel Pose.
Benefits: If done properly this pose starches almost all of the muscles in the body. While strengthening the spine, this pose also stimulates the abdominal organs which results in better digestion and metabolism. This pose also detoxifies the body, improve lung capacity and reduce abdominal fat.
Tips: Instead of reaching back with both hands, do the half-camel pose with one hand at a time. The arm that is not reaching back for the foot reaches up to the ceiling. In case of Knee tension, cushion the knees with a blanket.
And if you are looking for some more yoga poses and further guidance do check out our ultimate yoga assessment guide. As it comes with every thing, a yoga practitioner needs when practicing solo.
Thanks for staying till here.
Oh by the way for doing yoga you do need a mat as well. Check out our ultimate guide to choosing the best mat for yourself.
And for some heavy dose of yoga inspiration check this out.
Take good care of yourself and